It ain’t beer, it’s more than Kutchi, and in fact, it isn’t against the law to give it to kids. Kutchi beer is milder than it sounds—a chilled drink of spiced buttermilk served in beer bottles. Gujarat has been famously non-alcoholic since 1960 in homage to MK Gandhi, but while visitors can get both beer and buttermilk in the dry state, the origins of Kutchi beer lie actually in Mumbai.
It all started at Bhagat Tarachand, a Mumbai-based chain of vegetarian restaurants that began as a food stall in Karachi in 1895. Bhagat Tarachand’s beating heart is in Zaveri Bazaar. The eatery opened in the 1970s and is popular with the traders and others who frequent the jewellery market, as well as a loyal clientele who seek out its hearty Punjabi and Sindhi fare. About 30 years ago, as an innovation to appeal particularly to its Kutchi patrons, the restaurant began serving chaas in beer bottles, naming it Kutchi beer. Today, it’s one of their top five specialities, alongside the thali, phulka, papad churi and dal fry. In Mumbai, you can order it by the bottle or the glass on Swiggy and Zomato.