From home platter to pubs, journey of Finger Millet continues in Bengaluru

It is common knowledge that raagi balls are a staple food in Karnataka. But now, raagi known as Finger Millet, is also making its presence felt in the pubs of India’s Silicon Valley in liquid form.

The microbreweries in Bengaluru have successfully experimented with this popular millet to create ragi beer which is popular among the pub-goers.

Bengaluru is a trendsetter as far as pub culture is concerned in India. Now, raagi beer is going to be another trend-setting experience, according to beer lovers of the city.

Jaffin John from Toit brewers explains that they prepare 1,000 to 2,000 litres of raagi beer per season against 20,000 to 30,000 litres of normal beer per month.

“This is good business for a new drink. Considering the good response, we want to make it a permanent feature from seasonal availability,” he says.

The urge to experiment with local ingredients paved the way for raagi beer. Giving it a local touch a few microbreweries offered raagi beer during November when the unification of Karnataka state is celebrated during the entire month.

Nikhil Chauhan, Head Brewer at Red Rhino, says that he is all set to launch raagi beer during Kannada Rajyotsava in November. “The beer is loved by people from across the country including the North Indian crowd,” he says.

Unlike the normal beer that is brewed from barley, raagi beer is a bit more difficult to process. Raagi produces only 50 to 60 percent of the beer output as the grains are small and filtration takes time. However, it comes with additional nutritional value.

“Whenever it is on top it gets a good response. We procure special organic raagi to process the beer,” Rohit Parwani of Biere Club explains.

The whole of India learnt about raagi balls as a staple food when then prime minister HD Deve Gowda made repeated mention about it. Now, the Bengaluru microbrewery industry has put raagi beer on the priority list of pub-goers.