Ales pair well with pizza, stouts and porters are great with barbecue, and a wheat beer is wonderful with salads, but for spicy food items like Indian and Thai, lagers and pilsners are the way to go.
That’s a single of the huge motives why brothers Van and Sumit Sharma, whose relatives has operated Bombay Mahal in Brunswick for 30 several years and who had been the unique proprietors of Style of India in Bangor and Tandoor in Portland, required to brew their personal beer that pairs properly with the intricate spices and warmth of Indian cuisine.
Rupee Beer launched before this calendar year and is now on cabinets at suppliers and in eating places across the point out, which includes at Damon’s Drinks in Bangor and Waterville, the Natural Living Center in Bangor, and International Beverage Warehouse in Ellsworth. It’s a clean, entire-bodied lager that is much less carbonated than most other lagers, to much better enhance the spiciness of quite a few Indian dishes, like biryanis, kebabs and tandoori hen.
Van Sharma, 32, said that expanding up in southern Maine in a cafe spouse and children, he remembered well how tough it was to stock their enterprise with Indian products and solutions, including longstanding, mass-manufactured Indian beers like Kingfisher and Taj Mahal.
“I recall when we initially opened the restaurants in the ‘90s, there were being Indian sellers that just would not distribute to Maine, all the things from spices to generate to Indian beers. Kingfisher is a large Indian beer, and you just couldn’t get it back then,” he claimed.
When he and his brother returned to Maine previous 12 months following shut to 10 years of dwelling overseas, they uncovered Maine and Portland to be rather distinctive from when they left, with a thriving craft beer scene and more range in both equally population and meals. Eager to aid their family members more modernize and diversify their organization, the brothers made the decision that an in-house beer built to pair with spicy cuisines would do the trick.
As it turned out, the ideal person to brew such a beer essentially lived just down the avenue from their childhood home: Alan Pugsley, co-founder of Shipyard Brewing and a legend in craft brewing who, as a Brit, was also a massive lover of Indian food items.
“He understood what we were being hoping to do flawlessly,” stated Van Sharma. “What Tex-Mex is to The united states, Indian foods is to the U.K. It is a large aspect of the tradition.”
Right after months of flavor testing and experimenting, the trio came up with Rupee, which the brothers say is the two an homage to and a way to carry on their proud immigrant heritage — and a way to convey a lot more range to Maine’s overwhelmingly white craft beer scene.
Eighty-eight % of craft breweries in the U.S. are owned by people today who determine as white, and only 7 p.c are owned by people today of colour, according to a 2019 research by the Brewer’s Association. Though there are not any particular studies available, in Maine, the percentage of craft breweries owned by white people today is probably nearer to 100 p.c.
For now, the brothers intend to market place Rupee through the Northeast, hoping to get into Indian places to eat across New England and the mid-Atlantic ahead of increasing to the relaxation of the place and Canada. They’ve located that many other sorts of restaurants are also interested in their beer, on the other hand, with eating places showcasing spice-pushed cuisines like Thai and Center Eastern expressing interest.
“There’s a whole untouched market for craft beer for planet cuisines that are spicy,” Sharma said. “We hope we can fill that void.”