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Saturday, March 03, 2018

Chp 704. Local Beer

I had just reached home in Mizoram for my Christmas vacation and was having dinner with my fam, when my phone suddenly buzzed. Mom gave me that dirty look for bringing my phone to the dinner table. I took a quick peek to see who it was, considering it could be office related. It was my neighbor and childhood friend Zomawii.

We hadn't spoken to each other in quite a while, so I opened her message. "Is it true that you're back home?" she had asked me. "Yup, I've just reached", I replied. "Then come come come!" she messaged back immediately. I was like, huh wut huh.

She then told me that she was currently at Siby Farms, a popular picnic and party location in Mizoram, launching her own brand of beer! I was totally impressed! And so I quickly finished dinner with my family and left the house. Thinking about how spontaneous that whole incident was still makes me smile today, lolz.

I picked up Francis and Marsh from Aijal Club on the way, since I didn't know the way to Siby. Yeah, bite me for not being the partying type. We soon reached the place, and yup, the beer launch was definitely kicking off.

Here are a few photos from the beginning of the event till the end. Most of them are official photos of the event that Zomawii had shared with me, and I have reduced the file size for optimum web view, but if you require the original high-resolution pics, do let me know…

The place was beautifully decorated. It wore a very sophisticated and classy look, a job really done well by Henry Varte and Mafaka Bawihtlung. I regretted immediately wearing a round neck t-shirt as everybody was dressed up really nice and smart. Being an introvert and somebody who seldom socializes at such events, it was truly hard trying to keep up with contemporary fashion and decorum.

Awesome banner design though.

I like how the brand had been named "Local Beer", because it is a local beer after all. Get it? :)

The brand logo (LOCAL BEER) was designed by "Tribe Fiction" and it looked super cool. I have known them since my Bangalore days and I was so glad to see them at the event.

With my "Tribe Fiction" homies Joel and Ela.

Amos couldn't make it to the party and he was sorely missed. The three of us reminisced about the past. Oh man, those wild crazy nights back in Bangalore, back when Amos and I were flat-mates and Club X used to be open till 6 in the freaking morning. THAT was the good 'ol Bangalore, sigh.

It's Beeeer O'clock!

Zomawii's husband Felipe Rodriguez has been in the brewery business for a long time now, even winning a couple of awards in NYC and working for many reputed companies, including Unilever. With Mizoram finally no longer under Total Prohibition, this was the perfect moment to utilize one's talent.

Zizi in da houseeee :D

As the saying goes, Zizi doesn't just bring life to a party, he is the life of a party. :) Everybody else too seemed to be having a great time consuming the awesome beer.

Haha the two pics below are so funny because just last night Pilot Michael was here in Pune and I was showing him around town, having a great time, and today I am uploading his pics of the Beer launch night that took place some time ago. :D

What I love about Pune are the micro-breweries. I really love craft beer, especially the bitter ones, and I'm not really a big fan of bottled lager beer. I usually spend my weekends pub-hopping from Effingut to Flambos to Doolally to Toons and so on trying out their various house crafts, draughts and stouts. And that was why I was so delighted to experience that "Local Beer" was crafted ale, having a slightly bitter taste. I completely love it!

But at the same time I was a bit skeptical if the flavor would hit a right chord with the taste buds of most Mizos in Mizoram. After all, a lot of people are used to the usual processed bottled/canned beers ranging from KF and Tuborg to Dagon and Diablo. The very concept of beer is about having an acquired taste; will the people get to love this taste?

Well, that night, everybody seemed to enjoy it :)

By the way, "Local Beer" is 8% strong, as Mizos and Northeastern people require a higher alcoholic percentage. Otherwise they would have made it 5%, Zomawii said to me. But plans of launching premium with lower percentage is always there, depending on how this performs at the local market, she added. Their brewery is located at Industrial Growth Centre in Luangmual, making it the ideal place to ramp up production.

I kinda looked sooo eager waiting to try to out the beer, haha.

It was really nice to meet other WhatsApp friends like Sanga Tactical in person for the first time. Even though it was our first time meeting, we already felt close because of all our interactions in our WhatsApp groups. Hundika's bro Bart too came and spoke to me, and it felt great catching up.

And as always, the incredible couple Joseph Mualchin and Esther Chhangte was there at the party. The two awesome duo had almost been my complete host during my recent short vacation because they showed me around most of the party locations every night.

Mapuii (Dr. Vanlalhriatpuii) and Afeli Ralte, my table-mates who kept us much entertained :) Man, we laughed so much that night.

Photo session time in front of the banner… :)

It was really nice to see Becky, my junior from school and wife of my classmate Antony at the event too, as she and her best friend Rini Hlondo rocked the party that night. If these two are at a particular event, then you know that's the place to be.

The DeeJay played some really wicked beatz, ranging from the latest chart toppers to Mizo golden oldies.

Once everybody was a little bit tipsy from the beer and the flow was going good, it was time for the official launch ceremony. Rini Hlondo, the MC and hostess of the event, introduced us to Zomawii and Felipe.

The awesome couple gave a really good speech about their journey and how they got here eventually.

The crowd loved it!

A few more pics before the night party really started.

Grind time!

Mapuii and Afeli fascinated by my Korean Esse cigarettes :P

With u Zualteii, Zomawii's sis. The first thing she asked me was how my sisters were, not how I've been :P

Blogger friend with her friends :)

Funniest thing was suddenly meeting Remruati at the event, my friend here in Pune. I know Mizoram is a small world, but I never expected it to be that small.

Good 'ol Remruati, sporty as ever.

One last pic with my friend Zomawii, the proud owner of "Local Beer".

She still hasn't changed one bit. This is an old photo of Zomawii I managed to dig out, it was at my sweet 16 birthday party back home, lolz.

Hehe she's gonna kill me for the above pic :P

Henry Varte, Mizo celebrity and one of the organizers of the event. As I mentioned before, he and Mafaka Bawihtlung did an awesome job with the interior decors and seating arrangements. Kudos to them.

Felt so good taking a pic with a celeb :)

And that was it. We went home and I dropped Marsh and Francis on the way. It was indeed a great night. A few pics on our way home.

So do give "Local Beer" a try. Here is a picture of the bottle packaging.

Currently, it is available at City Wine, Tuikual, and El-Ar Wine, Chaltlang. But there are future plans of serving it in kegs at Aijal Club and other such events as well.

Why I really support this brand is not just because Zomawii is an old friend. The fact that they are making something locally, incorporating Mizoram produced agricultural products and creating new jobs at home is the part that won me over.

So go out there and give this beer a shot. And hey, even if you might find the taste to be a bit weird, do know that beer is all about having an acquired taste. You'll love it as it grows into you. Until then, cheers peeps. And wishing Zomawii and Felipe all the very best in their grand endeavor. Toodles.


Backpacking Series said...

Excellent development! I'd be eager to try it on my next visit 😊👍

Mizohican said...

Thank you. Please do try it out on your next visit :)