Bangalore isn’t a typical destination on a backpacking journey in India, but having visited before and enjoyed the city I was happy to being come back again. Between my first visit and the second a few years later I could really see the differences in the city. Officially in the Garden State of India, Bangalore also has a reputation as India’s Silicon Valley and a big pub city, with a vibrant student nightlife because of the universities – maybe that’s why I enjoyed it!
So instead of reviewing the tourist activities you can find in Bangalore (don’t visit Bangalore palace unless you really want/have to!) I have decided to write about the various bars to try if you ever visit!
Arbor Brewing Company
This Bangalore institution opened in 2012 near Garuda Mall (one of several shopping malls in the city). Founded after Gaurav Sikka discovered American craft beer at university in Michigan, the Arbor Brewing Company has a relaxed and fun atmosphere, often busy with after work groups and young professionals. They normally have about 6-10 beers brewing in the bar, and therefore the selection varies nearly every visit. They brew pilsners, lagers, wheat beers and stouts; some can be quite strong so check the percentages! The snacks here were delicious, but can be quite spicy – you’ve been warned! The Arbor Brewing Company continues to expand with bars in Goa now as well!
Bierre Republic – CLOSED
Another rooftop location, this time just off Brigade Road (one of the main shopping streets). They have 4 beers regularly brewed in-house all with ‘Captain’ themed names. We both tried the Captain Jack Sparrow pale ale and all beers (unless ordering a pitcher) come in a boot shaped glass!
The Biere Club
Very much in the tradition of an English brewery, the Biere club was Bangalore’s first craft brewery. They offer new and original craft beers that use traditional methods with unique flavours that you won’t forget! They have a great range of snacks to go with it like prawn popcorns and pizzas for a fun filled relaxed evening.
I wasn’t able to sample one but I’ve heard the breakfasts including pancakes, full english and more are fantastic as well!
Bringing the Nordic history of Brewing to Bangalore, the Byg Brewski Brewing Company has it’s home in a red brick ruins of a factory. Now converted into an open-air stadium with an rray of covered areas, terraces due to it’s wonderful architecture and design. They have a big selection of beers on tap, featuring classic wheat beer profiles and much more from European brewing!
The food features Indian twists on classic beer food pairings like nachos, pizzas, chicken wings and spare ribs that is perfect!
Church Street Social
Probably my favourite chain of bars in India, I discovered Social Offline on my first visit to India in Mumbai & Bangalore and I was looking forward to going back on this visit – they would always be on my list to enjoy! The atmosphere in any ‘Social’ is always lively and is enhanced by daily music playlists, TVs and lots of young professionals. They always try to serve drinks and food with a twist and cocktails can arrive in drip bags, scientific beakers and mini baths! They don’t really do craft beers, but have a large selection of cocktails, spirits and mainly imported bottle beers.
After last year I had been dreaming about their food – a butter chicken biriyani to be precise and I was not disappointed! To be honest several years later this would still be high on my list of my favourite curries ever!
I’d also recommend the breakfast here, I enjoyed it whilst watching Australia v. India 2nd ODI, which is a delicious way to start the day. There is a lot of choice here, but I have always been delighted with the food I have received – but it will be spicier than you are used to!
There are currently 4 Social Offline venues in Bangalore alone – Koramangala Social with it’s greenhouse style design and bright colours would be on my list for next time! Along with many other venues in Mumbai, Pune, Delhi, Chandigarh, Chennai and Indore to explore as well!
Bangalore Brew Works
Located on the 10th floor rooftop area, next to the Ritz-Carlton Hotel on Residency Road. Bangalore Brew Works was another favourite of my visit with it’s very welcoming and busy atmosphere.
I visited on a Friday night where there was a live band to sing along to and a DJ on Saturday night. TV’s primarily showed a range of live sport (Cricket and British Premier League in particular). There were normally 5 beers brewed in-house with a few speciality brews to change up the offerings. I tried a few of the different ales (including a sugarcane and green apple variety) and cocktails. Food is largely a twist on continental options with some Indian offerings as well. The margarita pizza on my last night was fab! Their brunch offerings, complete with DJ and party look amazing!
Overall if you like going out, you can’t be disappointed in Bangalore with soo many craft beers, cocktails, great food and lively nightlife to choose from. A welcome break from the tourist trail.
Date of Travel: January 2016