Food

Ironhill in Vijayawada completes one year

In March last year, a four-inch-long creature that quaffs alcohol worth nine glasses of wine every night wriggled its way into Vijayawada.

The Malaysian pen-tailed treeshrew, which could easily drink you under the table, has been gazing at several of its human lightweights from the walls of the Ironhill Brewery here - sprawling in a bathtub, chugging a jug of frothing beer.

As skittish as a mouse and zippy as a squirrel, the little cousin of our primate ancestors found in South-East Asian forests licks off bertam palm’s nectar, which has close to 3.8% of alcohol percentage. With its nimble, grasping toes, extracting the beer is a matter of survival for the rat-sized creature. Yet, it never gets drunk!

In fact, enough scientific research has gone into studying their evolved filtering functions to emulate it for humans for controlling alcohol abuse, for shrews have been consuming alcohol for 55 million years.

Of course, beer-swilling barflies are no competition to shrews that detox alcohol much faster than humans without the fear of hangovers or regrets. As the brewery’s mascot, with glittery, ratty eyes, it’s presence is abound - on the menu, on the walls and on banners and flags.

It has been dressed uniquely, made to pose quirkily and fit different frames on a variety of occasions in a year of the outlet’s time in the city.

“We wanted to pick a mascot with a story so that we could play with it and characterise it according to different events,” says Teja Chekuri, Managing Partner, Ironhill Breweries, “The creature consumes more alcohol than humans every day, yet it remains steady and completes routine tasks without glitches.”

The outlet, which Teja admits has performed better than the other franchisee in the State in Visakhapatnam, is celebrating its first anniversary.

“This one has a better ambiance and more footfalls which can be attributed to people travelling to the city looking for newer avenues with the development of Amaravati as the capital city,” says Teja, who was inspired by the lounge culture of microbreweries in the U.S. and ferried the concept back home.

Starting with Prost Brew Pub in Bengaluru in 2012 when such breweries existed in only Pune and Gurugram in the country, he expanded contours to Hyderabad, and more noticeably to the two tier-2 cities in the State. Taking another step in the direction, Ironhill will open an outlet at Rajahmundry this April and another one at Nellore in May.

While Prost, catering mostly to metropolitan cities, has continental dishes on the menu more or less, Ironhill also offers local dishes since “at the end of the day, people in Vijayawada or Vizag want rice, curd and roti,” says Teja.

As part of the celebrations, eight perfect pairs of cocktails and dishes would set a jubilant mood for the month. Arun Gattu and Anup would perform in Telugu, Hindi and English on Saturday and the Neon Tribe would take over on Sunday. Indian Pale Malt, Czech Pilsner and mango cider beers would be on offer.


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Printable version | Jul 18, 2021 11:08:02 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/life-and-style/food/a-mascot-with-an-iron-liver/article26475423.ece

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