My Pilgrimage to the Old Monk Factory

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My Pilgrimage to the Old Monk Factory

Illustration: Akshita Monga

M

uch before “Make in India” was made into a circus, they were actually making stuff in India. A small factory in Kasauli was making the antidote to depression and loneliness. They were making the accompaniment to heartbreaks and misery. They were making a cure to get over “the one” and they were doing it with sugarcane. Old Monk was sugarcane’s shot at immortality.

See Old Monk is the Mithun of alcohol. After a certain age and improved tastes, you can’t really admit you love it, but secretly, you do. The sugarcane hits a spot that even the best malt cannot reach.  But loyalists have argued that it’s not just sugarcane molasses that give Old Monk its sweet taste. It’s the water. The breweries have sourced water from the same natural spring in Solan for 150 years, since the facilities were set up, they say. In an age when there was no WhatsApp, it was difficult to tell truth from lies. But could that possibly be true?

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