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 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.

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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 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.

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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).

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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.

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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.

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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 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.

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

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Main dish was Shanghai Emerald fried rice with 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.

The Return Of A Favourite Watering Hole

So after all the hullabaloo and the closing down of several bars in the state, wanting to close down the beverage cos that the government itself had opened to sever the tipplers of Kerala, one section wanting to close down of the remaining bars and the threat that the banning of all alcoholic beverages might become a soon threat, things have slowly settled down and the drinkers in Kerala have either curbed down their drinking or still continued as if nothing happened. As for me, considering the fact that I haven’t been drinking for over 1.5 years anyway (except for 5 occasions) my drinking has undergone some change.

For one, I have only gone out to a bar twice to drink and both times I stopped at one beer each. The price of everything has gone up (due to the stupid government increasing the tax for said alcoholic beverages) and hence it isn’t very appealing to me. Also the bar that I went to on both occasions tends to price their wares much higher to keep out the riffraff. Last weekend I had a party that I attended and we drank a lot of beer and the rates were reasonable anyway. I will soon have drinks a little more frequent than usual and start getting some vodka, which I miss a lot, and enjoy a few drinks with friends and relatives.

I also learned last evening that one of my favourite bars, Velocity, which had to close down last year as they lost their license for not being a 3 star hotel rating has reopened – yes -as a bar & wine parlour which they were able to get the license for. The hotel that they are attached to isn’t that great but their food is ok and it is a great place to relax in. So my cousin and I will try and go there very soon and I will post some pics and blog about it as well.

Went Shopping Today & Had A Beer

It’s been a long time since I went shopping for personal things – April was the last time – and I had almost forgotten that it can be a bit of fun. Well, I was due for a bit of shopping and as I had to buy a couple of shirts that’s what I did today. After I woke up at around 9 am I lazed around post coffee and breakfast and just watched Youtube videos until 11:20 am when I went to the bathroom for a dump, shave and a shower. By 12 pm I was outta the house.

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So nothing too fancy but I also wanted to get some money out of the bank and get some coffee and a sandwich for lunch. Oh a perhaps a beer! So lunch was a cold chocolate coffee and a Mozarella chicken sandwich. After shopping for shirts at Men’s Studio, I went to good ole Couchyn bar and had a Kingfisher Gold beer. Feels so good to have a beer after such a long time. Bad thing is Couchyn has increased their prices for everything. Asshole Kerala government’s doing creating issues with beer & liquour and hence bars have increased their prices to ridiculous rates to make a profit. Fuck this country, it’s going to the dumps soon!

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Around 3:30 pm after buying some medicines and some snacks for tea I came back home. Here’s a pic of the three shirts I bought today.

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A “Small” Victory

It is a small victory for the tipplers and bar owners of this state. Basically admitting that their hurriedly-declared liquor policy is a big FAILURE, the government has decided to scrap dry days on Sundays and allow conversion of 418 bars, that were closed down, as beer and wine parlours. With the changes announced on Thursday, all the 730 bar hotels in the state will remain operational provided the hygienic standards are met. A special Cabinet meeting on Thursday also decided to reduce the total working hours of bars by two-and-a-half hours per day from 15 hours to 12.5 hours.

“On the condition that all existing employees should be reinstated, all the hygienic bars operated till March 31, 2014, will be given beer, wine parlour licenses. Since they had operational sanction till then, licenses would be considered in-continuation with those licenses,” the Chief Minister said. A decision was also taken to close down 16 outlets along the National and State Highways by January 1, 2015.

Changes are being brought in based on the reports submitted by Labour and Tourism Secretaries on the impact of the liquor policy and issues related to job loss of employees and setback in the tourism sector. “There are no changes from the earlier decision not to grant bar licenses to three and four star hotels. Decision on licenses to five-star and above would continue,” he said. Based on the HC observations, the Cabinet also decided to close down 10 pc of the total outlets – Bevco and Consumerfed – operating along the National and State Highways.

