Beer Review – Amstel Light Lager

Amstel Brewery is a Dutch brewery founded in 1870 on the Mauritskade in Amsterdam, Netherlands. It was taken over by Heineken International in 1968, and the brewing plant closed down in 1982, with production moving to the main Heineken plant at Zoeterwoude. Amstel Lager uses predominantly light pilsner malt, although some dark malt is also used. It is sold in 75 countries. Amstel Light is a 3.5% abv pale lager. Basically it’s for grandmothers and small kids. If it was a hot day and the beer was quite chilled, I guess it would be very refreshing. I would want atleast 4.8 – 6 % alcohol in my beers.

Beer Review – Stella Artois Lager

Stella Artois is a pilsner beer of between 4.8 and 5.2% ABV which has been brewed in Leuven, Belgium, since 1926. A 4% ABV version is sold in Britain, Ireland, Canada and New Zealand. Stella Artois is owned by Anheuser-Busch InBev, the world’s largest brewer.

Although Belgium is best known internationally for its ales, the so-called “table beers,” the bottom-fermented pilsner lagers such as Stella Artois head the list for domestic consumption, making up almost 75% of Belgian beer production. Stella Artois is available on draught and in several packaged sizes, including a 275 ml bottle, 284 ml bottle, a 330 ml bottle, a 440 ml can, a 50cl can, a pint size can known as “La Grande Biere” (568 ml), 66 cl bottle, 70 cl bottle and a 1 liter bottle.

Stella Artois has been associated with film in the UK since 1994, organizing events, sponsoring television, and hosting a website. Stella Artois has been or is a primary sponsor of the Cannes, Melbourne, and Sundance film festivals, the Independent Spirit Awards, and the Little Rock Film Festival. For many years previously The Queen’s Club Championships, an annual tournament for male tennis players, held on grass courts at the Queen’s Club in West Kensington, London and part of the ATP World Tour 500 series on the Association of Tennis Professionals (ATP) Tour, was known as the Stella Artois Championships.

Beer Review – Erdinger Weissbier (Hefe-Weizen)

Brewed by:
Erdinger Weissbräu
Germany |

Style: Hefeweizen

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 5.60%

Availability: Year-round

Erdinger has been brewing their Bavarian wheat beers for over 100 years. Beers like this classic Hefe Weissbier have attributed to their international success. This hefeweizen pours a hazy gold colour with a foamy white head. A lively carbonation brings delicate aromas of bananas and cloves to the nose. Classic flavours of banana and clove are accompanied by a biscuity maltiness and perhaps even a bit of lemongrass. A medium body and crisp dry finish make this a very refreshing drink, pure and simple.

I was lucky to get this imported beer from the Discovery Wines & Liquor, a store that was walking distance from my hotel where I stayed at while in Gurgaon. I only went in there once during my stay in Gurgaon and got 3 imported beers that I had never tried before.

Hot & Sunny But Busy Sunday

It’s been a busy Sunday today and I usually do not go out on a Sunday (I prefer going out on a Saturday and sleeping in and watch movies on Sunday) but since I have Monday off as well, I went out today. In the morning I went to this store called Heels Footware and bought a new pair of black shoes and a belt and then went to McDonald’s which was nearby.

20160306_122502

Hungry I ordered a big spicy paneer wrap with a medium Coke Zero and fries. It was delicious. Their tortilla wraps are amazing, so much better than the chicken, veg or paneer burgers.

20160306_122953

I shot a review video in McDonald’s and then chilled there for a while as it was a really hot day and I was not looking forward to venturing out again. But I had to leave and went to get my hair cut.

20160306_125603

While I was waiting for the barber to be free I took some grain from a store next door and fed some pigeons. I like pigeons.

20160306_140844

By then I was hungry again and it was time for a late lunch with beer. I had two beers at Couchyn, both Budweiser Magnums and I had their style of fish n chips. Basically bread crumb fried fish with French Fries and some tartar sauce. It was good though nothing like what is actually fish n chips.

