Friday evening we joined some friends for dinner at a local Indian restaurant. Guru Indian Cuisine in located in the Central Park shopping area and features, I think, the best Indian food in the area. Usually I don't bother with the macro-lager style beers served by so many ethnic restaurants. This evening however, my friend Tom and I decided we'd try out some "Indian beers." We ordered Taj Mahal Premium Lager and Flying Horse Royal Lager, both offered in 22 oz bottles. The beers are from United Breweries - UB Group in Bangalore, India. Guru also offers Kingfisher Lager from the same brewery.
Taj Mahal Premium Lager, a pale American-style lager, pours a golden yellow with very little head. There was a bit of grassiness, and some skunkiness, in the aroma. The flavor was slightly sweet, grainy, and bland. The beer checks in at 4.5% ABV. Nothing outstanding about this beer, but also just what I had expected.
The second beer, Flying Horse Royal Lager, fared better. It too is a pale lager style beer. Pouring a straw yellow color, this one did have a fairly decent head that held up for awhile. The aroma was lightly sweet and I could also detect a hint of hops. The flavor was grainy with some bitter hops in the end. The hop bitterness wasn't enough to stand up to the spicy food, but the beer was definitely drinkable. The ABV rating is 4.7%.
We enjoyed a variety of Indian dishes, and selected "heat" levels ranging from mild to hot. I would have preferred a bit more kick in the beers. Most of the Asian, and Mexican, restaurants in the area serve country-specific beers, which are typically pale lagers. As good as hoppy beers are with spicy foods I'm perplexed that the eateries stick with these more bland offerings. Neither of the beers we had were ones I would seek out to buy and bring home. However, if there were no other choices on the menu, I'd order the Flying Horse Lager again. Even without an outstanding beer to go with the meal, we had a very enjoyable evening with good food and good friends.