Two & Three Star Bars Get 1 Month Reprive

In a major relief to two-star and three-star bar owners, a Division Bench of the Kerala High Court on Friday held that status quo order obtained by them from Supreme Court against the closure of bars would be valid for a period of one more month. With the High Court order, the bars will remain open for a month from Friday evening. The Bench, which observed that the appeals merit a deeper examination, held that the order issued by Supreme Court directing the state to maintain status quo in the implementation of the abkari policy needs to be preserved for the time being, pending consideration of the appeal. On the observation by the Single Bench that the hotels with classification of four-star and above are not frequented by youth, students or the less affluent sections of the society, the Division Bench said that “it does not agree with this proposition. The rich man alone behaves properly and the poor will not, is against the mandate of the Constitution of India and the will of our country”.

The relief was given by Bench comprising Justice Thottathil B Radhakrishnan and Justice Babu Mathew P Joseph while considering the appeals filed by the bar owners seeking to quash the Single Bench order which granted permission to function hotels having four and five star and heritage categories. The state will file an appeal on Tuesday against the Single Bench order directing to grant licence to four-star hotels. The bars cannot function for the next two days. Hence, there was no need for an interim order and the court can consider it on Tuesday, the counsel for the state argued.

Kerala Bars To Be Restricted To Heritage, 4 & 5 Star Hotels

In a much awaited decision, the Kerala High Court on Thursday granted partial clearance to the new abkari policy of the Kerala government, paving the way for the closure of all 2 star & 3 star bars in the state. It however allowed bars attached to four-star and heritage category hotels in the state to function. Justice K Surendra Mohan held that “the abkari policy, to the extent, it excludes hotels having four-star and heritage category hotels from the eligibility to be granted FL-3 licences under the Foreign Liquor Rules (FLR), is set aside, being arbitrary and violative of Article 14 of the Constitution. The consequential amendments to the FLR as well as the proceedings of the Excise Commissioner cancelling the licences of such hotels are also set aside.” The Bench also dismissed a petition filed by the bar owners an hour after the judgment seeking permission to allow them to function for two weeks. The court observed that the apex court had already permitted the bar owners to function till the High Court passes an order so there is no need to further extend the order.

Since the fate of both two and three-star hotels has been concluded by the Supreme Court in the Surendra Das case, the challenge against the exclusion can no longer survive. However, in the case of hotels with four star and heritage classification, there was absolutely no material to justify a conclusion that there were any complaints with respect to their functioning. The state submitted that it was decided that no new licences for three-star hotels would be permitted from March 31, 2012 onwards. It was its avowed policy to reduce liquor consumption in the state stage by stage and to achieve the goal of total prohibition within a 10-year span, the state submitted. As many as 250 bars will be shut down today as per the order in this regard.

Faced with the prospect of the immediate shutdown of their bar operations, three-star hotels in the state are likely to apply for four-star or five-star licences to stay in business. Following the Kerala High Court verdict on Thursday, only four-star, five-star and heritage restaurants could continue with their bar operations in the state. “There are about 262 three-star restaurants. Most, if not all, would apply for a four-star licence as there are only small differences between the two categories,” said Biju Ramesh, working president of the Kerala Bar Hotel Association. According to industry officials, the room size, bath room size prescribed by the Hotel & Restaurant Approval and Classification Committee India for both three-star and four-star restaurants are the same. The only major difference is in the air-conditoning facilities offered. While the rules prescribe air-conditioning facilities for common areas and passage ways for four-stars, these are not required for three-star restaurants.

“Air-conditioning facilities for common areas are not a big problem. To save their investments, bar owners would apply for four-star category licences,” said Ramesh. Jose Dominic, CEO of CGH Earth Group, said the group’s two resorts – the Brunton Boatyard and Marari Beach – are currently in the three-star category though the facilities are of the five-star level. “We would go for a five-star licence due to the new liquor policy,” Dominic said. They need to begin the process from the scratch. There could be new educational institutions or religious establishments that have come up within the prescribed limit from the time they first got the licence. The three-star hotels may first apply for a beer-and-wine parlour licence, which is allowed now under the rules.

