What is one of the most irritating things about a drinking gig? Not always that morning-after hangover but when you end up spending more than what you had budgeted for. Nothing brings down a “high” as much as a near-empty wallet or a maxed-out credit card. Now, you have the choice of avoiding this at the Beer Café while you enjoy 32 varieties of international and Indian beers.
The good stuff
It’s mandatory at this café to buy a beer card which you can charge up for an amount you want (Rs50 is the one-time, card-buying fee, which is refundable). The card is the only currency that the café accepts when you place a food order or when you pour yourself a glass of beer. Yes, we said that right. You can pour yourself a glass of beer straight from the tap. The café has four beer towers and each has two taps—one for Kingfisher (Rs175 for 330ml) and the other for Hoegaarden (Rs300 for 330ml). Place your beer card on the tab next to the tower; the screen above it will show you how many litres of which brand you can buy for the money in your card; choose any one of the eight glass styles you like or pick a jug placed next to the towers and pour your beer straight from the tap. If you are undecided about which of the two brands to opt for, you can pour a small amount in a shot glass (all paid for, of course) and try it out.
If draught beer is not your style, choose beer bottles from any of these countries: Belgium (Chimay Blue, Red or Triple or Geist Whistling, Leffe Blonde), Germany (Schneider Weisse, Erdinger, Kaiserdom Dark), Ireland (Murphy’s Irish), The Netherlands (Amstel Light) and Japan (Sapporo, Asahi).
What makes Beer Café fun is not just the variety of beers, but also that your card can track the amount of beer you have consumed and rank it against that of other customers. All this information is displayed on the small screens the above beer towers and on a TV screen above the bar.
The small-eats section is just that: bite-size portions which make no pretence of being gourmet food. Potato wedges (Rs150), chicken sausage rolls (Rs250), mini hot dogs (Rs250), chilli-garlic cheese toast (Rs150) make for basic finger foods that you can eat as you guzzle beer.
The beer bar is a cheery, bright space—unlike a dimly-lit bar or a pub with loud pulsating music—where you can enjoy a quick drink with children in tow. (Four varieties of non-alcoholic beer, wine and soft drinks are served.) There is a popcorn-maker, should you feel like having some free popcorn with your beer.
Beer Café is a small place that can seat about 40 people, with standing room for another 20. Four of the five beer towers have a table attached to them. If the tables is occupied, it is a tad difficult to refill your glass quickly on your own without disturbing those standing at the tables. The TV screens are not very large and with the World Cup round the corner, this could be a negative. Also, there are merits to being served at your table. The café says it’s willing to do that too but it has a small staff dedicated mostly to meeting food orders.
Beer bottle prices start at Rs175 for 330ml, while finger food costs upward of Rs150, taxes extra.