Friday, August 7 was International Beer Day! Four Points by Shertaon Pune had a special MasterClass at their pub BestBrews and it was a revelation. Executive Chef Sanjay Mitra and Le Cordon Bleu Chef Michael Swamy created some exotic dishes using beer, and Master Bartender Abhishek Shevade mixed some unique beer based drinks.
In India, beer is often associated with getting drunk. The high alcohol content in our local beers, compared to the less than 5% alcohol in most imported beers is testament to this. But in many countries or cultures, beer or ale is a drink like any other. A pub is just a neighborhood place ‘where everybody knows your name’, and a place for people to hang out and talk about their day. Chef Michael Swamy reiterated this when he told us a bit about the culture surrounding beer. But first, let us begin at the beginning.
Four Points by Shertaon Pune can be called a business hotel but is also coming up as a weekend destination. Less than a mile away from Phoenix MarketCity and Inorbit, it is a good place to crash after a hectic shopping weekend. We were given a tour of the property and their various restaurants and rooms. I really loved their ‘residences’ which are like a very luxurious ‘Extended Stay’ suite. 217 rooms, 7 fully equipped suites and 48 service apartments mean this is not a small hotel by any means. Their purpose is to provide a comfortable environment for business travelers so that they can find some comfort and pleasure away from home.
I like my flavored malt beverages like the Fuzzy Navel. Earlier this year, I tasted some brewtails at The Beer Café. Beer infusions is something else altogether. Balance and proportion are very important while mixing drinks because the flavors need to come together to create something harmonious, rather than any one flavor standing out. Abhishek Shevade is absolutely an expert at this art.
The first drink I sampled, Bud’s Twist was infused with fresh orange, thyme and cinnamon and made your regular old glass of Bud pretty interesting. The second creation – Stars and Stripes – had apple, peaches and star anise with Peroni beer. The Ginger Muddler had ginger and lime with Hoegaarden beer.
Executive Chef Sanjay Mitra was his usual jolly self and provided a wealth of information and useful tips for anyone who wanted to learn. I was very excited to meet a Cordon Bleu Chef and Michael Swamy was a pleasure to meet. Soft spoken and unassuming, he started his demo by saying that cooking was all about having fun and experimenting. Didn’t matter if you did something wrong, because even chefs made mistakes sometimes. When a well known celebrity starts a class like this, it puts everyone at ease. It is also an indication of a down to earth person – hard to find in our dog eat dog world where people shout out the shade of their nail polish from the rooftops.
Have you cooked with beer? I have never really ventured beyond chili or beer battered onion rings. Both the dishes cooked in the Master Class were very exotic but meat based. Yeah, bummer for us vegetarians. The Drunken Beer Butt chicken demonstrated by Chef Mitra was ingenious, to say the least. Chef Swamy’s dish started with figs and balsamic, my favorite combination. You can read everything about this in detail over at MovieRecipe, my sister blog, or brother blog, LOL.
Everyone tasted the food, and there were also some signature dishes from The Eatery like Achari Paneer Tikka and Mac and Cheese. If you know me, you know how much I love macaroni, so I gorged on it totally. BestBrews is very cozy and a great place to relax and unwind. The DJ played some awesome tracks, the lights dimmed, and I had a great time catching up with old friends, and getting some cooking advice from the chefs.
The hotel had announced a social media contest around the event, and the highlight of the evening was when I won. Yay! I won the contest for generating the maximum buzz and engagement on social media. Thank you to everyone who RTed or Liked on Instagram.
I have already written about how much I enjoyed the food at The Eatery during the south Indian food festival. This Friday, I was fortunate to experience the warm hospitality at Four Points Shreraton once again.
So I hope everyone had a great weekend and an exciting #InternationalBeerDay. But you don’t need a ‘day’ to enjoy a pint at Best Brews. Cheers mates!