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The craft beer Caldera is now pouring in outlets across the state

The Telegraph chatted with Gaurav Karnani on gifting Kolkata its first production microbrewery

Pramita Ghosh | Published 17.05.22, 01:59 AM
Gaurav Karnani

Gaurav Karnani

Ifthe famous proverb “patience is virtue” had a face in the F&B industry in Kolkata, it would probably be of Gaurav Karnani, founder and director of The Grid, the popular brew-pub in Topsia.

What started as a dream in 2017 for Gaurav, has finally taken shape in exactly the way he had envisioned it. He dreamt of brewing the best craft beer (Caldera), introducing the city to the “craft beer culture” and having installations of Caldera at various F&B outlets! Cut to 2022, Caldera has stepped out of The Grid and is now pouring at over 20 outlets in Bengal, crisp with the perfect froth on top!


Celebrating a one-of-a-kind move in the city, The Telegraph chatted with Gaurav about kegging, the response to it and the future of Caldera.

The Grid has brewed 1,000 batches of Caldera till now! That’s a huge feat. Tell us how it feels.

It’s an absolutely overwhelming feeling. We are extremely proud that Kolkata has supported their local craft brewery to achieve such a feat.

Caldera was created with a mission to educate and supply the best quality craft beer to Kolkata. These 1,000 batches were brewed for one single outlet, The Grid. We wish to achieve the same feat with Kolkata’s first production microbrewery, which is currently supplying kegs to our partner outlets.

You have taken Caldera out of The Grid... tell us what’s actually happening with Caldera...

We wanted to bring in the craft beer culture to Kolkata and take it forward with the help of Caldera. We started brewing it at The Grid and now we are stepping out with other outlets to spread this wonderful culture.

Caldera is currently being delivered in pressurised kegs, which are dispensed through our custom-designed kegerators (drafting equipment). We have introduced cold chain logistics for craft beer in the city. The craft beers are transported at nearly 0°C to ensure our craft beer remains fresh. We have researched and designed our signature glassware from Germany to serve Caldera at our partner outlets.

How many outlets will Caldera be available at?

Currently we have done installation and delivered our kegs to 30 outlets in 30 days with nearly 30 more in the pipeline. We wish to touch 100 soon and supply to every corner of Kolkata. In time, Caldera will be available throughout West Bengal.

Till now what has been the response?

The response has been phenomenal! The current and only challenge we are facing at our partner outlets is that Caldera is getting sold out by the evening. With several outlets reaching out to partner with us and more in the pipeline, we are delighted with the amount of positive response we are receiving from Kolkata.

Caldera was Kolkata’s first and finest craft beer, so we decided to share this elixir with our partner outlets. The city has welcomed its mild, low bitter and fruity flavour profiles. Craft brewing and craft beer serving is an art, and we are training the bartenders and partner outlets to adapt to the same.

Caldera has reached outlets in Siliguri. Several outlets from Durgapur, Asansol and Haldia have approached us and are looking forward to partnering with us and spreading the joy of Caldera.

What is the scene with the state excise department?

West Bengal excise department has been very supportive and proactive throughout. It is very encouraging to see such support from the local authorities, especially after several lockdowns, to promote local and upcoming brands like ourselves. They are taking progressive decisions to promote local production, which will eventually boost employment, revenue generation for the state. We are very thankful to the excise department for the same. They are even providing us innovative suggestions and sharing their ideas with us to make more unique local crafts.

Caldera in The Grid is now available at various outlets, so won’t it affect the sale at The Grid?

The Grid is an experience and Caldera is a part of it. However, the sales have not changed, it’s quite the contrary. Every time someone has a chilled pint of Caldera at any of our partner outlets, they remember or connect to The Grid and it brings a smile to their face. We wanted the city to explore what craft beer is and what makes Caldera an excellent craft beer. We’re making more craft beer enthusiasts through Caldera. We even have several variants, which are currently only available at The Grid.

What are your other plans with Caldera?

