In Conversation With Navin Mittal From Gateway Brewing Co. | Stay Tipsy

By Disha Hanspal November 9, 2018
Navin Mittal, One Of The Founders Of Gateway Brewing Co.

Mumbai’s microbreweries have upped the craft beer scene in the city, and Gateway Brewing Co. is one such brand. Founded by Navin Mittal, Rahul Mehra and Krishna Naik, all of whom are beer geeks and enthusiasts, their passion for making the perfect brews and love for craft beer, helped them create this distinct beer brand. 

Gateway Brewing Co., now has their own taproom in BKC as well where you can get lip smacking brews on tap, along with great food pairings for a complete experience. 

We spoke to Navin Mittal, to know more about the brand and their journey. Read on to know what he had to say!

What inspired you to start brewing your own brand of craft beer?

Beer has been my drink of choice from as long as I can remember. In 2000 -2003, I was in the US and my friend made me try a couple of craft beers. I fell in love. When I came back to India in 2003, I looked for the craft beers that I had had in the US. However, they weren’t available here. I ended up traveling just for beer, and my eagerness to taste new beers, learn about the history and eventually, how it is made, knew no bounds. 

Given the dearth of choice in the market, I eventually started brewing small batches.

I then, met my partners through my blog, Indianbeergeek, where I used to write about my adventures in home brewing. Both of them got in touch with me through the blog to talk about our common interest – craft beer. In 2011, we put our heads together and founded Gateway Brewing Co.

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Find this beauty @tappedbeerfest Pune as well tomorrow along with experimental Hoppy Cider & Cayenne Guava Mead. #Repost @gatewaytaproom ・・・ The journey to discovering craft beer starts with a single sip and you will be amazed by the flavours and aromas of our beers and the story they tell! All our beers begin as small batch homebrews which then, through tweaks, lead to the perfect beer we want to serve. In the case of our flagship, White Zen, a temperature tip by our equipment supplier perfected the flavours that are quintessentially a part of this German-style wheat beer. Over time, this German-style wheat beer has become truly Indian as we use only locally produced wheat and barley malts that give it a whiter appearance. Sip on the journey of this beer and discover notes of clove & bananas. . . . . . . . . . . #GatewayTaproom #GatewayBrewery #GatewayBKC #Brewery #Mumbai #Things2doinmumbai #CraftBeer #Beer #BeerGeek #BeerNerd #BeerSnob #BeerTime #BeerGasm #CraftBeerLove #CraftBrewery #CraftBrewing #MumbaiDiaries #MumbaiLife #BeerOfTheDay #Drinks #DrinkCraft #BeerBros #BeerStories #WHITEZEN #GBCWHITEZEN

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Which one of you develops the recipes for the beers? And what is the inspiration that goes behind the same? 

I still make small batches of beer which are then produced at the brewery. Krishna, my partner, who handles production meticulously makes these recipes in large 500 liter batches. He also likes to experiment and between us, we manage to make quite a few crazy brews. We are inspired by local ingredients, flavours and follow the craft beer industry across the world.

How is Gateway Brewing Co. different from the other brands of craft beer?

Within craft breweries, the differences comes from the ingredients, processes and the personality of the brewer. Each brewer is different and that makes craft beers unique. It is like eating a burger in different restaurants. No two restaurants will have the same burger!

At Gateway, we use only local barley and wheat malts and make our own special malts that add colour and flavour to our beers. Each recipe is tried in small batches of 5-10 liters and only when we are convinced that the beer is good, we make a full batch. I don’t think any other brewery does that. We also love to use local ingredients, spices and fruit in our beer and all this, combined with our passion for brewing makes us unlike any other craft beer brand.

The Beer Geeks Behind Gateway Brewing Co.

The Beer Geeks Behind Gateway Brewing Co.

Which is your personal favourite beer? And how did you come ups with this recipe? 

Like every craft beer lover, I love India Pale Ales which are quite bitter and highly aromatic. But over time, I have also learned to love other styles. The German style hefeweizen is a personal favourite and both Darling-jee and Kappi stout are lovely as well.

Gateway Taproom is a brewpub and restaurant in Mumbai. Is it a big leap from being just brewers to now owning your own taproom as well? 

It has been very exciting for us to launch our own Taproom and there was a huge learning curve as this was the first time we got into the F&B business. One year on and we are now more confident. The Taproom has given us a showcase for our beers and instead of only 3 or 4 beers being brewed for clients, we now can make many more. At any given time, there will be 8 – 10 beers on tap at the Gateway Taproom. 

Gateway Brewing Co. is a brand created out of your passion for brewing world class beer. Now that the brand is growing, How do you strive to keep the passion and the creativity still going?  

While we continue to grow, we are still a small company at heart and I would like our culture to remain just as it is today – creative and dedicated with great attention to detail. We look for passionate individuals and then work with our team to enhance their skills so that they are able to deliver and at the same time, take pride in their work. 

By making new beers that push the envelope and by understanding that we have a long way to go, we keep a fire burning within us!

What are the future plans for Gateway Brewing Co.? 

We hope to release our beers in small batches in bottles/cans by 2020 and open a few more taprooms in Mumbai and Pune. I believe the craft beer revolution is here to stay and has a long way to go so we aren’t in a hurry. Profitability matters to us and we are happy to take baby steps to realize our dream of being one of the most preferred craft beer brands in the country.

Craft beer and delicious food. Sounds like a great evening, no? 

Let us know about your experience at Gateway taproom, in the comments section below!