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A beer-y good idea – mumbai guide

The beauty of beer is that one doesn’t need a perfect setting or mood to drink it, unlike other kinds of alcohol. It’s always a good time to have a beer,” Navi Mumbai resident and beer enthusiast Chatty Girija rightfully points out, while sipping on a mug of her favourite beverage, making this writer rue about the fact that she hadn’t stocked up on a few pints. It’s this love for the brew that the former advertising professional has turned into a podcast, aptly titled Cheers Chatty. With over 41 episodes since its launch in December 2019, the podcast has seen a steady growth in listeners as Chatty shares industry insights, tips and recently, even lockdown-specific experiences.

True to its name, the podcast has a chill vibe to it. Every episode starts with that familiar sound of beer being poured into a mug and the clinking of glasses — the perfect prelude to the hearty conversations that follow. Apart from urging national and international brewers, beer ambassadors, owners of watering holes and cicerones to share what goes into crafting the brew, and dissecting the qualities of a good batch, Chatty also tries to dig out the beverage’s history. There’s some schooling too; in a few episodes, she explains the basics of brewing at home, the different ways to taste beer, and how to trouble-shoot off flavours. About the educational-yet-informal approach to the beverage, Chatty shares, “There are people who like to discriminate between kinds of beer — homebrews, commercial beer, craft beer, etc. But I don’t look at it like that. The idea is to make beer an approachable subject for the common drinker. If you like beer, why not learn about it?”

However, Chatty wasn’t always fond of beer. She recollects that like almost everyone else, her first thought after tasting beer back in her college days was, “so bitter”. But in between drinking after work and eventually giving up hard liquor, the 50-year-old grew to love it. She adds that like her, every tippler has a beer memory: “I want to create a storehouse of these experiences, as I believe beer has a positive influence on people’s lives.” In fact, when alcohol shops were shut and there were talks of beer getting wasted, Chatty ran a few episodes asking women what are the different ways in which beer can be put to use in daily life, whether in the kitchen or as a cleaning agent. “This way the community of beer lovers grows. We want to be the medium through which people learn about it,” she says, urging all “babbus” to keep chugging.

Log on to @cheerschatty on Instagram

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