Thursday, April 21, 2011

The IPA Quest Continues

I like beer. I'm not afraid to admit it. More specifically, I like India Pale Ale (IPA). I like it so much that I actually googled "India Pale Ale brewed in India" before moving here to see how dire my situation might look for this two year assignment. Not surprisingly, the results weren't good. In fact, I'm going on 15+ months without a successful order. Once, yes ONE time, I found one on a menu. Wine and beer are mere suggestions of things a bar or restaurant may have sold in the past or has every intention of selling in the future. It in no way means it's in stock in the present. Fifteen months, zero IPA*.
You can dress up a Kingfisher, but it's still a Kingfisher
Any time I see a new beer-themed bar or restaurant open, I hope the brewmasters of India have moved beyond the world of lagers and into the infinitely more tasty world of ales, which you would hope might increase my odds of actually being served an IPA in India. No luck as of yet; I still live in the land of lagers. A few days ago I noticed a repeated set of signs on the road near my apartment advertising Gurgaon's latest brewery, Stryker.

I've yet to visit Striker but tried to get a little additional information online about what they might offer Unfortunately, my only bigger pet peeve in India than the unavailability of IPA is the fact that googling a bar or restaurant in India rarely leads to a home page in the first page of results. Often, the home page doesn't make any page of results.

What is it about the Google search string that seems to disable finding a restaurants home page in India? Do these restaurants not have home pages? Do people find more value in whatever review is posted on sites like Zomato or Ask Laila Delhi than the home page? Why do I care?

Striker yielded exactly zero results indicating there was a restuarant or brewery in Gurgaon with that name.It's like the place doesn't exist. It's entirely possible it's just too new. Maybe it's not even open, but you'd think the repeated row of signs would have indicated it was opening soon if that were the case. Of course, maybe they don't even need a web page when their effective "repeated sign on the road" advertising strategy seems to be working such wonders on the IPA deficient. Who am I kidding, it's not like they're going to have IPA anyway.

On the other hand, if my two biggest pet peeves in India are the lack of IPA and restaurant web searches that don't yield home pages, I should probably consider myself lucky.

*Note, in the spirit of full disclosure, my friend Paul smuggled a couple bottles into the country protected with a sock in his luggage. This post in no way devalues his gift to me nor would I oppose if he or someone else were to repeat that feat; I simply want to successfully order an IPA in India.

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