Its almost like microbreweries are mushrooming all across the city and suddenly Hyderabad is now loaded with options for brew and beer lovers I say. Zero 40 Brewing from Bombay Duck Dining Management which owned the Bombay Duck previously in the same building, is an impressive debutant that's serving some awesome craft brews in-house and definitely catching up with its competitors. The place is fully loaded during weekends and that itself is a good sign of getting the pulse of Hyderabad pep crowd in the area. 040 denoting the STD Code for Hyderabad, Zero 40 tries to bring in the local Hyderabad flavors to their brews. On striking some conversation with her and her insight into the pairing session, Julie Baggett , their Brew Master, its evident of her  knowledge about the brewing culture and loads of interesting tit-bits.

 

         I was invited on their new Beer - Food Pairing session from by their marketing team and along with a goodie group of foodies/bloggers, we had a gala time exploring this place and now its one of my favourite brew place .

     

          Coming to the ambiance, its huge - let me tell you that. 3 floor seating with a beautiful spacious terrace warrants a plethora of seating options for you depending on your mood - to be yourself, hang out with friends, go on for a date or even work (in the soon upcoming co-working place in 2nd floor - which I feel is an amazing idea to bring in that working culture and also indulge in a casual working space) and to add on, the rental rates are pretty economical. The décor is mix of industrial setup to indicate brew culture and plush greenery in terms of hanging plants at random places. I loved the overlook of the brew setup from 1st floor which gives you not only the visual feel but also the wheat and heavy brew aroma which is a great way to make you indulge in what you drink. The bright vibrant paintings also make it a strikingly vibrant décor and overall in terms of ambiance, they got me and scored a home run here. The only minor part was their AC which I felt could have been more effective considering the summer times now.

Note: This review experience is based on Management Invite and was on the house & review shared is honest and unbiased in the interest of fellow readers and foodies.

         They currently make and serve 6 flavors of which Symphony no.40 is their latest edition and is a Marzen beer type. The types of brews along with their details are clearly put up their beer tap bar setup - which is a good sign to let the customers know what they are drinking. This shows the thought process to make the customers feel of their brews. The names by themselves are very funny and innovative that evokes your interest to try them. 

 

     We started off with being served sampler of all 6 of their brews and as a beer lover, I always like to try my options via sampler set and then indulge in my favourite and this way of sampling them helped me a lot to understand the maturity of their brews and also the flavor quotients. I have listed them in terms of light to strong dark ones for your easiness

      Go Swami - now hold on this has nothing to do with  Subramania swami or any political satire on it :P This is a Helles type brew from Germany and the uniqueness is about infusing the local basmati rice flavor that gives its local appeal . Its not quite evident on the first sip but definitely on subsequent ones. Its quite a taste to develop a liking for but I personally liked it for its unique try out and definitely one of my top 2 picks.

    

     The Blue Camel - Again from Germany, this hefeweizer type brew is actually lesser in alcohol % than go swami but is a bit darkish in appeal. With a tint of cloves and Banana, I really didn't connect to it and it was very flat for me. People who love light and flat beers, can definitely try. Definitely NO for me.

     Old Timer - This seems to be top crowd favourites per the management and this one is from Belgium and belongs to Witbier. A tad darker and stronger than previous ones, this one has citrus and herbal hints in it and is something most of regular beer lovers can connect to. It had a nice smooth texture to it and can definitely go along well with lots of Indian finger foods.

     Symphony No. 40  - This newbie is again from Germany and brew type is Marzen. This is for you Coffee lovers out there. It has a strong tint of toffee and nuts. Its bit strong if you are a light lager lover, but being more on the rough side, I liked this one but not my top favourite in terms of its consistency appeal throughout tasting it.