20160306_141826

After that a brief stop at a place to buy snacks for tomorrow and then it was on to home.

Awesome Sunday Out

After a couple of weekends staying in at home and not going out, today I went out by 11am to join my cousin Sujith for some coffee and sandwiches at a late breakfast/brunch before going on for some drinks. Kahawa Cafe & bristro in Atlantis was our destination, a place neither of us had ever been to before. We went there and ordered some food – he had the roast beef sandwich and I had the beef burger. Both were excellent and we rated each of them a 9 outta 10!

IMG_20160117_113126IMG_20160117_113134

Not sure what this cafe is best known for but it should be their milkshakes or chillers as they call them. We had these large choco chillers which were amazingly rich and delicious. I can’t be sure if I have had a better milkshake with icecream in Kochi ever. This was a 10 outta 10 for the both of us.

IMG_20160117_111939

Much talking about movies and science fiction later we made our way a while later to Couchyn Vibe at the Grand Hotel and settled down at a table to drink some beers. Budweiser and the Magnum one were the choice for the afternoon.

IMG_20160117_153458IMG_20160117_125924

It’s a shame that we can’t find places in Kochi that will serve you awesome burgers or pizzas with your beer. It’s tough but I think the 4 star and 5 stars hotels may have the option. I am not in the habit of visiting 4 or 5 star restaurants at all but I guess we will try one someday soon.

IMG_20160117_133136IMG_20160117_134546

We had barbecued chicken sausages (delicious by the way) and a poor Teriyaki beef plate which was way too salty and vinegary for our tastes. No problem the rest of the stuff was top class so we didn’t have any complaints. By 5 pm we left the hotel and went back to our respective homes.

Back To An Old Watering Hole

It was like going home. Going home to a home that you haven’t seen in a long while. My cousin Sujith & I went back to Velocity Beer & Wine parlour / restaurant which used to be Velocity bar, a favourite watering hole from 2007-2013. I hadn’t been there in a long time indeed.

IMG_20151031_145630

The decor is still the same but I don’t see why they should change it much. The place looks as good as ever.

IMG_20151031_145846

As some of you may remember we’ve had a big problem for drink lovers in the state what with the stupid decision of our moronic government to ban bars in the state. Hence we have no more bars, other than those of the 5 star variety and they are very few in number as well as very expensive for the likes of yours truly. Most of the 2 & 3 star bars were close with just a few 3 star ones becoming beer & wine parlours joining the 4 star bars that also converted and added food to their menu.

IMG_20151031_150238

Velocity, a 3 star bar but of a really good standard, was one of the early victims when they had to close down and then lost their license. They were able to renew their license as their standards were better than most and hence were allowed to re-open as a beer & wine parlous plus restaurant. The same owners also have a family restaurant (no beer or wine served there) right next door. But Velocity did not reopen their doors immediately as they wanted to do a lot of renovation and hence it was closed for even longer.

IMG_20151031_151327

The couple of times I have tried to go there we saw that they were closed so I moved on to other beer parlours like Couchyn, which became my go to place. Also I started relying on buying beer (along with vodka and rum) from the BEvcos and drinking at home. Hence I haven’t been to Velocity since mid 2013! Which is huge!

IMG_20151031_152446

Today my cousin and I walked in and were greeted like returning family. We ordered some Pork Pepper Fry (bad idea, the pork was good but it was so peppery and spicy) and Chicken 65. The latter was delicious as ever. And ofcourse we had a couple of beers. Heineken first and then Carlsberg. We sat there for a good 2 hours or so and enjoyed a nice afternoon. By 4:30 pm we had to leave, with promises to come back soon.

IMG_20151031_163609

And so I have my watering hole back again. No alcohol but it still is something. I like the place and it’s a fun spot to kick back with some beers and good food and relax. Cheers!

