So what is the British curry lover, in search of the perfect dining experience, to do? You’ve ordered your chicken tikka marsala and need something similarly authentic to wash it down with. If, like me, that means an Indian lager then you are in for a degree of disappointment. While Tiger, Kingfisher and the like are packed with bubbles, they are hardly the most satisfying in the taste department, resembling as they do a sort of experiment with a SodaStream. Pair them with a spicy curry and the result is rather like drinking soda water. Pointless.
So I’m pleased to learn that the good people at Rawalpindi’s Murree Brewery are planning to start selling their Classic Lager in British curry houses. This stuff is strongly flavoured with German hops and is based on a recipe developed more than a century ago by thirsty British soldiers. It’s just the sort of robust lager that can hold its own against a curry.
And that’s why I reckon that Pakistani beer, brewed in a Muslim country by a teetotaller, is far, far better than anything India has to offer. As the company’s chief executive, Isphanyar Bhandara, says…
“I would like to get this very famous name – it is after all a British legacy – on to the streets of the UK. My aim would be to put it in the ethnic restaurants, and give the Indian beers a run for their money, which totally suck – and you can quote me on that.”