     The EX - Now who would think an EX can entertain you. The logo of the beer is also evil-ish and makes you go "will it hurt me ?". Well on tasting & the visual dark color appeal, this stole my heart and its not often a man says "My EX is LOVELY <3" lol. This one is very unique as zero 40 is the only place in Hyderabad currently that serves Indian Red Ale from Ireland and has got a nice after taste of tropical fruits and floral flavors coming up with nice dark brew feel. Its a taste, many might not like if dark beers are not your forte but I loved this one and went on for as my #1 choice among the brews.

     Shavasan - Last but not least, this dark beer from England belongs to Robust Porter category . Its got a creamy texture in every sip and its evident in its clear flavor profile. The strongest according to me among the 6 brews, this was favourite of other beer lovers in the table but it fell a tad short for me against THE EX. But this is another option if you love dark brews. Must try.

   After getting to know the 6 brews, their flavor profiles, we started off with each brew and the dishes that were promoted to be paired with them and I should say we were just STUFFED :) Lets see how the food pairing paired with these brews.

          We started off with Go Swami  and again we were served samplers of each beer with the paired dishes served.

         Go Swami battered Fish n Fries was served with the typical fish n chips setup. The makkarel fish itself was nice and tasty but the batter was deep fried much as it retained much of the fat and oil texture around it. Though flavors definitely made me like it (considering I love sea food due to my love for dishes during my stay in US on coastal cities), the tad extra oiliness was a dampener. But the flavor didn't really match with the beer batter as I felt the beer itself was bland and didn't elevate the dish much.

         Fried Chicken &Waffles was next and serving style was nice. The fried chicken as such was nice and crispy and contrastingly went well with the maple syrup but the base waffle was too hard and chewy for me and didn't go well with the chicken by itself as a dish. The pairing again with the brew failed for me.

         Honey Balsamic Cottage Cheese Steak was last of the pairing and this dish served with sautéed veggies and mashed potatoes gave me a good visual appeal of all 3 in this brew pairing. The cottage cheese was as such cooked nice but I would have loved if that delivered the softness that you expect from it but the grill and the flavors were intact and nice and went well with the mashed potatoes and the sauce. Overall the dish faired well.

       Next came in The Blue Camel along with 3 more dishes and the variety was nice in this section. A salad , a kebab and a oriental dish.

 

        Beet-Orange Salad delivered both in terms of look and on tasting, on flavor profile. The super soft cook on the beets along with fresh and crunchy veggies was a nice palate cleanser and with the brew, it was a nice contrast in your taste buds. The only dampener was the off-season not so sweet and freshy orange slices in it. We felt they could have substituted with some seasonal fruits to elevate the dish as such.

 

       Poha Hara Bara Kebab was served with poha coated kebabs with mint chutney and nice and crispy texture immediately made me grab them. The cook was very good and went well again with the brew. No complaints on this one.

    Butter Garlic prawns was served in a wonton cup for visual appeal and on tasting, they felt just right for the brew. This pairing definitely worked for  me. The buttery texture coated over the almost half way cooked prawns and that tint of olive oil adding to the mix, this dish was most of our group's favourite. Nice dish and I would recommend this dish combined with the Blue Camel brew.

         Next came in the crowd favourite Old timer whose food pairing dishes definitely impressed among the lot. 

         Jack Daniels BBW Wings - a dish with JD sauce and if rightly made can make any drinks lover go GAGA <3. This dish pleasantly into that cadre. The sauce was a little bit on sweeter note for many of us but I like it that way and the after tint of BBQ flavor coming from the Jack Daniels used was WOW for me. I really enjoyed this dish.

        Cream Cheese, Water Chestnut & Mushroom Dim Sums was served in the traditional dim sum hot pot and though look wise it didn't quite impress me , the flavor was neat. The rich creaminess from the cheese and also the nice mince of water chestnut and mushrooms made this dish another impressive one.  I liked this pairing with the brew as well.

        Masala fries was nothing fancy but nicely spiced crispy fries that always is everyone's favorite finger food and thank god, they didn't make no mistake in that.

           Next came in their new introduction Symphony No. 40 which was a mixed bag for me in terms of dishes and its paring with the brew.

