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Independence Brewing Co, Bootcamp 003

Divyesh Patil, PKSBE

The 2018 edition of the IBC Bootcamp 003 took place on the 5th & 6th May 2018. The event received a solid turnout from men and women alike, with craft beer enthusiasts from Pune, Mumbai, Bangalore, Vishakhapatnam and Delhi making their way to the microbrewery-restaurant located in Mundhwa, Pune.

Independence Brewing Company is an established pub brewery with a state of the art restaurant in Pune and a plush taproom in the western suburbs of Andheri, Mumbai. It was setup with the sole motive of fostering the global craft brew experience by offering their patrons premium hand-crafted brews while also affording them the freedom to choose from our comprehensive variety of gourmet craft beers.

Every year the Independence Brewing Company, or IBC (as the faithful call them) conduct the Craft Beer Boot Camp, a weekend long workshop detailing the history and intricacies of craft beer, production, guided tasting sessions and participants also get to brew a batch of craft beer. Mr Shailendra Bist, Co-founder and Head Brewer at Independence Brewing Company, conducts the course along with his team of highly qualified brewers.

Day 1

After breakfast, morning beers and introductions, goodie bags containing exclusive Boot Camp t-shirts, a craft beer manual and beer coupons were handed out to the participants. Shailendra, kicked-off the proceedings by taking the participants through the basics of craft beer, its history, classic beer styles, how they’ve evolved over the years and where the industry stands today. Sushil Gumte, the senior brewer, explained the importance of using the right kind of water to brew quality craft beers and malts. Prateek Rao, an internationally trained brewer who is the PR Manager explained the different varieties of hops and their role in the craft brewing process.

Abhishek Chinchalkar of Bombay Duck Brewing, guest speaker at the event curated a class on off-flavours most commonly found in beers. Shailendra, then continued to host the most looked after session of the day – Beer Appreciation. Independence Brewing Company has 8-12 beers of different styles on taps at all times and during this session tasting samples that include Belgian Wit, Pulp Fiction: a mango infused sour ale, Oh-So-Trendy: a New England India Pale Ale, Belgian Pale Ale, Ixcacao: Stout with vanilla, coffee and dark chocolate and the always popular Juicy IPA was handed out.

End of Day 1 was followed by a Friends of Froth (Pune edition meetup) a gathering of like-minded folks who are passionate about craft beers. This followed an hour-long talk by folks from upcoming breweries – Great State Ale Works & Kimaya Brewing Company along with Moonshine Meadery on ’How to Bootstrap A Craft Beer Business’. Informative conversations centric to craft beers followed into the night as Boot Camp participants mingled with brewers and fellow enthusiasts over a few pints.

Day 2:

Day 2 was much anticipated as it was a BREW DAY! After a brief overview on the process and recipe formulations and calculations with Shailendra, the participants decided to brew an American style Wheat Pale Ale. There was much excitement among the participants who were keen to try their hands at milling and mashing {with assistance from the brewers} and putting the oretical knowledge acquired from the previous day’s sessions into practice.

After enjoying a lavish Sunday brunch at the restaurant, the participants were back at the brewery to complete the brewing process for the day. The day ended with participants being awarded certificates declaring them Certified Beer Geeks followed by a sneak peek into the launch of ‘Redemption Pilsner’ a pilsner brewed with Pilsner malt and Saaz hops; Independence Brewing Company claims it their attempt at ‘redeeming an exceptional style from mass market abuse & million-dollar ad campaigns’.

The Boot Camp’s American Wheat Pale Ale is expected to go on tap by the 3rd or 4th week of May at the Pune brewery and Mumbai taproom.