Brewers gear up to serve millet beer at global trade fair

Last Updated : 17 January 2018, 19:24 IST
Last Updated : 17 January 2018, 19:24 IST

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 Microbreweries in Bengaluru are looking up to serve millet beers to customers as the three-day Organics and Millets 2018 - International Trade Fair begins on Friday.  

Breweries have already started preparing beer with millets.  Narayan Manepally, the founder of Geist Beer and a member of Craft Brewers' Association of India, said five Bengaluru-based brewers - Toit, Brewsky, Biere Club, Biere Street and Brewklyn - would take part in the fair.

Manepally said the idea was to increase farmers' income by sourcing millets at a higher cost.  "That will create a connection with farmers," he added.

Agriculture Minister Krishna Byre Gowda said he was happy that craft brewers had started trying millet-based brews. "Currently, most of their ingredients, barley and wheat, are imported. Perhaps textured and diverse beers can be brewed from millets. So, it will enhance the experience of craft beer connoisseurs. We hope people will like these choices. I hope it will become a staple offering in Bengaluru craft breweries and also around the country. I commend Bengaluru's brewers who are using local ingredients that benefit vulnerable farmers and are showing the way for the rest of the country," he said.

Sibi Venkataraju, the co-founder of Toit Brewpub, a popular microbrewery and pub in the city, said:  "Although we have brewed beer with millets, this is the first time the government of Karnataka has pushed it to the fore."

He added that people had appreciated the beer made of millet, jaggery and other ingredients.

Molten millets

The challenge, according to Venkataraju,  is to get molten millets. "Currently, we are only using 35% of millets, but with molten millets, we could increase this percentage," he said.

Manepally said breweries were importing barley for brewing but with molten millets, they could eventually stop importing.  Farmers will have to be trained to grow molten millets which is ideal for beer.

"I have been to different countries, but have not seen beer made of millets. Millet beer has a different aroma to it. Customers have been placing requests for millet beer," said Matthew, the head brewer  at Toit.

Breweries are having discussions with the state government. Besides, a study on the kind of millets to be used is being conducted at the MS Ramaiah University of Applied Sciences.

"People are looking for something different and Bengaluru has a lot of microbreweries that can brew beer out of various raw materials," said Priya Arjun, head, department of food and beverage service, at the university. "We worked on different combinations of millets and a combination of three millets worked well - Kodo millets, Browntop millets and Foxtail millets."

She added that developing more food items with millets would eventually support the farmers.

DH News Service

Published 17 January 2018, 18:54 IST

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