Drinks & Dinner @ Lotus Club

Last night my family – dad, mom, my sister, brother-in-law, their 3 kids – 3 cousins (2 who brought their wives and 1 child each), 1 uncle & 3 aunts met at the Lotus club for some drinks and dinner. This was decided at around 5pm yesterday evening and by 7:30 pm we reached at the club. My dad, mom & I went by an Uber cab and greeted everyone at the large room we had booked for the evening.

The star of the show was clearly the vodka which 4 of us had. My dad had whiskey, my uncle and bil had brandy. I must have had 6 vodkas throughout the evening, which explains the headache I had this morning.

Th festivities started with some snacks. I remember plates of french fries, egg burgi, onion pakodas, chicken tikka, tandoori chicken, deep fried beef being involved.

Dinner was naan, butter chicken and fried rice followed by some ice cream. It was a great get together and by 11:30 pm I was back in my bedroom watching Star Trek.

Three Old Men Reunited Again!

Today was the day that I finally got to meet Anil & Madhu after a very long time. Since last October in fact! Anil has been back from Dubai for a few weeks now (he is not going back and instead is going to look for a job here or elsewhere) and Madhu is on holiday from his work in Qatar. So we needed to meet. Despite me having an ankle problem we decided to meet for coffee at around 11am in Bay Pride Mall.

After a while of chatting over there we went to Golden Dragon for beer and Chinese food. They only had King Fisher but that was ok for us.

IMG_20150906_122028

We munched on several stuff including this well done Chinese chicken salad. The dragon chicken was the star of the show, also good were the spring rolls, golden fried crispy prawns but the Chicken Satay was a bit too much for us. No fried rice or noodles just these starters.

IMG_20150906_151319

At around 2:30 pm we went to the Center Square Mall and went to several stores as Madhu looked for a pair of shoes to his liking but we never found anything he liked. We ended the day with a fruit salad & mango ice cream and then went back to our respective homes.

Food (Beverage) Review # 48

And this is it. Something I have been waiting for since I first learned about Guinness stouts back when I was a teenage in the early 1990s. Never thought I’d ever get a chance to try one unless I left India but there I was in Chennai at the Moon & Sixpence Irish pub and I ordered a Guinness. It was disappointing but I wonder if it was just a bad case or can? Tasted tinny & metallic.

Beers @ The Moon And Sixpence Irish Bar

So while I was in Chennai I went to this highly recommended Irish Pub that was in the basement of the rather famous Hablis hotel in the Guindy area. This is a place that my cousin told me about several months ago and although it is expensive it is worth going to. They have imported beers and were setup by Irish folks and hence it is an experience that we cannot get commonly in India. So on Friday the 14th of August I found myself in the Moon and Sixpence.

IMG_20150814_165131

I saw that they had Gunniness stouts and I ordered one. Here is a pic of the beer just after it was poured.

IMG_20150814_165318

So it is a draught beer and not the usual stuff I guess. It tasted tinny and metallic and not at all pleasant to drink. I was highly disappointed after all these years hyping up the beer in my mind and dreams. It was a let down. Perhaps it was a bad batch or something. But still I was so down – and at that price. I could have bought 8 beers at the Bevco here!

IMG_20150814_171205

The next beer was so much better, the rather tasty Hoegaarden Whit beer from Belgium. Just nice & refreshing with a lemony tasty. Delicious with some French fries.

Two New Beers Tried & Liked

Buying beers to drink back at home is a new thing for me. I never used to buy bottles or cans of beer and drink them at home. Instead I opted to drink at bars or beer & wine parlours on the weekends when I got out along with lunch or perhaps before lunch. Sometimes in the evening. With bars being banned from serving alcohol other than beer and wine (except for 5 star hotels) it is difficult to enjoy drinks outside the home. And really expensive too as the bee parlours have been taxed more and hence upped the prices of beers to keep their margins the same.

IMG_20150726_191225

So the better option is to buy some stuff for the home. I have visited the self service style Bevco outlet in Gandhinagar twice now and this Saturday, being the second time, I bough 4 beers and a 500ml bottle of Bacardi white rum. I bought two cans of Miller and 2 of Budweiser Magnum (which I find to be better than the original). I enjoyed both beers a lot.

