What goes in your pint?

What a brew: Alex Barlow, the master brewer at Thirsty City 127, has over 30 years of experience.  

For most beer lovers, a jug of the cold brew and plate of fried salty appetisers is what makes for a good night out on town. But have you ever wondered what goes in your beer? The good news is that you don’t have to trek too far to understand how a beer is brewed. Craft cocktail bar and brewery, Thirsty City 127 at Lower Parel has opened access to its vats, and has been hosting guided tours led by their brewmasters.

Enthusiasts have the option of picking a tour with either a head brewer, or with Alex Barlow, the master brewer at Thirsty City 127, who has over 30 years of experience. Barlow is also the director training and chief examiner for the National Beer Academy, UK.

Pure elements

The tour begins with a video that explains the process of brewing, which is a great idea for newbies, since you won’t be completely clueless when you finally walk by the vats and associated paraphernalia with Barlow for company. The master brewer tackles all queries with enthusiasm. “The first step in getting your beer right is by purifying the water, so that none of the elements in it react to malt and the other ingredients. A lager made with the same ingredients here and in another city can taste absolutely different because of the water,” he informs us.

After purifying, comes the milling of the malt, the mashing in, lautering and boiling of wort, chilling and aeration, pitching and fermentation, and finally, maturation and carbonation. The walk also includes a food tasting session, where Barlow conducts a beer tasting session. With his years of experience, the master brewer guides us to use all our senses to detect the subtle flavours in different beers. For instance, detecting the fresh flavour of coriander in beer that isn’t even made with it, but is a result of the brewing process and the molecular make-up of food.

We are served a Sriracha seafood dish, that is accompanied with the brewery’s flagship brand – Happy. Also on offer is a seasonal black jamun porter that comes with a flourless chocolate cake. And while we’ve sampled Happy before, this is the first time we experience it in a whole new light. So pack a comfortable pair of shoes, a notepad (if you wish) and get ready to say cheers to the art of brewing.

Tours take place every Thursday and Friday at 5 p.m. at Thirtsy City 127; ₹2,500 + taxes with Alex Barlow, master brewer, ₹2,000 + taxes with the head brewer, costs include beer tastings, palette profile, nose profile of each beer and food pairings; more details on

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Printable version | May 12, 2021 10:49:08 AM |

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