Amit Paranjape’s Blog

Doolally – Cheers To Pune’s First Micro-Brewery

Posted in Hotels & Restaurants, Pune by Amit Paranjape on October 31, 2009
Doolally - Pune's first micro-brewery

Doolally - Pune's first micro-brewery

Over the past few years, Pune has seen the opening of an array of  fine new hotels, restaurants, casual dining options, bars and fast-food joints. These include iconic international chains like the Hard Rock Cafe. Fine dining restaurants like Stone Water Grill (which also has a fabulous lounge bar). A historic heritage hotel – Fort Jadhavgadh. There are the usual international fast food favorites in McDonalds, Subway, etc. And then there are my personal favorites in my local Deccan Gymkhana neighborhood like the Deccan Rendezvous.

But an important piece was missing…a micro-brewery. Why a micro-brewery in this list? And what is a micro-brewery…you might ask!

A micro-brewery is a place where beer is brewed the old fashioned way. The way it is supposed to be brewed. The way it’s supposed to taste – Fresh, free of synthetic additives, and flavorful. In a micro-brewery, beer is brewed onsite in small batch quantities, unlike large commercial breweries. Micro-breweries are quite popular in the U.S. and Europe. Successful pioneering micro-breweries like Gordon Biersch started in Palo Alto, California 20 years back and now have multiple locations all over the U.S. But this concept is virtually unheard of in India.

Four years back, two ex-IIM entrepreneurs Suketu and Prateek decided to change that. They are well on their way towards creating something special. Their first creation is ‘Doolally’ – Pune’s first micro-brewery (as well one of India’s pioneers in this area), which opened earlier this month. Along this long and interesting entrepreneurial journey, they were also joined by Oliver, a German ‘Brew-Meister’ (The Beer Specialist). Incidentally, Suketu is originally from Nashik (a city about 200 km north of Pune), which is also home to one of India’s premier wineries – Sula Wines. Maybe there’s something in the waters of Godavari there that creates and nurtures these entrepreneurs like Suketu and Rajiv Samant!

Weird name – ‘Doolally’, you might think… but I guess it’s very apt. Doolally is derived from the name ‘Deolali’ – a small army cantonment near Nashik that dates back to the British Raj.  It literally means ‘going insane’! British soldiers used to be stationed in Deolali (often for months) as a staging point before returning back to England. Here they didn’t have any active tasks and some used to go crazy of boredom and the summer heat. Well…coincidently, Doolally is located fairly close to the Pune Cantonment Area. From the point of view of those early 20th century British soldiers – I guess wrong cantonment and wrong century!

Doolally is located in the fabulous new Corinthian Boutique Hotel near NIBM Road, Kondhwa. They have done a great job on the decor. The lighting, the bar stools and the wood panels/floors set the perfect ambience. As you enter you see the huge stainless steel vats where the beer is made. You are greeted by the bar upfront with huge taps serving the different varieties of fresh brew. Presently they are brewing Premium Lager, Dark, Wheat, Rye and a Cider (not technically a beer (tastes more like aerated wine) – but on tap for the occasional rare non beer drinker amongst the patrons). They plan to add more varieties in future. My favorite is the Dark – which has a hint of bitter malt/chocolate like flavor. The Wheat is great as well.  But don’t take my word for it – you need to find out which one’s your favorite! You can try out the different samples before deciding on your order. Pints and Pitchers are available.

Doolally - Handcrafted Beer On Tap

Doolally - Handcrafted Beer On Tap

The food menu is a little limited and primarily consists of snacks such as wraps and sandwiches. We understand that plans are afoot to extend this menu and introduce more conventional bar snacks such as Chicken Wings, Nachos, Chips, etc. On a side note – the Greek & Mediterranean restaurant ‘Salsa’ located right besides Doolally serves an excellent multi-cuisine menu. The Greek food we had there was probably the best in Pune. The Corinthian Hotel & Club complex presents a great location on top of a small hillock. The outdoor sitting of Doolally is also nice and Pune’s perfect weather, especially at this time of the year, is an added bonus.

My only initial reluctance in going to Doolally was the distance. Yes, in the minds of many Punekars, Kondhwa/NIBM Road area is virtually a different city, tucked away in the remote South-East corner. I myself ventured there for the first time in over a decade. However, now I realize that it is not that bad. At a distance of about 14 km from Deccan Gymkhana and only 7 km from M.G. Road – it will take you anywhere between 30 min – 1 hour, depending on traffic. Aundh, Baner residents have a slightly longer drive, but I am sure it will be worth it.

Doolally also plans to have live music on certain weekends. Check with them regarding the exact dates and artists. While Doolally is a perfect place to hangout with friends, it can also be a nice place for entertaining corporate guests, and for team events. One important note – do check if there’s a ‘Dry Day’, before you head over there – else you might be disappointed.

Some closing comments – Drink responsibly and enjoy! Don’t drink and drive. Have a designated driver.

 ‘Cheers’!

General Information

Web:   http://www.doolally.in/home.html

Address: Doolally, Corinthians Boutique Hotel, NIBM Road, Kondhwa, Pune

Phone: 020-2695 2226

Map (courtesy Sadakmap.com): http://www.sadakmap.com/p/Doolally-Micro-Brewery/

Timings: 7:30pm onwards

About these ads

25 Responses

Subscribe to comments with RSS.

  1. suhaskelkar said, on November 1, 2009 at 1:15 pm

    Thanks Amit. I have been longing to have some microbrews. Will check it out.

