The Kudix Mug Holder of the MonthMeet Vijay, our mug holder of the month.

At Toit, our customers have always been our primary focus. They’re the ones who bring life to the place, create memories and end up giving the place its familiar, friendly vibe. And there are so many different kinds of people who come through our doors daily, that we wanted to get to know their stories.

The Kudix Mug Holder of the Month is our little way of celebrating our customers, and their unique stories.

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This month’s mug holder is Vijay. We caught up with him and discussed hefeweizens, the evolution of the drinking culture over the last decade and his love for real brews.

How long have you been in Bangalore?
I’m originally from Chennai. But I have been living here for the last twelve years. I’m a software engineer. I’ve been a software engineer pretty much my entire life.

How did Toit happen?
When they opened, they were one of the first micro-breweries in town, so there was this buzz around the opening. I live fairly close-by, just about five kilometres from here so I was very excited. I’ve always been a fan of beer. One thing I was sad about was that you didn’t have different types of beers available in India, apart from the usual lagers. So I was very excited that Toit was opening so close to my place. Pretty much from the beginning I think I have been anticipating the opening.

Do you remember the first time you had one of the brews here?
They didn’t serve their beers for about a year or so. I came here a few times then, hoping they would start serving their own brews.
The first time I came to Toit, I came with a bunch of friends. At that time, we used to like the Hefeweizen, so we were really really happy.

They didn’t serve their beers for about a year or so. I came here a few times then, hoping they would start serving their own brews.

You said you’ve always been a beer lover. Is there a type you particularly enjoy?
I started off really liking Hefeweizen. I used to live in San Francisco for a while, and there were some breweries there that would serve their own beer, that you could find only there. I’ve liked the Porter and IPAs as well.

What do you think of Toit’s evolution from the first day you came here? How much has it changed for you?
It’s pretty much the same, right? I think the vats were there then as well. There are a few new sections. But it hasn’t changed that much and that’s one of the things I love about it. The quality of the beer has been steady. Some beers took a while to mature but it is a really reliable place. A great place!

Do you have a favourite beer here?
I like the dark beers. I like the colonial. It keeps changing though. They frequently brew Specials here, and some of them are really nice. But they go away really fast. They had a Golden Ale once, which was really hoppy. It was really nice, but it went away too fast.
Wish that they would make some of the Specials regular. That would be great.

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What do you enjoy most about your beer drinking experience?
I really like the beer over here. At some point, I started getting my kids here as well, for lunch. So, they also like the place. They really like the dessert. And a lot of my friends like the beer over here. So we just come out here and hang out. And recently they started this live music. I enjoy live music and I like Blues and Old Classic Rock, and they have had bands like that. In fact, another thing I really like here is that when you come out here in the afternoons they usually have rock playing.
It’s nice to bring the family also, there is section for families and service is really nice.  And they don’t mind kids coming here and hanging out. Kids being kids they tend to run around, but they seem perfectly fine with that.
I try to manufacture at least one occasion a week where I can come here and enjoy some brew.

It’s nice to bring the family also, there is section for families and service is really nice.

Is there a big shift you’ve seen in the drinking culture? What’s different now from a  decade ago?
For me the heartening thing is that more people are experimenting and trying the bitter beers. You can see it over here as well. Even though the Hefeweizen is probably still the bestseller, lots of people are trying the Colonial and the Dark Knight.
First of all, people have become aware about the different kinds of beers and secondly, they have learned to appreciate the more bitter kind of beers.
So it’s good to see that.

If you had to put together a fantasy beer, what would the ingredients be?
I don’t have anything like that, actually. Some of the breweries have coffee stouts. I really like that. Over here, the Colonial is another beer I really like. I like all the darker beers here. I have the Hefeweizen once in a while. And I think the Tintin here is absolutely fantastic. I feel it is not as appreciated as it should be. But it would be nice if something more hoppy, like if they had an IPA on the menu.  Maybe get the Golden Ale back!

Over here, the Colonial is another beer I really like. I like all the darker beers here.

Since you’ve been coming here for nearly four years, any particular memory that stands out?
The whole thing is one big, happy memory. Coming here for the first few times was a really happy experience, because all of a sudden in Bangalore we were getting real beer. I think the first day we came here, none of my friends knew about the Hefeweizen, and they all drank it and were so happy. They really liked the taste. That would be the stand out memory. But I just come here so often that there are too many to choose from.

How do you think your kids will feel about you being the Kudix Mug Holder of the Month?
My son will definitely be proud. I think my daughter will be a mix of happy and a bit embarrassed!
I myself am so thrilled. When this programme was first announced I was hoping that one day I will make it. I know I have probably not been drinking as much as the other mug holders, but for sure I know that I appreciate the beers more.