India's first museum dedicated to alcohol has opened its doors to 'spirited' enthusiasts in Goa. The owner of the novel institution, however, has defended the endeavour as one that promotes the legacy of alcohol brewing of the coastal state and not the consumption of liquor.
The museum houses bottles of feni dating back to 1950s, glassware used to serve the drink, old wooden dispensers and measuring equipment, displayed with the aim of promoting the art of brewing the cashew-made liquor in Goa.
The museum's owner and local entrepreneur, Nandan Kudchadkar, claims that 'All About Alcohol' is the first museum in the world dedicated to the history of brewing alcohol. He also asserts that the museum's aim is not in any way to promote liquor consumption.
What is the Museum of Alcohol?
Built over a 1,300 sq ft area on a busy lane connecting the tourism hub of Sinquerim and Candolim in North Goa's beach belt, about 10 km from Panaji, 'All About Alcohol' provides a glimpse into the past and present of the state's famous brew 'feni', made out of cashew apples.
On display in four rooms inside the museum are various old mud pots, measuring equipment from the 16th century which were used while serving feni, an antique wooden shot dispenser, a 'garv' (scale) used to measure the potency of feni and a rare crystal Australian beer glass sourced from Russia.
It also exhibits glassware collected from across the globe, chalices, snifters, inclined wine glasses, the world's tallest shot glass from Poland, and other items.
The museum also has a cellar, where bottles of cashew and coconut feni dating back to the 1950s are lined up.
'Not Promoting Drinking'
"We don't promote the habit of drinking, but we support responsible drinking,” Kudchadkar said.
The museum displays various antiques that were used to manufacture feni in earlier times.
Kudchadkar recalls how he developed a passion for collecting such antiques almost three decades back when he used to visit people along with his father.
"I used to be pained looking at the way people were discarding the antiques. I started collecting them. Initially, they used to make fun of me by calling me a scrap dealer, but I kept on collecting the antiques," he said.
Out of the four rooms in the museum, one is dedicated to other items related to Goa's culinary culture, including old stoves, spoons, mortar-and-pestles, grinders and graters.
Kudchadkar also has a collection of petromax lanterns, which were used to illuminate taverns during the Portuguese era.
The businessman says the museum is not a profit-making venture for him, but "a tribute to my motherland."
(With inputs from PTI)