Thursday, 12 February 2009

Visit to brewery

We arrived the brewery at noon and was met by the various smells of fermenting grains and hops that is associated with a brewery as we were guided to Govind Tiwari’s office where we were greeted with some lunch and cold fresh glasses of Kingfisher. After a short chat we discovered that the brewery was currently churning out abt 100.000 btls a day in 2 shifts, but if demand would rise the production could be increased too.

Richard in front of the brewery

Finally we were introduced to lab assistant Shilpa to show us around the brewery. We started at the big vats and tanks where the mash was fermented and the hops were added and various other ingredients leading to beer. All was connected by different filters, heat exchangers etc, all piping was stainless steel and I could see C/E Vivek eyeing the plant enviously.

Then we visited the laboratory where we sampled beer samples from the line after pasteurizing and before, very delicious. The Master brewer also gave us a short chat. We were also explained the rigorous testing methods and cleanliness requirements by Shilpa and her colleagues.

Quality pledge

After that we went to the bottling plant where we could see the fully automated process where returned empty beer bottles was inserted mechanically into the washing machine, emerging clean, being filled with beer, then sealed, labeled, pasteurized, boxed, box was glued up and finally arrived in store house for delivery vans. The line was at all critical stages monitored by people and one could hear the crash of discarded bottles when guys were throwing them into waste bins. All the hectic activity was punctuated by at time exploding beer bottles while they were happily clinking away along the line.

Exiting the brewery we also took a walk around the distillery and saw the huge ageing sheds where casks upon casks was piled up top the rafters, all with the date of filling painted on the lid. We were explained that alcohol put into used casks would require longer ageing than in new casks. Finally we were offered a small glass of un-aged rum that tasted really good as per all crew.

At the end we went back to Mr. Tiwari’s office and thanked him for this opportunity at the same time I handed over some Kalizma polo neck shirts to him and his family.

All said and done we packed ourselves in the car and drove off to Calingute beach where we started to walk towards the wreck. Unfortunately after a couple of beers and hundred meters down the beach nightfall came and we had to revert to the local outlets inside of the beach shacks. Some phonecalls later found us at the “Flambee” restaurant at Aguada and soon enough food was ordered and we enjoyed and chatted about the day.

Roundabout 11pm found us at the dessert and we got the bill, packed us into the car and got ourselves to the UB jetty to get onboard. Needless to say we added insult to injury and brought Rajaram a doggie bag. Next time is his turn for the outing…

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