BENGALURU: Would you like a pint of foxtail beer to go with til laddoo? Students and faculty of MS Ramaiah University of Applied Sciences have found a way to malt millets for beer, which means we could have a tipple that is made from indigenous ingredients instead of relying on expensive and imported malted barley.
Their research will support city pubs in their millet-beer drive, which will be kickstarted during Organic and Millet Festival from January 19 to 21. Five watering holes -- Toit Brewpub in Indiranagar, Bierre Street in Whitefield, Bierre Club in Lavelle Road, Brewsky in JP Nagar and Brewklyn in Kamanahalli -- will be serving millet beer during this festival. After the run of this festival, the students’ research will help the pubs in making these beers a more regular feature on their menu.
Priya Arjun, faculty at hospitality management and catering technology, says, “Microbreweries were finding it difficult to source malted millets, our work could make it much easier for them. We were researching on brewing and thought of using an ingredient that is available locally. Raagi was being used by microbreweries in a small scale, and we wanted to experiment with other small millets such as kodo, brown top and foxtail.” Brewing beer from these millets mean that they would be gluten-free, and therefore could be considered healthier than the regular options.
Millet beer is commonly served during various rituals at west, central and east Africa.
The team of students then worked on enhancing the taste of these beers using locally available fruits and herbs, about two months ago. They had worked with pink guavas, amla, ginger and beetroots before hitting on the magic formula.
Priya is confident that this brew will take off. “Millenials are always looking for something new to experience,” she says. The team had met with the Agriculture Minister Krishna Byre Gowda, who in turn connected them to pub owners for this millet-beer drive.
“Universities have always helped businesses by sharing their research, since business houses don’t have the time or resources to do that often,” says Priya, about their collaboration.