Currently, we are at stage 2.0. Stage 1.0 was Caldera being available only at The Grid. After completing the first year with Caldera, we envisioned reaching out to more outlets through it. Five years from that, we were able to take it out of The Grid to outlets across the city. In the coming years we wish to make Caldera a national brand with its roots in the city. It all rolls back to how the city responds, as it is taking its first steps. We wish to explore more possibilities as and when the city demands for more.

Since we are discussing Caldera, tell us the story behind the name...

We put together ‘Cal’, which comes from Calcutta’s old and evergreen name, and ‘dera’ a synonym of Kolkata’s age-old adda culture which is prevalent throughout the city, to come up with the name Caldera. Inspired by the city’s relaxed, chill-paced lifestyle, Caldera is an ode to its people — the happiest people of the lot! The name Caldera is our way to pay a tribute to the ‘Cal way of life’.

We take great pride in mentioning Kolkata’s finest craft in our logo’s tag line as the brand is well-knit to the city’s culture to appreciate crafts of all sorts.

As big an emotion the city is, the people are the ones who add the ‘joy’ to the ‘City of Joy’. Often synonymous with the City of Love, the nooks and corners of the city whisper stories of mischief and timeless love. Standing on the crossroads of love and joy, the city deserved its own celebratory drink — their own craft.

That’s how the idea of brewing our own craft came up. We decided to brew the happiest/hoppiest craft for these people. For people who are in love with the ‘happy state of mind’, Caldera, Kolkata’s finest craft, is the drink for them!

Picture: The Grid

Outlets speak:

“Caldera tastes light and fluffy with a fruity bite. It has been one of my absolute favourite craft beers in Kolkata. The crowd here enjoys it, they are happy to sip fresh craft beer during brunches, by the pool, etc.It is an absolute winner for the Kolkata heat. There is nothing as good as a cold pint of Caldera on a warm afternoon. I sample them often to check the freshness of it and it has never disappointed me,” said Sumeet Suri, general manager, JW Marriott Kolkata.

“We wanted to create an authentic beer experience for our customers. Caldera has been an incredibly loved and famous drink in the city. Being the city’s greatest and finest craft beers, we decided to introduce Caldera to our outlet and we’re overwhelmed with the response that we have been getting,” said Vanita Bajoria, local franchise owner of Lord of The Drinks.

“The Grid has been a special place for us, and especially Caldera, which is one of the best in the country. It’s amazing that they have been able to create that system where they can send the craft beer to other outlets. We have seen phenomenal sales in Ozora and M Bar Kitchen is also coming up with Caldera, and we are really looking forward to it,” said Varun Mimani, co-founder and director, Ozora.

“We opted to add Caldera to our outlet because it’s one of Kolkata’s specialty and finest craft beer available in the city. There is a huge demand for craft beer and when it comes to Caldera, we had to say yes! Now guests are loving it. We are enthralled with the responses and love for this beer,” said Sohon Saha, owner, The Spirits

“The response at The Calcutta Swimming Club has been super. It has been very well received by guests across a varied age group. We started with two taps and now we have four because we keep running out of it! The USP of Caldera is it doesn’t make you feel bloated. It’s light on the stomach and very smooth,” said Naresh Goyal, club president CSC.

Currently, we are at stage 2.0. Stage 1.0 was Caldera being available only at The Grid. After completing the first year with Caldera, we envisioned reaching out to more outlets through it. Five years from that, we were able to take it out of The Grid to outlets across the city. In the coming years we wish to make Caldera a national brand with its roots in the city

Caldera now available at:

The Calcutta Swimming Club

The Calcutta Racket Club

Royal Calcutta Golf Club

Calcutta Punjab Club

JW Marriott Kolkata

Hyatt Regency Kolkata

The Park Kolkata

The Westin Kolkata Rajarhat

Fairfield by Marriott Kolkata



Whats up Café

Chili’s, Quest, South City Mall, Acropolis

Lord of The Drinks

The Spirits

Club Fenicia

Irish House

Half Full, Siliguri

Pour House

China White


Level Seven

Last updated on 17.05.22, 01:59 AM

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