IMG_20150726_194127

So as we start a new week today, here’s a couple of pics of my beers in my brand new Arsenal pint glass. Ah, so refreshing and tasty and not bitter at all.

Save Old Monk XXX Rum

The news about this hit me in the liver! Lol, not really but it did bring back a whole lotta memories. Old Monk Rum was the very first alcoholic drink that I ever drank, other than beer ofcourse. I was 19 and my much older cousin brother gave me two tall glasses of rum+cokes on ice (or was it rum+coke+lime) and I loved the taste. And ofcourse I got tipsy after the 1st glass. After that first taste, I started drinking rum on a weekly or bi weekly basis and Old Monk was my rum of choice.

For almost last decade, Old Monk has held the prestigious title of India’s best-selling rum and one of the best-selling spirit brands in India. As many as 8 million cases were sold every year. There was a time when Old Monk had the rum market pretty much sewed up. There were other brands also, of course, but none came close in quality or popularity. However, our old friend also had a bad year in 2014 with its sales dropping down to just 2.1 million cases. In other words, Old Monk sales contributed to just 5 percent of the market according to a market research agency, Euromonitor. The decline of Old Monk has been paving the way for many rivals including McDowell’s No. 1 Celebrations which has become the best-selling rum worldwide. Nonetheless, the loyal fans friends of Old Monk will consider it a grievance if they had to gulp down even a sip of any other rum.

With the easing of import restrictions other players entered the market. Rums from abroad began appearing in the liquor shops. Biggest of them was the Bacardi brand, an interloper from Puerto Rico. The company is the world’s biggest producer of rum. Before you knew it, Bacardi was distilling and bottling it in India itself, in Karnataka. While Old Monk came only as dark rum, Bacardi gave us a choice: you could have it dark (robust), gold (smoother) or white (perfect for mixing cocktails). Now we had something to please everyone. Women, who started drinking in larger numbers, preferred the white spirits and go to restaurants, bars or clubs in the company of men or with their women friends. They order wine or cocktails. Mojito, a white rum cocktail, became a very popular drink among women as well as men. There were other cocktails like daiquiri and pina colada that required white rum.

I will always remember the evenings & nights I spent drinking rum + coke in the bars of Bangalore back in 1995-96. When I came back to Cochin, rum and Old Monk was my preferred drink whenever I would get together payday loans guarenteed with my friends and colleagues. Drinking with a few buddies after work (or on the odd occasion before a night shift) at one of the smaller & affordable bars on Marine Drive. Rum+coke was my drink until I was 28 (almost 11 years ago) and switched to vodka + sprite/7up which became the drink that defines me. Everyone knows me by that combo! However on the odd occasion I have opted for white rum once in a while and will definitely be trying more in the coming weeks and months. However along with that bottle of Bacardi white I will have to get a big bottle of Old Monk, to toast the old days. Before they stop making Old Monk altogether. Here’s to the memories!

Kerala’s Self-Service Beer & Liquor Store

It was like, nothing I ever imagined. I have never been to a supermarket styled, self-service place where they sell liquor & beer. This is amazing.

So, there has been a self service store (or 2 or 3) for premium beer & alcohol in Cochin (and perhaps other cities in Kerala) for a while now but I have never been to one. Mostly because I never buy drinks to keep at home and instead go to bars and now beer/wine parlours. But with the parlous jacking the prices up so much (the Rs.100 cans of 500ml beer I bought will be about 170 or 180 in most beer places or even 200+) and ofcourse you end up also buying snacks to accompany them and they cost a lot too. So I plan on going to these parlours a little less and keeping a small stock at home.

