The Pint Room is a nice cozy place surrounded by important looking embassies all around. Besides the embassies, equally important looking banks are scattered across the market this place is located in. The day I was invited, was a rainy one and as usual, Delhi got clogged. This proved to be a blessing in disguise as I could get up close and personal with the promoter of the chain- Mr. Pradeep Beer Gidwani. The others invited were all stuck in traffic so I spent time with one of the top authorities on the knowledge of beers and spirits in the country.
We started with him giving his own career snapshot over a few pints of Heineken. I asked him what he felt about the multitude of microbreweries in Gurugram, so he replied candidly that few of them were actually brewing beer. He says that this is a fad like many others that will come and go.
The others arrived eventually and by around 8 pm we started our beer tasting session. Mr. Gidwani introduced us to various types of beers and then we started with different kinds of beers. We started off with a bit of Foster’s and followed it up with Stella Artois. Mr. Gidwani feels that the latter must be entry point of beer drinking as the former or its prototypes such as Kingfisher are not good quality. He explained that Indian beers or even whiskies contain a lot of sugar molasses as India produces lots of sugarcane. This is much like American beers being dominated by corn by products and East Asian ones having lots of rice. And that is why European beers will always score over due to the balance between malt, hops, barley (usually not always) and water.
Along with these beers, we were served chicken wings cooked apparently with bhoot jolokia which is one of the hottest chili varieties of the world. The wings were well cooked with a dash of coriander on top. The bhoot jolokia was probably eased off as my tongue did not really burn as expected. We also had some meat tacos to go alongside. Next up, Mr. Gidwani served us some Australian craft beers. The first of these was brewed near an orange farm and thus had this distinct citrusy flavour. The next one was milder. Both these beers were smooth and flowed easily. The host also made us try an apple cider. Then we went on to discuss the differences between ales and lagers. We also discussed about the Pilsner variety.
During the beer sessions, we tried to keep the food to a minimum in order to feel the purity of the drinks. Now with the subtleties done, we were brought a meat bonanza pizza. More than the beers, I feel it is pizzas that The Pint Room does really well. A litmus test for evaluating pizzas is often whether they can be folded like any bread and that is what these pizzas were able to. The crust was thin yet crisp. The flavours of the different meats were quite easily distinguishable. This was a clear sign of flavoring not overwhelming the taste of the meat itself. We also ordered a prawn item with lemon and paprika. This item was a slight disappointment. The prawns seemed to be not fresh enough and the flavoring in this case overwhelmed the raw taste.
We ordered two more rounds of Hoegaarden to which The Pint Room added its own unique improvisation. A piece of lemon was added inside the glass on top of the drink. This added a new dimension to conventional Hoegaarden.
Mr. Gidwani was so hospitable that he felt almost disappointed at us having no capacity left to eat or drink anymore. So as a good night drink we had a Dunkel which is a dark German lager. Overall, a great evening spent. I personally learnt a lot about beers from our host, Pradeep Beer Gidwani, accompanied by good food and drink.