It's not every day that I wake up with such bizarre ideas at the top of my mind, but this one is warranted. During our trip to Goa at the start of this year, I discovered a new beer called 'Breakfast Cereal Stout', by the Goa Brewing Co. Ridiculous packaging that took me fifteen minutes to open aside, this is one of the best stouts that I've had in India, period.
Now, when you're drinking a beer that blatantly advertises itself as a breakfast cereal replacement, you need to have one at least once in the morning! 🤷🏻♂️ So I opened a bottle to accompany my sandwich and lo behold, what a perfect pairing! The beer is ever so slightly creamy and chocolaty and does not overwhelm with the usual alcoholic stench that most beers give out. It was good enough for me to start my day with a mild buzz and yet, not get me too intoxicated to move around in the day. Barring the double overload of carbs aided by my sandwich, I think it was one of the best beverages to have ever kicked off my day!
But Goa was a vacation, and after a couple of breakfasts with the cereal stout, I had to return to Bangalore. The following day when I woke up in my apartment, I involuntarily walked up to my fridge to look for a bottle of the stout, mildly disappointed with the finds - two eggs, half a carton of stale milk, and a very questionable piece of lettuce. I decided to continue some of the vacation spirits in Bangalore and stepped out to buy myself a couple of stouts the same evening. And that's when I realized the first issue with drinking a stout in the morning in Bangalore.
That beautiful creation of cereal is not available in Bangalore! Every other stupid beer from GBC is sitting on the shelf, but no stout! My only other alternatives are a highly acidic and watered down stout by Simba and a new entrant by Bira 91 that I am too afraid to try, ever since their wheat beer went down the route of mosambi juice.
Why would a brewing company that has national distribution, not ship their best beer to the brewery capital of India is absolutely beyond me! Maybe they wanted to retain the unique essence of Goa and limit some experiences to their home state. I respect that. It is sort of similar to how Sula wines reserve some of their best selections only for their in-house wine shop at Nashik. But Sula produces more than forty active variants of wine, and not distributing ten-fifteen of those is alright. But a company that makes only four beers can't afford to be high and mighty about its distribution strategy. 😂
But that's about sourcing. Let's presume that I even do manage to source the beer somehow. The second problem with having a breakfast beer in Bangalore is its optics. I can imagine the expression on my domestic help's face when she'd step into the house on a Wednesday morning and see me lounged on the couch with a glass of stout in my hand. Based on the extent of beer awareness in India, I'm sure she'd mistake it for a chocolate milkshake or coke, but still, it is too grave a risk to take! Apart from the fact that she'd probably hand in her resignation the very next day, it won't be long before my entire housing complex brands me as an alcoholic or a creep who loves drinking chocolate milk every day. Not sure why the latter is creepy, but a dozen crime dramas that have represented serial killers who drink milk are probably to blame here. 😁
I can fight the social stigma, but the real reason that stops me from drinking a beer in my Bangalore mornings is far more internal - the desire to keep valuable experiences precious. Having a stout in Goa in the morning is not just a matter of habit it's a happy experience and a fond memory. I identify my vacation mood and vibe with that drink in Goa and look forward to it even today. So, emulating the same in the confines of my home, which is also my office, seems WAY out of place! It's how you'd feel if you took a thirty-pound turkey to the office to prepare a Christmas meal. Sure, most of your colleagues would appreciate the feast, but it still won't be Christmas. And in the same way, no matter my efforts to convert my home into a vacation destination, it can't be so.
Because, in the end, having a beer for breakfast is not merely a dietary choice or a way of living. It is a mindset that defines a holiday and liberates the mind. Neither can my workplace-cum-home ever match that vibe, nor do I think it'll be great for my career progression. 🤣
Hence, I've decided once and for all. I won't be having beers for breakfast in Bangalore. I cannot find the beer of my choice, the society is too cruel, and the weather is not really tailor-made for beer consumption in the morning. Now whiskey, especially a fine single malt, that's another matter altogether... 😏
... let's explore that in another post. 😎