Kudix Mug Holder of the Month

Date

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.

Toit-Mug_Holder-3_Arpita_Ganesh-header

Why do you think you were selected as the Mug Holder?

I don’t know. It’s been a source of wonder to a lot of my friends, that it has taken as long as it has. I was here when they were doing the test runs also, when they first started the brewery. So I’ve been here, and a lot of the staff know me from then. It got to a point where people thought I had a stake in the place because of how much time I spent here.

It was almost like office—I’d be here in the afternoon, leave late evening. And I’d know the owners, the customers.

What do you do?

I’m based out of Bangalore, and I consult when I feel like my bank balance is low. But I usually spend a lot of time with music. I write, and along with a friend of mine, we ran India’s first structured tour for Indie Musicians. It’s called the Two Stroke Tour. That was me and Uddipan.

I do that, and I try to promote bands and try to help them out. My money making skills really come from strategy consulting, I do a lot of work around analytics. But I do less and less of this.
And we don’t have children, so that’s a load off. And my wife Shilpa is a doctor. Between the two of us, we’re comfortable.

…along with a friend of mine, we ran India’s first structured tour for Indie Musicians…the Two Stroke Tour.

Have you been writing for a long time?

No, no. Writing also started basically because a lot of my friends discovered certain music because of things I used to recommend.
And I used to make it a point that my corporate emails, if not from a strategy side of things, they would at least be valuable from a  content perspective. So people thought, “Ok, this guy can write.” And my friends told me to share my thoughts and I was just like “Who reads blogs?”

But I said ok, although for me it’s more of an indulgence in writing. I’m not sure if people are discovering new things through my blog, but sometimes it happens.

What is your blog called?

There really is no structured approach, and I haven’t written in a  while. I really need to get back to that, because it’s one of the most satisfying things I do. I like language and I really like the power of the word. I will not lay claim to whether I write well or not—I think I do but it doesn’t matter what other people think because I primarily write for myself.

I have two blogs—one is dyingnote.com which is purely on music, and a very macabre sort of thing, and the other one is Bantering Ram, where I write random stuff. The latter is more of an outlet for the strangeness of my mind. I am obsessed with trying to be clever, in my writing. And sometimes I look back and think it’s so kiddish, but then that’s me.

Where does this passion for Indie music come from?

I just like music. And I have two guitars which I don’t play, and a harmonica which I play a bit. I come from a family of musicians from my mom’s side but that’s about the closest connect I have to being a musician. It’s vicarious.
But I think I’ve been listening to music from the time I was a child. I never used to care too much for these genres that people used to play around. I generally keep an open mind to it.

But you do promote Indie music a lot, right?

That’s because I saw a lot of music which was really good, and I thought it needed to be pushed. The thing that I’ve seen is that we tend to be very closed. It didn’t make any sense to me that  bands were so diffident about their music.
I keep hearing this ‘best band in Bombay’ or ‘best Indian band’. Nonsense! I think if you’re an Indie band, you ought to be as good as anybody from any country.

I’ve met musicians from France and other places, who make English music, and they have no problem in saying they’re up there with the rest. I don’t know why we have a problem saying that.

…my interest in Indie music really woke up after I heard the Avial album.

But for me, my interest in Indie music really woke up after I heard the Avial album. I still rate it as one of the best albums I’ve heard, period. Not just Indian. For me, from an Indian perspective it was like something like this could be done. And I loved the fact that here was a band that said “I’m not going to sing in English. I’m going to sing in my language and if you want to follow, you follow. And if you don’t follow, it’s ok.”

That changed things for me. And then I started following Indian music more.

So it was a slow burn?

Very slow. And I think my involvement started with Ctrl + Alt + Delete. I found it very interesting that someone was saying that all you guys can keep cribbing that there’s no scene, but here was a bunch of guys who were willing to make it happen. So I got involved with them from the 4th edition.
I also used to volunteer at festivals and that’s where I met Uddipan, in Goa. When he came over here, we got talking and he had some ideas about things he wanted to do which kind of matched with the ideas I had. We hit it off and that’s how the Two Stroke Tour happened. And in the process, I was helping his band also. (As We Keep Searching)

Now I’ve stopped Two Stroke.

You’ve stopped. How come?

Yes. Because my point was this—in every time, the first time we did it, everybody thought we were mad. Five cities, five nights and no sponsors and we were putting in our own money. People were even shocked that we made money. We made a significant amount of profits.

Second time we did it, people were surprised again, this time because they didn’t think this could be sustained. And that time we played 8 cities, and with bands that weren’t that well known. And then the third time, turned out to be even more profitable because we structured it better. Venues, people—everything came together.

And at the end of it, I get bored. I’ll always be an outsider.

So my point was that this can be done, and can be done well, and bands could pull it off. The sad part of the whole thing was that 130+ bands approached me saying that they wanted to be a part of the tour, but only 4-5 out of those asked how they could do this on their own if the tour didn’t continue. The bands need to invest in themselves. Not just money, but effort and time as well. And you have to go around networking. That’s why I like bands like Skrat and As We Keep Searching, because even before I got to know them, I could see them do this.

Now I need the rest of the people to take over. And at the end of it, I get bored. I’ll always be an outsider.

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Why do you think that?

I don’t know. I will never get personally caught up in any of this. I guess it’s the way I’m built—I’ve always been an outsider with anything I do, so all this passion stuff, I don’t understand it at all.
When I do something I am totally focussed on it, but I’m not emotionally attached.

When I announced that I wouldn’t be a part of Two Stroke anymore, people messaged me asking if I was ok and I had to tell them that I was fine. I don’t get emotional about this kind of stuff at all. In fact the only emotion or feeling I get from this is a feeling of satisfaction, that we managed to pull this off against the odds.

So your involvement with the scene is a fairly recent one.

Yes. I’ve passively and actively been a part of the scene for roughly the same time, about 3 years. So I don’t know anything about the older bands like Parikrama and all. That bus has left and I don’t even want to get on it.
For me bands like that and Indus Creed are not relevant anymore. They can hate me for it, but as far as they’re concerned I’m a non-entity, and as far as I’m concerned they’re has-beens. I’m not a big fan of any of those kind of things.

Bandcamp has been a huge hole in my pocket, because I like to own things. I’m fairly old-school, collector kinds that way. It’s more of the new bands that I’m interested in, the ones that I know are trying and it doesn’t matter if they pack up.

Bandcamp has been a huge hole in my pocket, because I like to own things.

So what about the current scene inspires you and pisses you off, specifically in Bangalore.

Nothing pisses me off really, because I’m not emotionally connected. But I am just shocked by the lack of pride. I think there is a lot of great quality in the bands in Bangalore.
If you look at it, Bangalore probably has the most vibrant indie scene in the country. This is as good as it gets.

But here’s the thing. There are a lot of things that need to grow. It’s not just the band, but also venues that need to grow. That’s part of the reason I like the Humming Tree, because of the philosophy. They’re willing to take a hit for the lesser-known bands, and those bands also get paid. It’s a crazy venue man—they’re programming some 20-25 days of the month. And most of it is music. They know where they make their money, and they’re willing to invest as well. And that’s how venues need to be.

And this is why Chennai is terrible for the same reason. Even Bombay, I’m kind of shocked. Blue Frog used to be amazing, one of the best sonically, but ever since the management has changed people are not too keen.

And apart from venues, audiences need to grow. I find it ridiculous that you pay money for a gig and are just socialising. Even in a packed venue like Humming Tree, there are 3-4 rows upfront, some at the back passively listening, while the majority is at the back socialising. Then don’t call yourself a ‘music crowd’. That needs to change. Classical shows are an example of that—dedicated crowd, and not everyone is a classical musician but they’re still completely into it. But maybe that’s a different model. You can’t have that all the time, but that kind of dedication needs to come.

And apart from venues, audiences need to grow.

People don’t seem to have a problem paying for anything except music shows. Somehow there’s a sense of entitlement when it comes to paying for live music. Do you agree?

What I find really hypocritical is people quibble about paying 300 bucks for a ticket, but you’ll blow up 3000 on booze at the same place. That’s so ironic!

The thing is that sense of entitlement, and also that people know that this is an industry that is struggling, the indie scene, and they feel that musicians need them more than they need the musicians. I’ve heard that! I mean, come on! Are you doing someone a favour? If that’s your attitude, then don’t call yourself a music lover. You can, but you’ll end up looking like a bloody fool.

The biggest change has to come from the audience and I really have no idea how that will happen.

…really hypocritical is people quibble about paying 300 bucks for a ticket, but you’ll blow up 3000 on booze…

I would love to set up a venue for 100 odd dedicated people to come and watch music for a fee. Even in the pub venues, a huge audience is lost because they don’t drink and don’t want to be in that crowd. Also, kids! Where are the kids? I only see Manou at gigs, and that’s because his parents are actively involved. Otherwise it’s very inaccessible, and you’re losing out on a generation that ought to be an audience because they will be driving musical tastes in the future.

Do you think bands also have something to do with it? How many bands show up to support other bands?

Very few. The biggest culprits of this whole horrible practice of ‘guest list’ are bands themselves. At one of the festivals I was at the gate for, there were huge numbers on the guest list. To the point where I was actually telling people that while it was great that they were coming out to support their friends, a big part of what is collected at the gate goes to the band as well. I said pay whatever you want, and I managed to convert a lot of those free loaders.

That needs to change. And the progressive bands (not in the music genre sense) are the ones that don’t care too much about this guest list. And some of these bands are not even that popular.

The biggest culprits of this whole horrible practice of ‘guest list’ are bands themselves.

But it needs to come from within. If you’re going to ask a graphic artist to design a poster for your band and then say “no money, do it to support the scene”,  then that’s the same thing. All around there is this entitlement thing, which is just very odd. The scene is so small, and in that itself if you want to have freebies…I mean I made my wife Shilpa pay for the Two Stroke Tour. I just made sure she got a good place inside.

I mean it’s also about tastes as well, but I see it as a principle a lot too.

Of course, there are many other factors as well. Like Government support, where in countries like France and Germany you get a massive amount of support, and funnily enough, we get more support from the German Embassy than we get from our own Government. So, it’s a complicated one. I’m seeing though that things are improving.

Ok! getting back to the bands, what are your five favourites currently in the scene?

In India, and not in any particular order, Skrat, As We Keep Searching, Shepherd, Moscow and right now I’m tripping heavily on the Bodhisattwa Trio. Oh, and Parvaaz. How can I miss them! But you know, five is only a number. There are many more.

Circling all the way back to the beginning—you think you’re Mug Holder because you’re here a lot or because of how much you drink?

Both! I’m here all the time, and I drink. It’s the frequency, duration and volume! I used to spend so much time here, that I used to joke and tell people that I co-own the place until I heard that some people started taking it seriously. Then I had to clarify and tell them I don’t!

I started drinking when I was 28. But I think in three years, I’ve made up…

Have you always been a beer drinker?

I started drinking when I was 28. But I think in three years, I’ve made up for all the other years.
But beer, I discovered how good it can be when I started going to the US for work. I spent time in some of the microbreweries there.
Now there are bunch of good microbreweries in Bangalore.

Toit is a great place, to have conversations with people and also a great observation gallery. I’m also glad they’ve started the beer tours, that’s really stepped things up.

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Look forward to having you back when you are old enough to get Toit!

Please contact us between 9am and 7pm for reservations

Oktoberfest Special

märzen

The classic, traditional Marzen, this beer style originated in Bavaria and is brewed primarily for the Oktoberfest during the end of September and the beginning of October. 

Our version of the classic is an elegant, malty German lager with a rich and toasty malt flavour, with an aftertaste so rich that you can’t resist another glass. 

*(ABV in Pune and Mumbai is 4.9%, and 5.8% in Bengaluru)

AROMA

Moderate intensity aroma of German malt, rich, bready, toasty.

ABV

5.8%*

MOUTHFEEL

Medium-bodied, with a smooth, creamy texture.

APPEARANCE

Amber Orange

FLAVOUR

Moderately-dry to dry. Distinctive and complex maltiness including a bready, toasty aspect. Moderate hop bitterness and low hop flavour.

Oktoberfest Special

German Pilsner

A crisp, exceptionally clean beer prominently featuring noble German hops and the finest Pilsner malt that gives it an impeccably balanced hop profile.

Pouring a brilliant straw colour, it offers floral and spicy aroma with flavours of lightly sweet malt, finishing firm and dry on the palate.

AROMA

Malty with floral and spicy aroma

ABV

4.8%

MOUTHFEEL

Light to medium body

APPEARANCE

Light Straw

FLAVOUR

Medium to high hop bitterness and subtle grain sweetness

Oktoberfest Special

Schwarzbier

This German style dark lager is a regional specialty from southern Thuringen and northern Franconia in Germany.

It balances a complex malt flavour with a generous addition of noble hops, with notes of caramel.

The Special beer is rumoured to have strange powers, in that over a few pints, you seem to lose your ability to say ‘no’ to more. Don’t believe us? Well, have a taste of it yourself and see.

AROMA

Slightly malty

ABV

5.5%

MOUTHFEEL

Medium body, smooth

APPEARANCE

Black

FLAVOUR

Light malty with hints of caramel

Please contact us between 9am and 7pm for reservations

Specials

American IPA

West Coast IPA

A West Coast-style American IPA aggressively hopped with a blend of Simcoe, Centennial, Amarillo and El Dorado hops.

This brew is all about the hops – that lends it clear aromas of pine, stone fruit and citrus.

The beer has a coating mouthfeel with long lasting bitterness and balanced malt body.

AROMA

Pine, stone fruit, citrus

ABV

6.6%

MOUTHFEEL

Light to medium body

APPEARANCE

Deep Golden

FLAVOUR

A crisp, bold hop forward front followed by piney and citrus notes

Sounds like something you and your friends would want to do?

Simply read and fill the form below and we’ll get in touch with you. And soon too! We hate turning people away, but we can only incorporate a certain number so that the experience remains personal.
All tours are currently out of Toit Bangalore.

    • Brewery Tours are held on every 1st Saturday of the month. The tour and beer tasting session starts at 11:30am and lasts for about 1.5 hours.
    • Registration fees for the Tour is Rs.850 + taxes. This is inclusive of beer samples, food pairing, a certificate & T-shirt.
    • Each tour has an upper limit of 20 people.  So register early to get your preferred date.
    • The minimum age to be eligible to sign up for the tour is 21 years. Carrying valid ID to take part in the Tour is mandatory. 
    • Kindly inform us in advance if you have any dietary restrictions or allergies.
    • We advise patrons who are on medication to refrain from taking the tour.
    • If you are a traveller, please note that International Credit Cards are not accepted as part of our online registration. Please send us an email to toitblr@toit.in and we can sort it out for you. Or just drop by at our pub, grab a beer and register at the front desk.
    • Because all the money goes to charity, refunds won’t be possible.
    • All tours are currently out of Toit Bangalore.

    Specials

    Kolsch Beer

    Kolsch

    The Kolsch, originating from Cologne, Germany, is a light and refreshing ale-lager hybrid. The beer is clean, crisp and delicately-balanced with a subtle fruit and hop character. Our version is made with a single hop, Mandarina Bavaria, that lends the brew distinctive mandarin and citrus notes.

    AROMA

    Low malt aroma, with a grainy-sweet character. A delicately spicy hop aroma, with a pleasant and subtle fruit aroma

    ABV

    4.9%

    MOUTHFEEL

    Medium-light & medium carbonation

    APPEARANCE

    Clear, pale gold to light gold

    FLAVOUR

    Low fruity sweetness, medium-low bitterness with delicate dryness and slight crispness

    Specials

    Dark Vader

    Schwarzbier

    ​​This German style dark lager is a regional specialty from southern Thuringen and northern Franconia in Germany.

    It balances a complex malt flavour with a generous addition of noble hops, with notes of caramel.

    The Special beer is rumoured to have strange powers, in that over a few pints, you seem to lose your ability to say ‘no’ to more. Don’t believe us? Well, have a taste of it yourself and see. But we warned—you don’t know the power of the dark side…umm…lager.

    AROMA

    Slightly malty

    ABV

    5.0%

    MOUTHFEEL

    Medium body, smooth

    APPEARANCE

    Black

    FLAVOUR

    Light malty with hints of caramel

    Specials

    West Coast IPA

    SMaSH

    While most beers use a blend of multiple hops and malts the SMaSH is brewed with a single variety of malt (Pilsner Malt) and hops (Amarillo hops).

    This refreshing beer showcases the individual characteristics of each ingredient, creating a distinctive yet balanced flavour profile. The Verdant IPA yeast helps the hop character shine through, while maintaining the grainy backbone.

    It’s the perfect beer to welcome Spring and the perfect excuse you need to get SMaSHed.

    AROMA

    Floral, citrus

    ABV

    4.8%

    MOUTHFEEL

    Light-medium bodied, medium carbonated.

    APPEARANCE

    Light yellow, slightly hazy.

    FLAVOUR

    Slightly bitter, citrusy flavour followed by malty aftertaste.

    Please contact us between 9am and 7pm for reservations

    Please contact us between 9am and 7pm for reservations

    TOIT PUNE

    Oktoberfest Special

    Munich Dunkel

    The classic brown lager style of Munich which developed as a darker, more malt- accented beer than other regional lagers. While originating in Munich, the style became popular throughout Bavaria over time.

    German Munich malts have been used to create a rich, smooth and complex toasted bread crust flavour in this flavoursome lager.

    AROMA

    Deep malt sweetness

    ABV

    5.2%

    MOUTHFEEL

    Light to Medium body

    APPEARANCE

    Amber brown

    FLAVOUR

    Soft, rich and complex flavour of Munich malts

    Specials

    Kolsch Beer

    Kolsch

    The Kolsch, originating from Cologne, Germany, is a light and refreshing ale-lager hybrid. The beer is clean, crisp and delicately-balanced with a subtle fruit and hop character. Our version is made with a single hop, Mandarina Bavaria, that lends the brew distinctive mandarin and citrus notes.

    AROMA

    Low malt aroma, with a grainy-sweet character. A delicately spicy hop aroma, with a pleasant and subtle fruit aroma

    ABV

    4.9%

    MOUTHFEEL

    Medium-light & medium carbonation

    APPEARANCE

    Clear, pale gold to light gold

    FLAVOUR

    Low fruity sweetness, medium-low bitterness with delicate dryness and slight crispness

    Specials

    saison

    Lemon Tea Saison

    A farmhouse style ale celebrating the refreshing flavours of lemon chai. Crafted by infusing Malabar tea and a squeeze of farm fresh lemons, the beer has citrus fruit and spice notes that remind you of the soothing comfort of a cup of lemon tea, with a boozy twist of course!

    AROMA

    Fruity with a spicy yeast character

    ABV

    4.9%

    MOUTHFEEL

    Light to medium body

    APPEARANCE

    Fruity with a spicy yeast character

    FLAVOUR

    Citrus and pepper spice

    Specials

    Belgian Tripel

    Tripel X

    A clean, crisp, delicately-balanced beer with a very subtle fruit and hop character.

    Brewed with pilsner malt and homemade candy sugar, our take on this Belgian classic style is smooth and complex. Strong malty & mildly sweet notes deliver a pleasantly dry finish. This one packs quite a punch & you will barely notice it, making it a dangerously session-able beer

    AROMA

    Complex fruity aroma

    ABV

    8%

    MOUTHFEEL

    Medium body

    APPEARANCE

    Pale gold

    FLAVOUR

    Mild sweet malt flavour, with a soft bitterness and fruity flavors

    Specials

    Guest Tap - Oi Brewing

    Lemon Hard Seltzer

    100 calories and 2 grams of carbs per pint! The Oi Lemon Hard Seltzer is made from a natural honey base just like a mead. After a special proprietary fermentation process, they use the traditional Bourbon method and filter the Seltzer over a bed of charcoal that eliminates all color and taste from it.


    The result, a sparkling clear beverage, which is then naturally flavored with lemon. Refreshing, light and crisp!

    AROMA

    Lemon

    ABV

    <4.95%

    MOUTHFEEL

    Crisp and spritz

    APPEARANCE

    Clear

    FLAVOUR

    Tart lemon

    Specials

    Tall. Dark. Handsome.

    Belgian Dark Strong Ale

    A dark, very rich, complex, strong Belgian ale, this special is brewed with Pilsner malt, dark candy sugar and aromatic malts.

    This brew leads with strong aromas and flavours – caramel, raisin, dark fruit and candy sugar notes.

    We weren’t kidding when we named this one – its guaranteed to make you swoon!

    AROMA

    Complex maltiness and some phenolic spiciness

    ABV

    7.2%

    MOUTHFEEL

    Full body

    APPEARANCE

    Deep Amber

    FLAVOUR

    Rich malt, raisin and candy