It's a beer in case you're wondering. An Indian beer. But a bit like the Norwegian grey, this particular bird is dead, deceased, nailed to its perch.
I came across the Rosy Pelican label on the internet and it made me all nostalgic. It was Mark Tully's favourite beer, as I recall, and became mine too when I started living in Delhi in 1993.
In those distant days, a driver would be despatched to a rather sordid wine shop to get a case of whatever beer happened to be in stock - if any was in stock. It was pot luck.
Kalyani Black Label was the most common beverage - passable, but nothing special. A whole lot better though than Guru or - and yes, it really did exist - a brew called Grandma's Punch. If you were lucky, a case or two of Kingfisher would emerge from the car boot, Many thought that the ultimate. But my preference was for the richer, tastier Rosy Pelican - the name and the label were of course part of the attraction, but it was very pleasant to imbibe too.
My old mate Daniel Lak, I notice, gives Rosy Pelican a mention in his excellent book India Express - here's the link - but rather woundingly describes it as a 'slightly musty lager'. From the citizen of a country which brought us Molson and Labatt, all I can say is, perhaps some gentle recalibration is necessary.
I don't know why Rosy Pelican faded away -a pity ... but glad to be reminded of its (and my) heyday.
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