Exclusive: Cerana Opens Its First Taproom In Nashik

With a restaurant, mead bar and a gorgeous stay on offer alongside unfettered views of the Sahyadris, Cerana’s taproom is an instant hit

Published On Apr 01, 2024 | Updated On Apr 01, 2024

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Mead is the oldest alcohol known to man. Fermented with honey, meads have been mentioned as far back as the Rig Veda with some even claiming that the word mead comes from the Hindi word for honey  - ‘madhu’. 
And while it might be the oldest spirit known to mankind (Rig Veda dates back to 1700-110 BCE), the low ABV spirit today isn’t as popular as its celebrated cousin, aka beer, but interest in mead seems to be on the upswing. 

In an effort to further popularise meads and offer an experience apart from a distillery tour, Cerana Meads has opened a taproom in the heart of Nashik for those looking for a getaway from Mumbai or Pune. 

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The Cerana Taproom is, in fact, a destination in itself. Guests who drive all through can stay overnight at the quirky-named Cerenity Castle that also houses the taproom. Themed as a medieval castle with an eye-catching design, the rooms overlook a lake on one side and the mountains on the other side. When we visited, the rooms had just finished work and bookings for the same are slated to be announced in the next few days to take advantage of upcoming summer travel plans. 

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The Taproom itself features the complete portfolio of Cerana meads available on tap and is complemented with palate pleasing bar nibbles, pizzas and pastas. The mead flavours include Pomegranate Vanilla Mead, Chenin Blanc Mead, Blue Pea Lavender Mead, Jamun Mead, Pinot Noir Pyment and Yule Spice Mead

Additionally, the founders also mentioned they will launch new and experimental flavours exclusively at the taproom. The need for a Taproom came about as a result of Cerana’s distillery tours that were popular for introducing participants into the world of fermented honey and the mead-making process. However, over a period of time, the founders decided to shift the experience to a more suitable space than an industrial area with minimal facilities. 

The Taproom, therefore, will also feature regular sessions around the spirit with plans to take guests through the entire mead making process from the modern environs of the Taproom itself. The distillery tours will also continue in the interim. 

Founders Dr Yoginee Budhkar and Dr Ashwini Deore say that having a dedicated space for their meads will give them the flexibility to tell their brand’s story exactly the way they want to. Dr Deore described the Taproom as a departure from others on the Indian alco-bev scene as the location’s natural beauty draws guests for understanding and appreciating meads. 

Indeed, on the day of its launch, the Taproom was all decked up to welcome its first guests but I found myself looking out into the distance as the last of the evening’s rays danced on the horizon. While the allure of stepping inside an air-conditioned space was strong with the current weather, I found myself in the outdoor al fresco seating area enjoying the natural beauty of the space with a Jamun Mead for company. 

As evening turned to night and more guests started coming in, the lake next to the taproom drew me in with its still waters perfectly contrasting people catching up with different meads and mead cocktails. 

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Oh yes, the Taproom has mead cocktails on offer too – a unique proposition especially for those who have had drinks made with other spirits. From a simple Mead Sangria to drinks such as Loki’s Mischief, Roma Rosa, Mystical Melody and Nordic Nectar, you can try them all at the taproom. I quite liked some of these. 

Loki’s Mischief, in particular, stands out as a twist on a classic Mimosa with Chenin Blanc Mead mixed with orange juice and basil. This refreshing drink is sure to be a summer hit. The other cocktail worth trying is Nordic Nectar with Jamun Mead, orange liqueur, Angostura bitters and lime. This slightly spirit-forward drink is surprisingly refreshing and makes for a great evening drink. 

Roma Rosa is a little off balanced with its mix of Pomegranate Vanilla Mead, rose syrup and lime while Mystical Melody is a bit too simplistic with its dual ingredients of Blue Pea Lavender Mead and gin. All in all, the cocktails along with the entire Taproom experience feels inviting for both, the novice mead drinker as well as someone who’s familiar with the beverage with its wide range of offerings. 

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If you’re looking for your next weekend getaway in Nashik and don’t want to hit the same wine places in the area or if you’re simply curious about mead, you should definitely add Cerena Taproom to your list. 
The food isn’t something that will blow your mind but as an outdoorsy space with the focus being on meads, this shouldn’t really be a deal breaker. And with a dedicated restaurant slated to open at Cerenity Castle soon, we expect the dishes to get better in the following weeks. 

But when it comes to meads, there’s nothing to fault at the Taproom. From tastings to different varieties and flavours and even mead cocktails, think of bringing along your friends and family to simply sit back amidst nature’s lap while sipping on the world’s oldest spirit. Who knows, it might even be the beginning of your own mead-filled adventures in the days ahead. 

Address: Cerenity Castle, Opposite Coin Museum off NH848, Khambale, Maharashtra 

Timing: 4pm-10.30pm (open on weekends only) 

Cost for two: INR 1600-1800; Meads priced at INR 300 per pint and mead cocktails at INR 400 + special offers on buckets/ pitchers


Photo: Featured Outlet

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