I needed some severe feel-good in life. I’ve come to realize, travelling helps. It’s going to be a while before I can do it the @purisubzi-way: disconnect and find happiness. I just ended up being in Bangalore. To socialize, to have some good beer and to get some perspective on a couple of things in life.
The Biere Club
20/2, Vittal Mallya Road,
Lavelle Road Area,
The weekend started with some severe binge drinking at The Biere Place. Very expensive beers. Very very expensive beers. A little over Rs 200/- for 330ml and close to Rs 500/- for 500 ml. They had six varieties of beer on tap that evening: an English Amber Ale, a Hefeweizen, the Schwartz (a dark, German lager), another crappy lager, a boring pilsner and the Marzen.
We kicked the evening off with the Marzen. It’s the new cool thing micro-breweries in Pune and Bangalore have introduced. Most places have been celebrating Oktoberfest all through October and the Marzen is the official Oktoberfest beer, I’ve been told. I tried reading up a little about it online and here’s a possible explanation. Marzen, in German, translates to March. The Marzen was originally brewed in Bavaria, south-western Germany, in March. It was, then, usually stored away in cellars until the beginning of fall, when it was consumed.
I wonder why nobody thought of brewing hefs in March, for September consumption. Or stouts. Or Brooklyn East India Pale Ales.
More recent variants of the Oktoberfest Bier are lighter and paler (often a different variety altogether, called the Helles), as opposed to the original dark brown, full bodied beer.
So yes, we started with the Marzen at The Biere Club the other evening. Nothing too fancy. I’m telling you, they should’ve just picked chocolate stouts or something like that back in the sixteenth century, when they hatched this fancy plan!
The olives – green and black, gherkins and quarters of slice of oranges marinated in chilli flakes, oregano and a few other herbs made for an excellent accompaniment with the beer.
We then ordered the dark lager (Schwartz or Schwarzbier). Almost stout-ish-porter-ish, the good roasted, bitter after taste and all. Quite nice. Did you know Guinness is a Schwarzbier? Ok, trivia over.
And that’s when the memories get blurred. I remember everything we spoke about. But I don’t remember the order of the beers that followed. We ended up having all the beers except the pilsner. And were quite pleased when it was time to leave.
Somewhere in the middle, we also ordered a thin crust pizza, topped with ham, salami and chorizo. Great stuff, that! Thin crust pizzas seem to be all over Bangalore. Light and loaded with meat and the kind that you want to pick a slice out of, fold into half and eat the minute it’s laid down at your table!
That apart, when we got there at about 5 pm, it was nice and quiet. A little building, at one corner of a square, wooden interiors, a nice patio like setting on the ground floor against a Mario-Miranda-esque wall. Very comfortable, if you ask me. We took a took on the first level, with the view of a posh salon set up inside a beautiful building with creepers and big windows. That made an awesome setting for some great conversation (not like we wouldn’t have made yapped our hearts out, otherwise). They also have a steak house on the second level, and @purisubzi says they serve decent stuff. *hic* Next time. May be.
Like I stated earlier, it was nice and quiet when we got there. By sundown, it was noisy and crowded and the service was lousy. But a lot can be excused on some evenings. This was just one of them, luckily, for them.
All in all, I’ve had better beers. I’ve had worse. I’ve been more drunk. And I’ve been less drunk. But there are some evenings you just want to enjoy, for whatever it’s worth. And I’m not talking about the Rs 4000/- that one person shelled out – for close to 10 beers, a pizza and some olives.
(I just realized I had forgotten about restaurant ratings and the little pink pig and the address and all of those cute things that I used to put in until a few months ago! So, I’ve put them in this one. I wonder why I stopped, though.)