Brewing your own alcohol is just about the manliest thing you can do, even if it is mostly illegal, which is why we make it a point to visit every brewery in Mumbai that hasn’t yet banned us from its premises. One such establishment is Verbena BrewPub & SkyGarden in Kamala Mills. We did manage to get ourselves lost in the four-story building, ending up in some weird, hipster flea market-cum-food court-cum-nightclub that is obviously owned by Social, even though they go to absurd lengths to try and pretend they only run the bar. But that’s an exposé for another day.
We finally found Verbena hanging around next to a carpeted conference hall, and it was of the prettiest breweries we’ve been to. They had impressive foliage all over the walls and ceilings, a metal sculpture of a horse, and a fairly decent view of the Lower Parel skyline. The DJ spent most of his time playing stock music from Youtube, before eventually just wandering off, after which a chef had to take over and make the best of the situation before a live audience. We were tempted to walk away upon seeing a 12 year olds’ birthday party, but that’s when Verbena’s massive brewing apparatuses caught our attention.
As award winning right-wing food journalists, we were able to expertly interrogate the brew masters and find out that they import all their grain from Belgium. We were impressed, but the only way to truly be sure that Verbena’s beer is worth anyone’s while was to try all of it, multiple times, in ridiculous quantities.
We never really cared for Jagermeister, it’s basically just expensive cough syrup you can’t get high on. So when we heard that they created beer flavoured with it, we assumed it was a silly gimmick to draw in the crowds, but as always, we were wrong. The Yayger Bierster doesn’t actually contain any Jagermeister, & had an extremely balanced flavour to it. It was one of the first spiced beers we’ve ever tried, and far surpassed our expectations. Referring to it as a Jagermeister beer almost feels like a gross disservice, which is why’d much rather honour its memory by just calling it a great spiced beer.
As a general rule of thumb, any apple cider you can get your hands on in Bombay tastes exactly like expired apple juice. It’s sweet & sour, and anyone who likes it is a fool. At least’s that what we thought until we discovered the Forbidden Fruit. If you’ve ever read this website in the past, and we apologise if you have, we’ve often belittled apple cider for being awful, because every apple cider we’d ever tried was indeed truly awful. But Forbidden Fruit isn’t quite like any apple cider, it’s extremely refreshing, & better in every way. It’s actually something you could conceivably order in place of any beer on the menu, and still have every bit as good of a time.
Stout Beers can be a bit of an acquired taste because they’re usually rather bitter. We on the other hand love stout beer, because it gives the microbrewery the chance to really play around, and when they do it right, you’re left with something brilliant. And we’re happy to say that Verbena got it right. The Stout-N-Out tastes a bit like a beer that’s been infused with coffee, that’s in turn been infused with cola. It’s almost identical to the drink Café Cuba, a communist themed beverage that was taken off the market because it was, quite unsurprisingly, not economically viable. Overall, the Stout-N-Out is a fantastic drink, although we doubt it’ll be everybody’s cup of coffee.
In the world of craft beer, wheat beers are seen as somewhat more generic, and universally palatable. The Verbena WitBier, while definitely palatable & is anything but generic, being exceptionally smooth, and thoroughly refreshing. It does lack the excitement and madness of Verbena’s other brews, though many would find relative blandness beautiful, and it undoubtedly is.
The Decree: Verbena BrewPub & SkyGarden doesn’t just have incredible beer, it’s also reasonably cheap, which makes it especially appealing to men like us, who people often describe as unreasonably cheap. While all the other breweries we’ve visited in the past have had maybe one or two great beers, everything we tried at Verbana was so unique, that we simply couldn’t bring ourselves pick a favourite. So would we recommend it? Absolutely, especially if you’re on a date, but remember it’s still Kamala Mills, so go there at your own peril.