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Background

Last year Independence Brewing Co (IBC) held a 2 day Craft Beer Bootcamp in early 2016. This was the first time a Craft Brewery/Brewpub in India had conducted an intensive session for Beer enthusiasts (excluding Pro Brewers) in India.

Group Photo Last Day

Course Completion!

Bootcamp 001 was an enriching session and I wrote about my experience on the blog. You can read that post HERE.

This was my takeaway from the event:

“The whole Boot Camp was a great learning experience and has given me valuable insights that I will be sharing during my workshops. It was also wonderful to network with fellow enthusiasts, owners and brewers, as well as sample several different styles of beer. The off flavor training was particularly helpful”

Last year’s attendees were all serious Beer Geeks and amateur brewers some of whom had plans to start production breweries in the near future. Our group was made up of 15 men crazy about Beer.

Since attending the workshop, the skills gained have been put to good use. Since I am now involved in the business of setting up brewpubs, attending this session has never been more valuable.

For 2017, Independence decided to host the session once again and invite new attendees and they were willing to bump the number of attendees up to 20. The course outline was the same as last year.

Bootcamp Cover

IBC invited me to cover the event for them and I gladly accepted. During my commercial pilot training in Canada, we would repeat procedures over and over periodically to keep our skill levels optimal. Brewing and the Beer business is no different. You are continually learning and that never stops. Things such as sensory analysis are skills that do need recurrent training and like last year that was high on my agenda.

The attendees for Bootcamp 002 were quite different from last year. There were several amateur brewers but this time around there were several folks who were thinking about entering the business of Craft Beer. What was even more pleasing to see was a few lovely ladies looking to pursue careers in brewing or setting up breweries in attendance.

Unlike last year, this year’s collaboration brew for 002 had a recipe formulated by Brewhan Mumbai – an enthusiast group in the city. A Dark Saison was to be brewed. It’s essentially a marriage of two styles – a Dubbel meets a Saison.

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Similar to last year, participants from all over India were in attendance including Bangalore, Hyderabad and Gurgaon in addition to those from Mumbai & Pune.

2017 also saw IBC host the first ever Craft Beer Invitational in India to see who had the best Craft Beers across India. This event took place simultaneously and will be covered in a separate blog post.

Akash Hirebet, who typically enjoys a few pints with me has been helping me with our Friends Of Froth Facebook page was one of the members in attendance and let’s hear about his experience. This is his first post on the main Tales Of Froth blog and certainly not the last one. Take it away Akash!

Cheers – JJ The Keg

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Akash and JJ Doing What They Do Best – Flipping Pigeons Off!


 

My Experience At Boot Camp 002 By Akash Hirebet

 

“Ten Hut!” “You’re going to IBC’s Boot Camp, Ol’ Bean!” “Put in your application ASAP; I’ve a feeling you’ll get in.” These are the words John excitedly told me on the 15th of May.

Who am i? Akash Hirebet – known in some circles as The Carnivorous Gastronomer, and more recently as “Beerabet”. My love for beer has been constant since it was legal for me to indulge. One fine day, I came across a local liquor store selling what I thought was imported beer and then later realized they are selling magic. A St. Bernadus Trippel was my first exposure to something other than a commercially made lager.

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From there began a love affair that shan’t end. As someone who has run a restaurant and kitchen, my approach to beer evolved, and I became more interested in understanding how flavors and aromas were created, and I started analyzing each beer I tried.

Independence Brewing Company (IBC) first conducted their Boot Camp in 2016, and it was targeted at brewing enthusiasts. This year, it was open to beer enthusiasts as well, and I was keen to learn more about the beverage I love so much.

The boot camp, which was held at Pune witnessed 20 beer and brewing enthusiasts from Gurgaon, Hyderabad, Bangalore, and of course Maharashtra. It was really heartening to see quite a few women who have taken the plunge into brewing.

The 2 day intensive course covered everything including water chemistry, Malts, Adjuncts, Hops, Yeast. On the practical side, it included recipe formulation, milling, mashing, lautering, wort boiling, and finally how to identify off flavours, what causes them, and possible fixes. One of the highlights was definitely being able to observe the brewing process as it normally happens.

Day 1 Snippets

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As someone who has always been keenly interested in flavours, the session on identifying faults was especially interesting. I understood the reasoning behind a lot of the flavours and aromas I could pick out.  This aside, I also understood different flavour profiles that different malts and hops gave a beer.

Day 2 Snippets

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Over the course of the program, there was a lot of interaction, and it was great to see so many others so deeply interested in craft beer. I even got an opportunity to interact with people who are in the process of setting up their own production breweries. All in all, this was an excellent learning experience and an excellent networking affair as well. I am extremely thankful to Shailly & Team for putting this together. The passion they exhibit for their craft is evident in the eagerness with which they share their knowledge.

Cheers – Akash Beerabet


In Closing

Thanks to the bootcamp, Akash is now officially a Beer Geek and ready for Tales Of Froth duties. We’d like to thank Shailly & the entire Independence Crew for a fantastic 2 day weekend with so much learning, networking, camaraderie and of course the enjoyment of several pints of well made, true to style Craft Beers.

We love you Shailly! You’re got Craft Beer Cojones and hence you’re awesome!

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IBC’s Brewing Team – you guys kick some serious ass. Always a pleasure seeing you guys!

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These were our favorite Beers from the Bootcamp weekend:

The Stunning Summer Blonde – check out that clarity – Light, Clean, Crisp and as it warms hints of pineapple (they really did add this). Wonderfully brewed.

The 4 Grain Saison – Anything out of Belgium with a funky, fruity and spicy yeast strain is top class.  No tasting notes needed for this one. One of the only brewpubs to have a Saison as a house beer – period!

Juicy IPA – An explosion of citrus and tropical fruits with a malty backbone, medium bodied with a dry, short, hoppy finish that is sure to bring all Hop Heads to orgasm.

Ixcacao – A Nitro Stout that needs no further introduction. Real cocoa nibs and bourbon vanilla thrash it out for flavor dominance interlaced with a sexy, smooth, creamy, medium bodied velvety feel and you can imagine what happens next!


 

BootCamp Ale

In case you’re wondering about the Boot Camp – Dark Saison, you’ll find it on tap at Independence Brewing  Co in Pune and their taproom in Andheri West.

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Tasting Notes (courtesy IBC): With notes of sweet caramel, roasty notes, plum & raisin this is one flavor bomb.

Find IBC Pune on Facebook – HERE

Find IBC Andheri West on Facebook – HERE



All Images Courtesy: Tales Of Froth, Independence Brewing Co & Ashish Tiwari (Bootcamp Group Photo)

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