Historically speaking, India’s alcohol roots are firmly planted in a glass of whiskey. Like cricket, this smoky stuff is an aspect of our colonial inheritance which we had become madly obsessed with. And sure, while Patiala pegs may still be a preferred choice for many on a Friday evening, Indians are beginning to explore a new love affair, this time with craft beer.
With its vibrant history, dazzling cultural traditions and mouth-watering food, India, to outsiders, is like an effervescent dream – bursting with a thousand colours, flavours and smells. To us Hindustanis, it is simply home – one that doesn’t compare to any other place in the world. That’s precisely why the possibilities are endless with Indian craft beer. And one such brand that’s tapping into these possibilities is Kadak.
Written as “कड़क” in Hindi, Kadak is not just a super cool word from our local lingo dictionary. Usually uttered in a fresh, loud tone that can be modified swaganusaar (depending on how much swag you can exude), it’s an attitude that’s very unique to Indians, particularly those who from Mumbai, one of the country’s largest metropolitan cities that’s acknowledged globally for its invincible spirit and zest for life. It is an expression that evokes a spirit of immense happiness and satisfaction. Think Unforgettable. Mind-blowing. Solid.
Take a close look at the logo. You’ll see the letter “क” (the alphabet K in English) in a bold, type faced font, formed by a colourful mosaic of bright contrasting colours. “We wanted a logo that represents the beautiful chaos that India is and its colourful diversity, “explains Ishan Grover, a Delhi-based brewmaster who is also one of the co-founders of the brand. “At the same time, the word Kadak is usually uttered with a lot of swag and is used popularly by desi youngsters across the country, which is where the attitude part comes from. And I think our logo has done a wonderful job of reflecting all of that.” In other words, once you come face to face with Kadak, it will never leave your mind.
Incidentally, Kadak also reflects the attitude that the founding team of the brand carries. Decade-old friends and brewers, Ishan and Amit Mishra, who studied together in Scotland joined hands with Mayank Shekhar, CEO of Lemp Brewpub in Gurgaon to actively start many brewing ventures across India. “It was therefore, natural for us to start our own brand,” says Ishan in a matter-of-fact way. “While we had many suggestions for names from both friends and agencies, the name “Kadak” stuck on with me. Yes, I take full credit for coming up with the name myself,” he adds, happily.
A product of quality ingredients, reverence for traditional methods and a spirit for innovation, Kadak beer currently comes in a variety of styles. “From Bavaria to Bengaluru, Germany to Gurgaon, Munich to Mumbai – we have adapted signature old world styles of brewing to our modern-day, delightfully kitschy, Indian craft beer scene,” elaborates Ishan.
“We have the Kadak Hefewiezen, an iconic German style wheat beer that’s inspired by summer afternoons enjoyed under the trees, regardless of whether you’re sitting inside a Bavarian beer garden or sprawled out on a Peepal-shaded rooftop, taking a siesta. It’s a a unique blend of banana, clove, the mildest hints of bubble gum and notes of freshly-baked bread. The Kadak Kölsch, on the other hand, is a crisp, clean beer whose lively citrus fragrant hops and malt aromas will tickle your nose while leaving a smooth, fruity and biscuity flavour in your mouth.
But our flagship beer is the Kadak Session Pale Ale, a style that’s highly cherished in the craft beer scene, worldwide. Our version delivers aromas and fresh flavours of citrus, pine, tropical fruits and biscuity malt, and toasted grains.”
When asked about where he would like to see Kadak in the next 10 years, Ishan tells us: “We want to be available in every Indian state in addition to making a name for ourselves in the international markets. It is our dream to with the World Beer Cup with Kadak, and we can’t wait to wave the Indian flag on an international platform!”
As of today, Kadak is available in Mumbai through draught. As far as the immediate future is concerned, Kadak also has plans of covering Pune and Nashik in the coming months. The brand will soon be launched in Karnataka, Maharashtra and Goa in 330ml bottles.