  

        Butter chicken Pizza  - This pizza was confusing . The chicken as such was nicely spiced and apt to be added as topping in pizza and the base sauce layer was made with makhni curry and not the traditional tomato sauce which added a unique flavor to it. But there was nothing butter chicken-ey about it. I would have loved to see the rich creamy oozy chicken gravy on top which would have been more apt to me. None the less the toppings was nice but the base was too hard for me. On tasting the other pizzas, I felt the same, they need to work on their pizza process for sure.

 

        Oktoberfest Currywurst  - This was the dullest dish for me in the entire session. Some of us in the group were pork lovers and we were so pumped out when the dish came and our expectations fell flat when tasted. The sausage was not premium and the range of the meat cut proved that. It was OKish affair and the curry masala and ketchup topping on it didn't elevate the experience much. They have to definitely work on the quality of the meat.

           Next followed my favorite brew of all,  The Ex and the Bhuna Gosht sliders with it was heavenly combination for any beer lover.

  

         Bhuna Gosht Sliders was everything you could ask for being a foodie, fusion - meat - quick snack - everything put together. The lamb was cooked perfectly with the generous spicy texture on it and the soft pav buns was so aptly done and the oil fried chillies were highlight that went with the sliders, so WOW. The beer as such with this was absolutely divinely. I felt the small mini onions they served was totally misfit. It was too sour and uncontrollably tangy.

        Fiery Pizza - The fieriness ended with just the name. A typical OKishly made veg pizza had no connection with it being called as fiery one. It didn't evoke my taste buds much and again as the standard observation, the pizza base was tough and chewy.

           Last brew of all and the dishes paired came in to complete our session -  Shavasan.

  

        Beef Spring Rolls was served like typical spring rolls and on first bite, left me confused again. The beef feel and flavor was completely missing. Though the roll layer had crispiness so pat for the spring rolls, I felt the again the meat selection or the way it was cooked missed the spotlight. They can improve on this as well.

        Nutella Pizza was the last dish served which was to end our lunch on a sweeter note. The pizza as such looked so visually appetizing. One bit proved again the pizza dough's issues for the evening. The Nutella layer along with the banana played well but with strawberries, it missed thematic due to the lack of freshness of the riped strawberries. It was non-seasonal fruit and they definitely could have thought of some other fruit to elevate the whole pizza experience. Nevertheless it did provide some sweet contrast to the otherwise strong dark brew of Shavasan.

Service & Hospitality:

      Ms. Anvidha Reddy (PR Marketing) and Mr. Chaitanya (Operations In-charge) and their crew definitely made the beer-food pairing session a nice evening to remember. The service staff knew about the brews which is very vital for such brewery. This was a nice note and their promptness to keep checking on us and clearing our tables after every round was commendable. As we were being served, I did notice other regular tables also were attended the same vigor and swiftness and its a nice thing to keep it buzzy and vibrant in terms of serving customers. I could see many happy faces sipping their brews and loud chit chats and that's a strong positive point for a buzzing place like this to prove their execution. I definitely will come back for more as I like the aura of this brew for sure.

Verdict:

           Zero 40 Brewing -This place has got everything you would want or expect from a brewery - a chill out place to relax and chit chat with your friends. Sip along your favorite brew and munch some nice good food. The only thing if I had to put was the finesse in the dishes to compliment their brews mainly because it was beer - food pairing session, I expect something that either blends together or contrast the brew based on the original recipe of the brew. A little bit tweaking on the feedback and tightening the food quality in terms of pizzas and other dishes could do the right fix at the right time and do wonders for this place. This place already runs packed houses on weekends and so they don't have to spec up anything to device their PR or marketing strategies. I wish this place and their team all the best for more successful business and keep their brews consistent and also at the same time keep experimenting on new flavor brews.

 

Note: This review experience is based on Management Invite and was on the house & review shared is honest and unbiased in the interest of fellow readers and foodies.

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