    Went to Malaka Spice yesterday in hopes of finding good beer (They had an October Fest going on) However I was disappointed as they only were serving mass produced bottled beers.

  2. suhaskelkar said, on November 1, 2009 at 1:19 pm

    How much do they charge for these beers?

  3. Atul Karmarkar said, on November 1, 2009 at 3:11 pm

    Hehehe.. Agree totally about people thinking NIBM Road/Kondhwa are part of another city.. I’ve had people doing a double take when I mention I live there, but that perception is changing now, though slowly.

    Suketu did invite me over for a dekko and that is a pending item on my list I need to take care of asap.. :)

    Cheers !

  4. Amit Paranjape said, on November 1, 2009 at 8:05 pm

    Suhas – Thanks for your comments. Regarding charges – a pint is around Rs. 100 and a pitcher (its pretty big) is around Rs. 400.

  5. Suketu Talekar said, on November 2, 2009 at 11:31 am

    Hi Amit!
    Thank you so much for the kind words :-) … really appreciate it! …Also it was your feedback on the food menu that finally got folks convinced and got things moving…the new menus should go in print today!..Thanks for that too :)

    @Suhas- I know! ..An oktoberfest with a ‘fine’ selection of industrial lagers… now there’s an oxymoron if ever there was one :) ..Do drop by @ the brewery sometime. Our beer won’t disappoint! I promise :)

    @Atul- You stay in NIBM/Kondhwa?!? …We are practically neighbours then!

  6. Abhijit Athavale said, on November 2, 2009 at 12:15 pm

    I have no tbeen to a microbrewery in ages, so that needs to change.

  7. Girish Agashe said, on November 5, 2009 at 5:49 pm

    Don’t drink and drive, you might hit a bump and spill your drink. ;-)

  8. Nilesh said, on November 7, 2009 at 10:56 am

    Hi Amit,

    This is excellent…entry. I stay at NIBM Road since more than 6 years and am excited to visit Doolally. I enjoyed GB (For dark..) whenever visited Bay Area…so this is it.

    Nilesh

  9. [...] Amit Paranjape) a more detailed description of the brewery with some history on micro brewing >>> Possibly related posts: (automatically generated)PortlandTaps.comA Gentleman’s and [...]

  10. Nandan Gogate said, on November 14, 2009 at 9:21 pm

    Great article Amit…. hope to drop by this micro-brewery during my visit…lts see

  11. Gurprriet Siingh said, on November 26, 2009 at 4:11 pm

    I’m planning to visit Pune, specifically so I can drink myself silly on the Dark…
    My other favourite is Sheesha at ABC Farms…
    And a great Microbrewery in Delhi is Rockman’s at Gurgaon.

  12. india jdbasketball said, on November 30, 2009 at 1:10 pm

    very cool blog!

  13. koolhead17 said, on December 7, 2009 at 7:27 pm

    Woahhhhhh

    man.now i got one more reason for pune visit.

    cheers!!

  14. Mangesh Gokhale said, on December 23, 2009 at 4:22 pm

    Hi Amit,

    I visited Doolally yesterday night with couple of friends and enjoyed the “Wheat Beer”. I live in a place that is around 800 meters away from Corinthians. So it is a 3 min drive from my house! It is very very convenient for me to visit this place. I am planning a visit again soon!

    Cheers!

  15. Amit Paranjape said, on December 24, 2009 at 3:00 pm

    Mangesh – Glad you liked it. Next time I go there, I need to call you up and see if you can join!

  16. shabbir said, on January 6, 2010 at 3:17 am

    I was at the brewery recently & I was very impressed & very happy to brag about it in the USA.
    Go Pune!!!!!!!!!!

  17. Amit Paranjape said, on January 6, 2010 at 3:25 pm

    Shabbir – That’s great! Thanks for your comments.

  18. nikita said, on May 7, 2010 at 2:09 pm

    is it open for lunch?

  19. Amit Paranjape said, on May 7, 2010 at 3:36 pm

    As far as I know, it’s open for lunch only on Sundays (when they have a nice brunch). But you can call them up and confirm.

  20. Rahul Patnaik said, on September 4, 2010 at 1:18 pm

    I WOULD LOVE VISIT THIS PLACE WHEN EVA I NEXT COME TO PUNE.

  21. Ankur Borwankar said, on January 19, 2011 at 3:51 am

    I’m not sure, but I’ve heard Doolally’s transformed/morphed into Smokies. Is this true? If yes, is it still under the same management, with the same range of beers? I’m DYING to go here.

  22. Amit Paranjape said, on February 7, 2011 at 11:01 am

    Ankur,

    I am not sure about ‘being morphed’ but yes Smokies restaurant had opened at the same location (they continue to serve the Doolally Beer…). Haven’t been there in a while…don’t know the present status. Will wait for someone from the Doolally team to respond!

  23. Ishan Punde said, on October 8, 2011 at 4:30 pm

    What i loved the most is.. i finally got to have the Dunkel beer … that too in pune .. and it was awesome !!

  24. Vikram Gupta said, on February 20, 2013 at 12:32 am

    Hi guys! Kudos for the idea! Planning to visit on 23rd Feb. Whats the earliest time I can get my hands on the beer? Do you open at 7.30 pm? Was planning a beer brunch kinda thing if thats possible

  25. Amit Paranjape said, on February 21, 2013 at 11:37 am

    Hi Vikram, I think the brewery is open in the afternoon as well (post 12 noon). Do check their website.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 83 other followers

%d bloggers like this: