We celebrated seven years of our boozy existence this month. (On the 5th of March, to be precise, so now you have no excuse for not wishing us next year.)
Seven years of sending it is definitely not going to be without an incident or two (or ten), and some pretty memorable events.
So, we decided to take a drunken ride (with a designated sober driver) down memory lane.
Most of it is a blur, as all good beer-related memories and anecdotes ought to be, but a select few managed to stand out.
#1 The Massive Mud Mural
In Short: Big mural, made from mud, first floor, contains beer, go find.
The Whole Story: Seen that massive mud mural that is the Toit logo on the first floor? Pretty sure you have.
The mud mural was done by a good friend of Sibi’s, and making a massive mud mural of our logo seemed like a nice thing to do. Mainly because we were still in our early days and were still kind of obsessed with our logo back then.
Yeah, this one, in case you were wondering.
That mural making went on the whole night, because once you start that thing you have to finish it, given the nature of the materials used. Anyway, some of the owners made sure they were around at 3 am when it was getting completed, so that they could pour a few pints into the mix.
A beery baptism, if there ever was one.
#2 The Spa(ce) That Shifted Shop
In Short: Spa has no water water, customers standing in towels, spa gets flooded, spa moves.
The Whole Story: There used to be a spa right next to where we are. And of course, when we were setting up, they had to endure all of the construction work and noise.
The spa used to be open till about 8 pm, and being the good fellows we are, we made sure we kept our music levels low until then, and all that was under control.
…all the customers were in towels, forming a queue to use that one functional shower. Yikes. But also lols.
Of course, through the course of constructing, we had redone the plumbing for the entire building and somewhere during this process, the plumber had screwed up.
So one evening around 7 pm, one whole side of our building had no water. And this included the spa. And they had customers, who had gotten whatever massage that requires a shower after. Some were probably in the middle of a shower!
But we somehow managed to get water running in one side of the spa, and when we went in to check, all the customers were in towels, forming a queue to use that one functional shower. Yikes. But also lols.
Although the last straw for them was probably the flooding—at some point while checking for water that evening, someone left the tap on in the spa and went home. The plumbing was fixed overnight, but this tap was open, and when they came back the next day, the entire place was covered in water.
They shifted after six months.
#3 Our First Proper Music Event(s)
In Short: Toit was young, Toit did a great band event, Toit also did DJ event, Toit grew up.
The Whole Story: We did a whole Sunday of rock bands, and there have been few events like that since.
It was our first year and we went all out inviting the cream of Bangalore’s music scene—Galeej Gurus, Thermal And A Quarter, and a bunch of other great bands.
…right before TAAQ went on stage, the neighbours complained.
Unfortunately though, right before TAAQ went on stage, the neighbours complained. So we had to stop and start and stop again.
And unbelievable as it might seem now, we also had another mad music related event the same year, hosted by Redbull, called The War of the DJs. And that night was probably the most packed we’ve ever been!
And from these varied examples, one could say that we were overly enthusiastic and experimental in our first year. Such teens!
#4 That Time Priyanka Chopra Came and Played a CD
In Short: Piggy Chops came, played her song, threw CDs, cool crowd went crazy, Arun got locked out, Piggy Chops left.
The Whole Story: Yup. This happened.
It was around the time Piggy Chops was the brand ambassador for Blender’s Pride Fashion Week and was also touring around promoting her CD. (That contained timeless classics such as ‘In My City’ and the likes!)
This was our fourth year, and the event organisers really wanted us to be a part of this.
She was covering four venues across Bangalore, and they wanted to do a 15 minute stopover at Toit, where she would come, get on stage, play her song, and leave. Yup. Play. Not perform.
Anyway, we informed our customers in advance that this would happen and it might be chaotic, and in true Bangalore style, they said they couldn’t care less if Priyanka Chopra was coming. Being all cool and all.
She walked up on stage—and the crowd went absolutely bonkers!
When the day came they decided to put out massive cut outs, digital displays and tent cards of Priyanka Chopra everywhere! There were also a whole bunch of bouncers all around.
Sure enough, around 8 pm, Priyanka Chopra showed up, looking hot.
She walked up on stage—and the crowd went absolutely bonkers! All those people who said “whatever” and that they didn’t care if she was coming, went totally wild.
She started throwing her CDs into the crowd and people were jumping over each other to grab it—everyone hated the song, but somehow everyone wanted the CD.
We’d locked the doors as well, and they’d stationed their bouncers there, so nobody was allowed in for those 15 minutes. And part of the crowd not allowed to enter was Arun, despite him telling the bouncers that he was one of the owners.
It’s ok though, he eventually made his way in through the backdoor. And before we knew it, Priyanka was gone.
#5 The First Time We Ran Out Of All Six Beers
This Is Short Only:
The month was September, the year 2017, the date we can’t remember but it was a Sunday, when we ran out of all six of our beers for the very first time.
We had to put up a sign saying we were out of beers. Lots of people walked in that day, saw that sign, and walked out.
#6 Making Everyone A Part Of Our Story
In Short: We expanded, we became wheelchair accessible, we had a pets section, we felt happy.
The Whole Story: We always wondered how we’d manage such a large property before we started out.
But within a month of opening, we needed to expand. We decided do a nice outdoor area, which could have a separate entry for pets.
…we decided to introduce a wheelchair accessible toilet.
This space also had a toilet that came with it, and that’s when we decided to introduce a wheelchair accessible toilet. And every property we’ve launched since (The Permit Room, Toit-Mumbai) has been wheelchair accessible. It’s become a company policy, really.
We didn’t do it out of some charitable or noble spirit, and didn’t really realise the impact of this small decision until one of our customers sent us a long and beautiful mail about how he travels all the way from Mysore to come and drink beer here, because he feels comfortable and independent.
It’s just a great feeling to know that a little something on our part makes everyone feel welcome here.
#7 Every Great Story Must Have Villain
In Short: Slimy American brewer tries to sabotage, slimy American brewer gets kicked out.
The Whole Story: We had a villain too. In the form of a rogue brewer.
This American guy who worked under our first brewer for about 2 months.
He was known to have a habit of making ridiculous claims of everything he’d done in life, and he was in Bangalore for a while trying to get work at breweries. He asked our brewer Phil if he could learn from him, and even though Phil knew he spoke a lot of BS, he let it slide and hired him hoping he’d learn something on the job.
Then Phil went on a break and this guy was holding the fort for a bit. And that’s when it all went downhill—the guy didn’t know a thing!
A whole bunch of strange incidents happened when he was in charge…
A whole bunch of strange incidents happened when he was in charge, like issues with cooling which he blamed on plumbing but ended up being him turning off some switches.
And a tank not being cleaned immediately, something Phil was extremely particular about.
So much so that when he got back, he told him bluntly that he wasn’t to step into the brewery ever again.
Of course, we asked this guy to leave and never come back too. He went on to work for another brewery, from where he was thrown out and also stole equipment, forcing him to leave India or face charges.
The last we heard of him was in some magazine interview, where he had claimed to be the sole person responsible for setting up the brewery at Toit and some other spaces. A real character.
#8 Bonus Bucket List Fact (for luck)
In Short: Story to calculate the real age of our owners. (Hint: they’re older than they look!)
The Whole Story: We opened our doors on Sibi’s birthday, fulfilling a collective dream that him, Mukesh and Arun had of launching the brewery before they turned 30.
Mukesh being a year older than Sibi was already past the point. Arun, who is six months older than Sibi, was also 30 before the launch, but we did register on his birthday, so there’s that.
…right in time, on Sibi’s 30th birthday, at 5:30 pm, we were officially open.
But right in time, on Sibi’s 30th birthday, at 5:30 pm, we were officially open. And we got to check that one off of our little brewery bucket list.
These are just a few of the many, many stories. Come by and have a beer with us and we’ll be happy to tell you more.
For those who’ve been around for all or any of these memories, thank you for your loyalty and patronage. And for those who are new to the adventure, we can’t wait to make more boozy memories with you. Cheers!