Indus Pride Beer and NH7 put together a truly unique event called the StrangeBrew Experience. Here is what the Sherp thought about it.
In short the StrangeBrew Experience is a ‘By Invitation only’ (yes I feel classy cause I was one of the few who were invited) event by spiced beer brand Indus Pride, that is curated by some of the leading Indie Fusion musicians including Karsh Kale, Raghu Dixit, Dualist Inquiry and many more. The crux of the entire event is a beer pairing experience, where the curating artist carefully picks tit-bits that he thinks complements the four different flavors (Fiery Cinnamon, Citrusy Cardamom, Spicy Fennel & Citrusy Coriander) of Indus Pride. He then shares his selection with the audience, who very willing partake in the combination. This gastronomic overdose is then followed by an energy filled live performance by the curating artists.
At first I must admit I was a bit hesitant because ‘spice-infused beer’ is not an idea that sits well in my head. But hey what is life without a little spice right? So I mustered up some courage, exercised my taste buds and decided to give this unique concept a shot.
The second I arrived at the venue (blueFROG, Mumbai), I knew this was going to be a special night. The normally plain and slightly cold entrance of Blue Frog was transformed into a temple of warmth thanks to some beautiful Indus Pride branded hanging lights, a bright red carpeting to greet us and a series of some very interesting pictures, including a few from Indus Prides print campaign, lined up against the wall. After a few minutes of successfully taking in the warmth of this grand entrance, I hurried to the reception desk where a group of very beautiful and highly efficient women handed me my press band and escorted me into the venue.
By the time I got in, the show had already begun. MC for the evening – Comedian Ashish Shakya, had the crowd in splits with his razor sharp humor and spontaneous audience victimization, while taking everyone through the various Indus Pride beers and the food that had been paired with each of them. I found myself a spot on a table that (luckily) provided a great view of stage allowing me to absorb everything this new-to-me experience had to offer.
A couple (ok quite a few) beers and some amazing snacks later, the highlight of the evening – The Karsh Kale Collective, took to the stage. For those of you who don’t know who Karsh Kale is (shame on you), he is an Indian American musician, producer and composer, who is most famous for his forward thinking/sounding electro-fusion music. And the Karsh Kale Collective is a group of some of the best and most innovative musicians in the country who have been carefully handpicked by Karsh Kale himself. The nights collective consisted of Warren Mendonsa, Shilpa Rao, Benny Dayal, Monali Thakur, Jai Row Kavi, Jayant Luthra and a few more.
Benny Dayal was the first vocalist on stage. The second his first musical note was picked up by the mic and thrown out by the giant speakers the crowd, who had now packed blueFROG to its edges, started screaming and jumping around like an ocean of fusion loving waves. The venue was filled with a sort of energy the likes of which I had never seen before. One by one different vocalists took to the stage, belting out song after song of blissful quality. The biggest WOW-moment however came when Karsh, who in between switching from tabla to keyboard to laptop, threw in an amazing (and HOOD approval worthy) rap that really got the crowd into a mental frenzy (which could also have happened courtesy all the amazing FREE Indus Pride beer that was being passed around).
A couple of hours later, the KKC extravaganza died down to a halt, and the masses looking for a seat to rest their aching feet (unable to find one) eventually made their way out of blueFROG, looking truly delighted and satisfied with the StrangeBrew experience. I was personally very impressed with the beer for having successfully destroyed my presumptions about spiced alcohol, and with the Karsh Kale Collective for having gotten me dancing my feet off to music that was not purely EDM.
StrangeBrew was a truly different experience, one I’d gladly make a habit of.