Brews and Brewsing Monsoons: A Guide to Enjoying Beer in Mumbai’s Rainy Season


Mumbai’s monsoon season is a sight to behold. The city, usually bustling with frenetic energy, slows down to a rhythmic patter of raindrops. The air cools, a welcome respite from the scorching summer heat, and a certain romantic charm permeates the streets. But for beer lovers, the question arises: can you truly enjoy a cold one amidst the downpours? Absolutely! In fact, Mumbai’s monsoons offer a unique opportunity to elevate your beer-drinking experience. Here’s how to make the most of it:

Finding the Perfect Pint for the Season:

Monsoon weather calls for specific brews. While a light lager might be refreshing on a sweltering day, a monsoon demands something a bit more robust. Consider these options:

  • Wheat Beers: These light-bodied, often cloudy beers with a hint of citrus or spice are perfect for a rainy day. Their refreshing nature cuts through the humidity, while the subtle flavors pair well with monsoon staples like pakoras (fritters) and bhajis (battered vegetables). Try Hoegaarden or Weihenstephaner Hefeweissbier.
  • Belgian Ales: These complex beers offer a range of flavors, from fruity to spicy to roasty. A well-balanced Belgian ale can complement the petrichor (the earthy scent of rain) and add a touch of warmth to a cool evening. Consider a Duvel, Chimay Red, or a Trappist beer like Westvleteren (if you’re lucky enough to find it).
  • Stouts and Porters: For those who prefer a bolder experience, stouts and porters offer a rich, roasted flavor profile. These dark beers pair well with stronger monsoon fare like kebabs or keema (minced meat) dishes. Try a Guinness, a Brooklyn Black Chocolate Stout, or an Indian craft option like Independence Black Lager.

The Ambiance Matters:

The right setting can significantly enhance your beer enjoyment during the monsoon. Here are some unique Mumbai experiences to consider:

  • The Classic Balcony View: Mumbai boasts numerous apartments with balconies overlooking the city. Stock up on your favorite beers and monsoon snacks, and enjoy the view as the rain transforms the cityscape.
  • Cozy Pubs: Mumbai has a thriving pub culture. Seek out a cozy pub with warm lighting, wooden interiors, and a good selection of beers on tap. The sound of the rain outside will add a touch of ambiance to your conversation over pints.
  • Rooftop Bars with a View: While some may not be ideal for a complete drenching, many rooftop bars offer partially covered seating areas. These provide a stunning perspective of the city bathed in rain, with the wind carrying the cool, damp air.
  • The Local Taproom Experience: Mumbai’s craft beer scene is flourishing. Several taprooms offer a wide variety of local and international brews. Enjoy the lively atmosphere and support the local brewing community while savoring a fresh, monsoon-appropriate beer.

Food Pairings for a Monsoon Feast:

Food is an essential part of the beer-drinking experience, and the monsoon offers unique culinary delights. Here are some perfect pairings:

  • Spicy and Tangy: Spicy and tangy flavors cut through the richness of some beers and enhance the overall experience. Pair a Belgian witbier with samosas or a plate of pani puri (crispy fried spheres filled with spiced water).
  • Fried and Savory: Fried snacks like pakoras, bhajis, and onion rings are classic monsoon companions. The crispy textures complement the bitterness of some beers, while their savory flavors balance the maltiness of others.
  • Comfort Food: Monsoons are perfect for indulging in comfort food. A plate of steaming Keema Pav (minced meat served with bread) pairs beautifully with a stout, while a bowl of piping hot Biryani (fragrant rice dish) complements a spicy wheat beer.

Beyond the Beer: Monsoon Activities for Beer Lovers:

Mumbai offers a plethora of activities during the monsoon that can be enjoyed by beer enthusiasts:

  • Monsoon Movie Marathon: Curl up with a movie marathon and a steady flow of beers. Choose films that capture the essence of the rainy season, like “Dil Se..” or “Lagaan.”
  • Board Game Night: Gather your friends for a board game night accompanied by your favorite brews. The sound of the rain adds a tranquil backdrop to your competitive spirit.
  • Monsoon Photography Walks: Explore the city during a light drizzle, capturing the unique sights and sounds of Mumbai in the rain. Take breaks at cafes or pubs for refreshment and share your photos over a post-walk beer.
  • Learn to Brew Your Own: Take advantage of the season by learning to brew your own beer. Several homebrew stores and online resources can guide you through the process.
  • Enjoy the Satisfaction (continued): Enjoy the satisfaction of creating your own monsoon-perfect brew, tailored to your taste. Imagine brewing a spicy wheat beer with hints of ginger and lemongrass, perfect for a Mumbai monsoon evening.

Safety First: Monsoon Considerations:

While the monsoon offers a delightful backdrop for enjoying beer, it’s important to prioritize safety:

  • Power Outages: Monsoons can cause power outages. Be prepared with candles or a portable charger to keep your evening plans on track. Some pubs and restaurants have backup generators, so consider this when choosing your venue.
  • Slippery Surfaces: Be cautious when venturing out, as roads and sidewalks can become slippery. Wear appropriate footwear and avoid poorly lit areas.
  • Mosquitoes: Monsoons can lead to an increase in mosquitoes. Apply repellent and consider visiting establishments with air conditioning or enclosed seating areas.

Mumbai Monsoon Beer Festivals:

For a truly immersive experience, keep an eye out for Mumbai’s beer festivals. Some breweries and restaurants organize special events during the monsoon season, showcasing unique seasonal brews and food pairings. These festivals offer a chance to try new beers, meet fellow beer enthusiasts, and celebrate Mumbai’s vibrant brewing scene amidst the rains.


Mumbai’s monsoon season doesn’t have to mean putting your beer enjoyment on hold. With a little planning and creativity, you can elevate your beer experience and create lasting memories. From exploring the city’s vibrant pub scene to brewing your own monsoon special, there are countless ways to make the most of Mumbai’s unique rainy season, one delicious sip at a time. So, grab your favorite beer, find a cozy spot, and let the monsoon magic work its charm. Cheers to a happy and refreshing Mumbai monsoon!

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