Beer elicits reactions ranging from the refreshing and satisfying “ahhhhh”, to the bloating, bitter drink only suitable for the spartan, fraternity boys. Enter the new era of beer drinkers, who consider themselves enthusiasts, and just as extravagant as the prototypical wine drinker.
The latest craze, which is just now becoming more widely recognizable is the craft & import beer market(home brewing is huge, as well). I am not talking about the Corona, Blue Moon, or Stella Artois selection some may classify as “craft” or “import”. Of course, by definition they are- Corona is an imported beer. Blue Moon is brewed by Coors, albiet in their craft and import division. Nonetheless, most beer snobs wouldn’t consider Blue Moon or Corona to be a highly sought after beer worth their effort. It’s a good thing however- there has been an explosion of new breweries in the states in the past decade- over 3,000 operating breweries as of the end of 2013. It’s good for the local economies, competition, and more importantly- the consumer. Have you seen your beer aisle recently? There are more and more unrecognizable names popping up monthly- and it only spells good things for our taste buds!
As an entrepreneur, one of the most important tools one must carry is the art of opportunity recognition. As I began to enjoy more interesting beer styles, I began to notice a lack of excitement on my own beer menu at Coriander. Keep in mind, this is all relative to a beer snobs world. From day 1, I had 6 beers on the menu. I carried all the recognizable Indian imports such as KingFisher, Taj Mahal, Flying Horse- and some of the safe choices like Blue Moon, Amstel Light, & Heineken. It worked well, people seemed to comfortably choose KingFisher, Taj Mahal, and Heineken the most. Everyone would always say, “Oh yeah it’s fine! Beer is what goes best with Indian food.” They would be correct, as the carbonation, and the ability to be served ice cold compliments the flavor landslide of the cuisine. Wine tends to fall flat if it’s not a Shiraz, Pinot Noir, Bordeaux Blend or a fruity white. However, as I made my monthly visits to other restaurants as I do in order to scope out the next trends, influences, and flavors- I noticed that the menus were naturally evolving- but what was becoming revolutionary was beer. Restaurants began to offer beer flights(a selection of 3-5 “shots” of beer to try), beer pairings, and ever expanding beer menus. I knew I had to make this change for Coriander, and once again pave the way for Indian Restaurants to come.
Fast forward to today, after many “pain staking”(it’s a labor of love, okay? Don’t judge.) taste trials I have 16 beers available on our menu. From Belgian to Domestic, to barely known in NY, to the cool kid on the block primed to be the next Sam Adams in the craft beer world.
The truth is, you have to love beer to appreciate the new offerings, but you have to also understand why its offered:
1. It’s the easiest, and most delicious pairing with Indian Cuisine.
-It offsets the spiciness of some dishes with it’s temperature.
-The carbonation offers the satisfaction of “fullness” as opposed to silky sips of wine.(I love wine too, no offense)
-It doesn’t overpower the cuisine at all, it only supplements.
-In my opinon, India makes bad wine. (Seriously, find me a GOOD Indian wine, and I will give you an appetizer, compliments of me)
2. A lot of it is local, and I like to support local.
-There is nothing more satisfying than featuring Captain Lawrence Brewery from Elmsford. It’s a pride thing.
-It’s good for our local economy.
-It promotes entrepreneurship.
-Speaking of which, I even feature an excellent beer called 1947(Suhel Jagtiani), brewed by a good friend of mine, who similarly found the beer revolution fascinating. Definitely try this one!
3.I’m always looking to be one step better, and one step ahead- for you, my clients!
-I want to always offer variety, and keep you on your toes. Paired with our seasonal menu, you know you can come in and have your Bhuna Chicken Curry, or Shrimp Rangoli & KingFisher- but you may be intrigued by our Summer Menu’s Chilled Avocado Soup with Garam Masala, or our Cooperstown Ale by Ommegang Brewery in NY.
4. I get to try them all!
So there you have it. Calling all BEER SNOBS! Come try our upcoming Fall Menu, releasing the second week of September, along with our all new Beer List. (http://www.corianderny.com/menu/testing)
Here are just a few of my favorites that we are offering this fall:
Samuel Adam’s Octoberfest(Boston, MA)
Southern Tier Pumpking(NY)
Ommegang Brewery Rare VOS(NY)
Ommegang Brewery Three Philosophers(NY)
Captain Lawrence Freshchester A.P.A.(NY)
United Brewery Flying Horse Royal Lager(India)
So what’s next for Coriander? Who Knows….but don’t be surprised if Coriander Cider or Coriander Lager suddenly graces the menu is all I’m sayin’.