Beer & Chinese Food With Anil & Madhu

A year later we meet again – Madhu was back in India on a month’s vacation and he treated Anil & myself for dinner & drinks last night. Actually he had just reached Cochin early yesterday morning and took a long sleep and then called us up. I knew he was reaching Cochin early and thought he’d need some time to spend with his family and was surprised to get a call from Madhu at 6pm asking me to get ready by 7pm. Anil would pick him up on his scooter and meet me in the city.

So I changed my clothes and got ready and met them outside Center Mall but we ended up not going in there. Instead we debated and decide to go to Couchyn for some beer. So we enjoyed an hour or 90 minutes there drinking a few beers and some peanuts and also shared half a plate of chicken tikka. Couchyn, which is now one of the only few bars left open that we can go to, started filling up and by 8pm it was quite crowded, which is odd for a Tuesday night.

After what felt like a quick 90 minutes we left and then was debating where to go for dinner. We finally decided to go for some Chinese and after listing out the list of places decides to walk the 10 minutes to Chinese Garden in nearby Pallimukku. We had some hot n sour chicken soup, shared some noodles & fried rice with dragon chicken, shrimp manchurian and some other shrimp stuff that I cannot recall this morning! It was all good. It started raining a lot by 9pm and we were lucky that it started dying out by the time we finished dinner.

By around 10 pm we walked back to Couchyn because that’s where Anil had left his scooter. We stopped so that they could have a smoke (which is rare for them and I don’t smoke at all) and then I caught an auto to come back home. I was in my room, dressed in my night clothes by 10:30pm and watched some Fraiser till I fell asleep.

Drink Of Choice :_(

Captain Picard was into Earl Grey tea; mention the Dude and we think: White Russians. What’s your signature beverage — and how did it achieve that status?

Funny that this should be the prompt for today, funny and ironic (read the previous post about the impending liquor band in my home state) but I am hit with a great deal of sadness and anger as I type this.

Not counting beer, I used to be a rum + coke guy. From the age of 19 when I first tried it out till probably the age of 27. That’s what I drank when I was at a bar either by myself or with friends. For 3.5 years I used to go to this bar in Edapally called Kairali and have a beer, some peanuts, some beef and porottas  and 3 rum + Coke with plenty of ice. I really liked rum and my favourite brands was Old Monk.

By the time I turned 27 I had already tried a few vodkas and I loved the taste of vodka on ice with a liberal splash of Sprite. That soon became my drink of choice and other than beer and the occasional brandy + coke or whiskey + coke, I would mostly drink vodka + sprite. The only other thing that I really liked was the odd Long Island Ice Tea which is kinda expensive and so I would rarely drink them.

So that’s my drink. No idea for how long I will be able to drink this anymore because of this stupid fucking ban. I may have to move states or even countries to drink now!

Prompt from the Daily Post at WordPress.com.

Kerala Moves Towards Total Alcohol Ban

It’s official. Kerala just became a shitty state to live in! In a big “fuck you” to nearly half the male population, this happened:

From newspapers: In a swift action, a day after Congress-led ruling UDF recommended shutting down over 700 liquor bars attached to hotels below the five-star categories, the Kerala Government on Friday approved the new liquor policy and also imposed a five per cent cess on liquor. Announcing the decision at a press conference on Friday, Chief Minister Oommen Chandy said the Cabinet would formally ratify the decision in its next meeting. On another UDF proposal to declare all Sundays as dry days apart from the existing dry days, which include the first day of every month, he said.The Sunday Dry day would commence from October 2 next year. The five per cent cess on liquor sold through Beverages Corporation outlets would be used to set up a Fund for rehabilitation of employees who lose jobs due to closing down of the bars and for creating awareness against liquor among the people, Chandy said.

A total of 418 bars already remained closed, and the other 312 bars also would be closed this financial year, he said. Stating that the new liquor policy was a final phase to achieve UDF’s goal of taking the state to total prohibition in ten years, he said government had received legal advise that the now functioning 312 bars also could be closed during the financial year itself after completing certain financial formalities on licence fees. The new liquor policy makes it clear that only five-star hotels will have bars to sell Indian Made Foreign Liquor. The decision, taken by the UDF leadership meeting Presided by Chandy, ended a long-drawn feud in the state unit of the Congress and the coalition as a whole over the question of renewing licences of 418 bars which were found to be lacking in quality.

On UDF recommendation of phasing out Beverages Corporation outlets, Chandy said ten per cent outlets would be closed down every year to wipe out them in 10 years and this would come to around 39 shops per year. Chandy also said new liquor policy was a unanimous decision of the UDF and has the support of all sections in the society. Meanwhile, KPCC President V M Sudheeran, who had stood firmly against renewing licences to 418 bars, gave full support to the government in its new policy. After the ban on arrack by the then A K Antony Ministry two decades ago, this move has been seen as of a major initiative to make Kerala ‘a total liquor free state.

Meanwhile, State Finance Minister K M Mani put the total revenue loss on various counts due to the new liquor restrictions at Rs.1,813 crores. In coming years, the revenue loss would be much more than this, he added. The government was expected to earn Rs.250 crore on the five per cent cess on liquor for setting up the Fund for rehabilitation of workers in bars and anti-liquor campaign. To close down the now functioning 312 bars, an amount of Rs.39 crore was required to repay their licence fees, he said.

If I could get outta this place, I would and never come back!

How I Spent My Birthday Today

Well that was a good birthday celebration, in my quiet style. I made plans to meet my cousin Sujith at 12pm at Couchyn lounge bar. This morning was cold & chilly due to the non-stop rain that started yesterday morning. Even 2 cups of hot coffee refused to warm me up. After that I was online till 10:30 am and then took a bath in warm water and shaved before I got ready. I bared the heavy rains and hailed an auto to take me to Couchyn which is next to the Grand Hotel. Sujith was waiting for me there and we went in to order beer.

I haven’t had much to drink since August of last year. I went out in October then I had 2 beers with Anil in January and 2 beers with Sujith back in April. This time we had 2 beers each – 1 Carlsberg and 1 King Fisher blue each – and tucked in to small grilled chicken sandwiches at the bar. We were there for 2 hours and then headed to Center Mall near Shenoys for some sight seeing and more food. There were lot of hot looking young women in the mall.

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There is a lot of stalls that you can choose to eat from at the big food court in the mall but in the end we decided to get some subs from Subway and so went one floor down to the outlet that they have in the mall. He had a turkey sub while I had the Italian BMT sub (lamb pepperoni, lamb salami & chicken ham) and coke to wash it down. After an hour we had chocolate fudge sundaes (which were excellent) from an ice cream,shake & juice stall in the food court.

Half way through Ranjith happened to be passing by so he joined us for another hour after which Sujith & I went to see the new IT store dealing with Apple products. Then it was goodbye and I slowly made my way back home. It’s still cold but I am happy that I got to spend it having some fun.

A Blessing For The Tipplers In Kerala

I wonder why it took me soooooo long to write about this as the event took place with effect on the 1st of April, 2014 (the beginning of the financial year). I only wrote a post in May about the temporary (hopefully) closure of one of them. Anyways, as per the ruling at took place earlier in the year, and that has been bubbling for a long time, and the new liquor policy in the state all bars that did not have a 3 star rating in the state of Kerala were not allowed to renew their license to serve alcohol and some which were found to be lacking were denied their licenses and hence around 418 bars in the state closed their doors – some forever and some hoping to reopen once they could improve on facilities and get their licenses renewed. 418! Which meant almost all of my favourite & affordable bars (Oberois on MG Road, Velocity near High Court, Malabar House in Convent Junction and Karthika Regency’s Kairali Bar in Edapally) have been closed since April 1st!

Since last October I’ve had alcohol exactly 3 times – on New Year’s eve and 2 beers each with a cousin and a friend and so I haven’t actually been to one of those bars (the beers I had on both occasions were at a family style restaurant that also serves alcohol) since October – this hasn’t really affected me as of yet! Due to financial situations I had chosen to avoid drinking as a personal decision until I get a full time proper & well paying job. But yes this decision did anger me a lot as this is purely pandering to the section of society that wants to get rid of alcohol drinking because one section of society drinks too much and abuses their wives/families and use most of their money for drinking. Those idiots ruin it for the majority of us who just want a few drinks with some good food in the company of friends once or twice a week. So now because of this, I or others like me have to shell out a lot more money if we want to drink in a more expensive bar or hotel. Or ofcourse go stand in the large queues at the BevCo outlets and buy the bottles and come home and drink them. However a good news has happened yesterday.

