“We’re getting Netflix next year.” That’s what my new friend in Mumbai said to me as we were headed out to dinner. “That’s fantastic!” I uttered, secretly thinking how sad I was for them that they were only just now getting this vault of TV shows and movies that we’ve been privy to in the U.S. for years. For a place that is only just getting Netflix, how good could their craft beer scene be?
First of all, you must understand the state of craft beer in India. In its infancy, India’s middle class is just at the point to afford and appreciate items like a craft beer. Naturally, breweries are few and far between. They also don’t promote themselves much, so any enthusiast must diligently research to find what’s out there. That’s how I discovered The White Owl.
Photo credit: lemonchutney.com
Two American-educated Indian nationals created The White Owl: Javed Murad and Kunjan Chikhilkar. No doubt their time in the states turned them on to the fact that breweries are seeing a surge in popularity and these two entrepreneurs will be on the forefront of that wave in India.
The White Owl is unusual in many ways. For starters, it is located in a giant office building. Visitors must know it is there, because from the outside there is no indication or evidence of a brewery. Upon entering the building, there is a small sign on the main level pointing you in the direction of the brewery. It all feels a little James Bond-esque.
They were clever to open here. The many young office workers that inhabit the building are looking for a place to unwind after a hard day’s work. Plus, given the fact that traffic in Mumbai can take hours to traverse less than ten miles, it is a huge plus to have a bar in your office building.