Sunday, June 23, 2024

Of brews, boats and bonhomie: Long Boat Brewing Co is a place away from the madding crowd

What does a typical Bengalurean want after a long week of staring at screens and scrolling through Excel sheets? A glorious escape. Long Boat Brewing Co. provides just that. This four-month old microbrewery, whisks away the weary diner to a different world of Vikings amid a verdant setting, helping them forget the humdrum routine of hustle culture.

Located in Marathahalli, the place is not too far away from Ironhill Bengaluru, another sprawling watering hole. And this is where their pièce de résistance helps them stand apart. 

Occupying centre-stage is a 30-foot man-made waterfall, giving the place an instant calm and cool vibe. Almost Zen-like, with the added jazz of an expansive and tantalising menu. 

We start with a beer sampler, a great choice for the confused and connoisseur alike. The devil is in the details, indeed. So these miniatures come to us in a boat shaped tray, a smaller version of the giant decor piece framing the wall near the entrance. 

“The name Longboat resembles the journey that the Vikings take to conquer the world and to feast on celebrations. It also resembles the Scandinavian ambience with respect to water bodies, waterfalls and elements of nature through the journey,” explains Vinay Chandrashekar, one of the six partners at the restaurant. 

The brews are creative and it is a tough choice choosing a full-sized pint. There is a strawberry cream ale (a February special), a jaggery-flavoured one, a chocobar stout, and more. Seasoned beer lovers are not the only ones in for a treat, newbies are too if they keep an open mind. And to make that easier, Long Boat brews a Naught Zero IPA. “Inspired by the New England Indian Pale Ale, this beer has no hops added in the boil, which means it has zero bitterness. The idea is to introduce Indian customers to IPAs,” says Chandrashekar. 

Like the beers, the cocktails do not disappoint either. Favourites include: Scandinavian Skies and Passionate. Well-crafted, smooth and aesthetic, the drinks make for good weekend unwinding and fun Instagram documenting on any day of the week. 

For nibbles, we start with the paneer pepper fry — soft cubes of cottage cheese covered in a marinade and the chicken ghee roast, which stays true to its origin, thanks to the use of Kundapura spices. Best accompanied with a refreshing pint. Also a great combination with drinks is the namkeen platter, with an assortment of some classic ‘touchings’, with the Congress peanuts vanishing in mere minutes. It makes us want to try the Congress Crostini next, which is their take on the quintessential Bengalurean Congress bun. Sliders are stuffed with the spicy peanuts and a green chilli butter. However, between the plain peanuts of the platter and this inventive dish, we prefer the former, where the peanuts are not overshadowed by the bread.

Panko crusted chicken strips

Panko crusted chicken strips

From the North-West Frontier to South India and from Asian countries to Italy, the food menu covers cuisines from them all and is extensive — there is something for everyone here.

Red Sichuan Crispy Corn

Red Sichuan Crispy Corn

It is a place best enjoyed when you have a couple of hours and friends (pets are welcome too), it is the only way to do justice to all the offerings. Especially the desserts. 

We try three: The Ferrero Rocher Entrmet — a definite hit with any chocolate lover, the hazelnut mousse is creamy and smooth. As for those who prefer something less decadent, there is the milky and more subtle sweetness of the Hasta La Pista. Think of it like a ras malai meets tres leches, it is the perfect high note to end the meal on. 

Beer is the favourite child at Long Boat Brewing Co. so it comes as no surprise that it finds a mention in the dessert section too. If you’re feeling experimental, try the Beeramisu — a Longboat exclusive with in-house crafted stout beer infused with traditional tiramisu. 

While the present is smooth sailing, the future ahead looks bright too. “We would love to see ourselves in multiple bars across the city by expanding our distribution channels to kegging beers once our brand is established and all the necessary permissions and sanctions can be obtained from the government,” says Chandrashekar.

Also on their radar is a bottling plant. With plans to sell and distribute premium packaged craft beers in the domestic market, it is safe to say Long Boat Brewing Co. is here for the long run. 

Hits: Chicken Ghee Roast, Namkeen Platter, Scandinavian Skies

Misses: Congress Crostini, Mensinkai Bajji

Wallet factor: For two: ₹2,300 – ₹2,400 (with alcohol)

#brews #boats #bonhomie #Long #Boat #Brewing #place #madding #crowd

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