The State Human Rights Commission has ordered the closure of all open bars that do not have two-star facilities. Additionally, the Commission has ordered that 2-star level bars among the 418 closed bars should be allowed to operate. Commission chairman Justice J B Koshy further asked the government to roll out its liquor policy at the earliest. The Commission noted that there was discrimination in the allocation of licences to the bars and said this should be avoided. Which  means all the good ones will be allowed to reopen their doors. Which means probably Velocity, Malabar House & Oberois will be allowed to open. I am not sure about Kairali – it seems good enough! Oh well, 3 outta 4 is not so bad. Let it happen!

Beer Types – Dunkel

Dunkel, or Dunkles, is a word used for several types of dark German lager. Dunkel is the German word meaning dark, and dunkel beers typically range in colour from amber to dark reddish brown. They are characterized by their smooth malty flavour. In informal terms, such as when ordering at a bar, “dunkel” is likely to mean whatever dark beer the bar has on tap, or sells most of; in much of north and western Germany, especially near Düsseldorf, this may be altbier. In Bavaria, Dunkel, along with helles, is a traditional style brewed in Munich and popular throughout Bavaria. With alcohol concentrations of 4.5% to 6% by volume, dunkels are weaker than Doppelbocks, another traditional dark Bavarian beer. Dunkels are produced using Munich malts which give the Dunkel its colour. Other malts or flavours may also be added.

Many dunkels have a distinctive malty flavour that comes from a special brewing technique called decoction mashing. Most commonly, dunkel beers are dark lagers, but the term is also used to refer to dark wheat beers such as Franziskaner Hefe-Weisse Dunkel. Dunkel weizen is another term used to refer to dark wheat beers, which are fruity and sweet with more dark, roasted malts than their lighter counterpart, the hefeweizen.

Dunkels were the original style of the Bavarian villages and countryside, and it was the most common style at the time of the introduction of the Reinheitsgebot (1516). As such, it is the first “fully codified and regulated” beer. Its ABV is rarely higher than 5.5%, and it has low bitterness, a distinctive dark color, and a malty flavor. Dunkel is brewed using lager yeasts. Lighter-coloured lagers were not common until the later part of the 19th century when technological advances made them easier to produce.

Dunkel is also widespread in parts of Franconia, for example the Franconian Switzerland, where it has been originally the most common beer type. The region has a lot of microbreweries, of which many still produce Dunkel. Examples of Dunkel style beers are Erdinger Dunkel (shown here), Paulaner Original Münchner Dunkel, Spaten München Dunkel, Warsteiner Premium Dunkel & Weihenstephaner Tradition Bayrisch Dunkel.

RIP Velocity Bar

A few days ago I came to know that due to the bar license issues, one of my favourite bars & preferred watering hole for 6 years, Velocity Bar (otherwise known as my temple or Velocity shetram), has closed their doors. The Kerala government refused to renew the license for over 400 bars in the state due to the fact that they did not meet required standards as per the directions of Supreme Court and the recommendations of the Justice Ramachandran Committee, which studies the issues of bars in the state.Though the family style restaurant is still open it looks unlikely that Velocity will open up again. I haven’t been to a bar in months and only have had a few beers at a family restaurant twice since October.

But I will miss the nice bar with it’s nice posters (they have some movie posters on another wall) good eats and drinks.

I first went to Velocity back in February of 2007 and since then Velocity was my bar of choice – okay prices, near to my apartment, flat screen tv, clean & nice couches/booths – ever since. I haven’t been going for the past few months (since August/September of last year) – maybe that’s why they actually closed. I do hope that things can be sorted out and they will get to reopen next year. If not then, I raise my glass to you. Thanks for all the memories.