IMG_20150627_125016

IMG_20150627_125024

IMG_20150627_125045

IMG_20150627_125135

IMG_20150627_125151

IMG_20150627_125202

IMG_20150627_125206

So I went to the one in Gandhinagar this noon and went all starry eyed at the counters of stuff. I mostly looked at the vodka, white rum and beer sections as that is what I like to drink. Awesome selection though the beers could be a lot more. They didn’t have any Heineken but they did have Budweiser Magnum, Tuborg, Carlsberg, Miller and I think a couple of more. I ended up buying a can cheap personal loan uk each of Bug Magnum & Carlsberg and a 500ml of Smirnoff Apple flavoured vodka. It’s party time!

Weekend Burger Lunch & Revisiting Velocity

This weekend, like most this year, I looked forward to going out for the afternoon and getting some food and some beer. As previously mentioned, as of April 1st of this year, Kerala has no more bars other than the ones that are there in the 5 star hotels. I can’t afford to go to the 5 star hotels and the rates that they would charge for their wares. So the government (you can bet all those fucking politicians are visiting the bars often)is discriminating between the filthy rich and the rest of us. It’s the end of civilization.

IMG_20150404_122056

First up at 11:30 am was a visit to Cocoa Tree (one of two 24 cafes owned by Avenue Reagent hotel) on MG Road along with my cousin Sujith and we had some cold coffee (I had the choco crunch frappe pictured here and he had the caramel frappe) and burgers (he had the classic beef burger and I had the chicken burger; both had bacon).

IMG_20150404_135417

Post that Sujith & I, after chatting for almost 90 minutes, left to go to Velocity and get some beers. Sujith’s older brother Sarath was on his way to Cochin from Bangalore and we waited for him but he was delayed so we started on our first beers. The main area of Velocity was still under renovation and hence we went to the underground section which had an ok looking bar/parlour.

IMG_20150404_154236

They had a good selection of beer, including some I hadn’t seen before and even some cans. But I am gonna miss drinking vodka or rum and especially Long Island Ice Teas in bars. We snacked on egg burgi or egg masala as we downed the beers.

IMG_20150404_164113

Sarath came by at around 3 pm and we had a couple of more beers. No this basket of empties are not ours. We only had Carlsberg beers, which is the preferred brand and if that isn’t around then either Tuborg or Kingfisher. But it felt kinda depressing to sit in that area and know that we can now only afford either beer or wine (who really goes out to drink wine in Kerala anyway) and it makes me sad and angry. Hopefully the next election changes things and we can get back our bars.

Fuck; These Morons Are At It Again

Here we go again:-

A division bench of Kerala High Court Tuesday ratified the new liquor policy of the Congress-led bill consolidation loans bad credit government, which had envisaged the closure of all liquor bars except those in the five-start category. The division bench also nullified the single bench order which allowed liquor licence for four-star and heritage hotels.

However, the court ratified the government decision to amend its liquor policy to allow beer and wine parlours in closed bars. The beer and wine parlours were allowed in the closed 418 bars to address the loss of jobs and cushion the impact of the new liquor policy on tourism and hospitality sectors. With today’s decision, the 312 three and four star hotels now operating can apply for only beer and wine parlour licences. Bar hotel owners association said they would challenge the verdict in the Supreme court.

What is wrong with these idiots in politics? Democracy is not for you to abuse your power and make decisions based on your own biases and agendas. Let people decide if they want to drink or not or eat a certain food or not. If you don’t like them don’t eat or drink them.

It’s time to get rid of these bastards who are dragging India back to the 13th century!

Saturday Night @ Golden Dragon

After a long while my cousin Sujith & I went to Golden Dragon (our favourite restaurant) this evening after coffee and had some good food and drink.

IMG_20150307_195614IMG_20150307_200029

Started off with Crispy golden fried prawns and Chicken Spring rolls – two regulars that we seem to have at this place.

IMG_20150307_212548

IMG_20150307_194728

Main dish was Shanghai Emerald fried rice with monthly loans no credit check pork in hoisin sauce and dragon chicken (the latter of which is just awesome). We had a beer and 2 orange flavoured vodkas each with some 7up to wash the food down as well.