Cold Liquor Tank, 5 /10 HL. Fermenters & Bright Beer Tanks @ Biergarten II
I was in Bangalore a while back to help Biergarten with product and process improvements at their Whitefield location and to get their new brewery going in Koramangula. The results were warmly received! The new brewery opened with more quality beers, that had a greater range of flavours, than what one typically finds. The staff were a pleasure to work with and willing to embrace my changes. The great thing about brewing is that the final product responds very well to tweaking and sensible improvements, wether it be better raw matterials, improved recipes or process changes. And the proof is usually very apparent in the pudding - so to speak.
Me and some of the Biergarten staff
I couldn’t believe how many breweries have opened in Bangalore since I last lived there. With the number and close proximity, Koramangula is ripe for pub crawls - even on foot, the preferred way.
New 5HL. Brewhouse at Biergarten
I get periodic enquiries about brewery consulting and staff positions. I continue to work as a brewery consultant but have prerequisites for participation:
For existing breweries that are having problems - I can spend 2 weeks (or more) on-site and make changes to the process and beer recipes that will result in noticeably better beer. There may be limitations on what can be done due to your equipment and how it is installed.
For new breweries - I need to be involved before all the decisions are made and equipment purchased. This will allow me to have a much bigger impact and consequently, you will get a much better brewery. This is because breweries that are designed and manufactured by someone that has never worked in a microbrewery (like most in India) are fraught with problems that will invariably make them more difficult to operate and this has a negative impact on beer quality. As the one who is responsible for the quality of the beer flowing out the taps, certain things have to be right for my work and beers to meet my standards and be at their best. That old saying "you can't make a silk purse out of a sow's ear" definitely applies here.
My start-up services include help with the design of the brewery space, buying the right equipment, sourcing raw materials, getting the brewery operational, providing world-class beer recipes, training local staff how to properly clean, sanitize and brew professionally. Typically I do some work remotely with an additional 3-6 months on-site, depending on how much experience the local staff has. I provide on-going support afterwards and am available for periodic on-site reviews / check-ups. As for long-term staff positions, to be honest, I'm not that interested in becoming a resident again. It's more practical and economical for me to get a brewery launched properly and move on.
Some tips for breweries in planning :
- A ground floor location is much better than an upper floor.
- It’s never a good idea to buy all your brewing equipment from one vendor.
- When it comes to equipment, you get what you pay for.
- The quantity/quality of pumps and various other parts matter - it's not only about the big shiny tanks.
- It’s imperative to know or hire someone that knows what you are buying.
- My experience with Indian-made equipment is that it’s over complicated and fraught with problems.
- I would rather brew on used German equipment than new Indian equipment.
- Double brews to fill one fermenter should be avoided.
- Great brewers make great beer, not great computer programs.
- It is imperative to hire an experienced brewer with a good track record.
- Opening a brewery is not easy, nor is it inexpensive. It requires a great deal of stamina and deep pockets.
- Opening a brewery is not a get rich scheme.
- Your heart and motivations must be in the right place.
- And last but certainly not least, getting the floor and ventilation right are super important but something almost every brewery gets wrong.