The Rumor Mill

 All the latest news & Gossip about Craft Beer & Beer Across India


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Artwork Courtesy: Ravi Soni @homebewingindia

Gossip is defined as “casual or unconstrained conversation or reports about other people, typically involving details which are not confirmed as true”

When it comes to Craft Beer & Beer, there are several rumors floating around – some of which are true and some just have some masala added to otherwise mundane news.

As a Craft Beer enthusiast, I get a lot of information from various sources – brewpub owners, consultants, brewers and so forth. Sharing this with all of you is something I hope all of you enjoy reading.

If you have anything to add, please comment and make this interactive!

This post will be updated at least once in a quarter if not bi-monthly.

Updates (July 2018 )

CRAFT BEER

Microbrewery  News | Karnataka & Kerala

Karnataka

There are several new brewpubs have opened their doors in  2017/2018 across the city.

  • Xoox –  Open July 2018
  • The Rig – Open June 2018
  • Simon Says Brew Works – Open June 2018
  • Kaze – Open June 2018
  • Alchemy – Open June 2018
  • Byg Brewski Hennur – Open May 2018
  • Spice Terrace (JW Marriott) – Open April 2018
  • Brooks and Bonds – Open Jan 2018

 

vapour

 

  • The Beer Cafe opens another outlet in Bangalore, at Orion Mall. This will be their 3rd outlet in Bangalore. The other outlets are in Koramangala and Whitefield. The outlet on 100 ft road, Indiranagar has been closed.

 

Beer Cafe Orion Mall

Brewpubs Under Construction/Opening

  • The Arena (Pyramid Shaped)- Indiranagar
  • Unnamed Project next to MTR – Indiranagar
  • Playboy Beer Garden – Indiranagar
  • Float – Kalyan Nagar
  • Unnamed Project – Kalyan Nagar
  • Bier Library – Koramangala
  • Biergarten 2 – Koramangala
  • Gilly’s Redefined – Koramangala
  • Unnamed Project – ORR
  • Unnamed Project – Adj to Prestige Shantiniketan – Whitefield
  • Stories – BTM Layout
  • The Pump House – JP Nagar

COUNT: 12

If you know of more projects under construction, drop me a line! Cheers.

For a full list of Bangalore Brewpubs and their Beers, please check out this comprehensive post on the blog – click HERE

  • Mysore gets it’s first new Brewpub – The Barge – Open and Beers are now on tap.

The Barge

  • Cities such as Hubli and Belgaum have shown interest in opening up Brewpubs. Perhaps we will see these open later in 2018 or 2019?

Production Craft Brewery

Geist

  • Geist, the folks behind Geist Beer (now defunct ) & brewing operations at Brewsky have a new venture. They are the first to get a license to keg Craft Beer in Bangalore and have set up a production brewery (kegs) in 2017 at Hoskote to do this. Three variants to be produced – Hefeweizen, Dunkelweizen and a Belgian Wit. Launched August 07, 2017 and now serving at over 30 plus outlets across Bangalore.

Here’s a sneak peak of the facility in Hoskote during my visit there in May 2017. Stay tuned for a detailed look at all the features at the facility & more.

Beers:

  • Witty Wit –  Belgian Wit
  • Weiss Guy  – German Hefeweizen
  • Uncle Dunkel – Dunkelweizen
  • Special – Kamacitra – NEIPA

With the facility they have, we can expect a lot more Beers on tap as time passes by. Bangalore’s Beer Geeks are eagerly waiting the same award winning IPAs found at Brewsky to make their way into the Geist lineup.

Outlets Serving Geist:

Geist now supply their kegs to over 50 plus outlets across Bangalore.

You can find out where these outlets are on their webpage – http://www.geist.in/locations/

Follow them on Facebook for updates – Click HERE

St. Martin India’s Abbey Draft (Belgium/India)

St Martin

  •  St. Martin India – Abbey style Ales that have been brewed in Gurgaon in Bangalore are be available in Draft format at The Classroom, Sector 29 and are now being brewed in collaboration with Khoday’s Distilleries Ltd here in Karnataka.
  • Two Beers currently on tap at select outlets in Bangalore – Abbey Dark and a Belgian White. This will be increased to 4 Beers in due course.
  • The original St. Martin Abbey Ales are indeed from a Belgian Abbey now produced by Brunehaut Brewery , in Belgium
  • Follow them on Facebook for updates, HERE

 

Toit Logo

Toit

Yes, it’s official Bangalore! Toit have a new production brewery under construction in Bangalore. Eventually when ready in 2018, this brewery will start to supply outlets around Bangalore with kegged Craft Beer similar to the model Geist follows.

This is just great news for consumers across the city. It is not entirely clear whether Toit will set up their own exclusive Taprooms across the city and/or distribute to other outlets but whatever the case maybe, Kudix club loyal fans, this is worth the wait!

Kerala

Kerala.jpg

Kerala is all set to get a Microbrewery policy we are told sometime during the first half of 2018. Update – this has been stalled.

If this is indeed the case, we will brewpubs springing up at hotels such as these. What an exciting time for Kerala.


Microbrewery  News | Maharashtra

There’s quite a fair bit of activity in Maharashtra with several new projects in the works.

Mumbai

  • Gateway Brewing Co (GBC) have opened their exclusive Tap Room at BKC. The Taproom has the usual Gateway house beers but also exclusive specials not available elsewhere. These specials include re-releases, as well and at times guest taps. You can read more about the taproom HERE
  • Follow the Taproom on Facebook – HERE
  • Tip – If you like one more Craft Beer option at BKC, head next door to O’Pedro relaxed Goan/Portuguese cuisine as well as Craft Beers on tap from  Great State Aleworks, Pune. 
  • O Pedro – Located next to the Gateway Taproom this Portuguese/Goan restaurant has Beers from a Pune production Craft Brewery (Great State Ales)on tap.

opedro

  • A 6,000 sq ft upmarket Brewpub located in Powai that is has 3 unique elements – Live Music (Jazz/World), World Cuisine & Craft Beer (expect Beers on tap early Q1, 2018)
  • The 10 HL Brewhouse configuration is the largest in Mumbai at present and capable of producing 20,000 + Liters of Beer per month

 

  • Drifters Brewing Co  – a new brewpub being set up in Kamala Mills with a Czech brewer on board. It appears that they will be opening “soon” – possibly early next year?

Drifters Brewing Co.jpg

Verbena

  • The Beer Cafe opens their 9th outlet in Mumbai,  Malad. This outlet has the PYOB (Pour Your Own Beer) Wall, as well.

BeerCafe Malad Mumbai


Craft Beer Corner – Todi Mills -Lower Parel

Craft Beer Corner Mumbai

Todi Mills now has an exclusive Craft Beer corner with 3 different outlets serving Craft Beer.

  • Woodside Inn Lower Parel  One of India’s best Craft Beer Taprooms where a lot of care goes into storing and serving Craft Beer takes place.  If you’re in the area do check out their 25 taps with 24 of them being local Craft Beers from Mumbai and Pune.
  • They do occasional Beer workshops/tasting sessions – so keep an eye out for that.

 

  • Toit   have finally  opened their Tap Room in Lower Parel, right opposite Woodside Inn. The opening was delayed by several months due to license issues.
  • Beers for the taproom are brewed at their production brewery outside Pune and kegged to Lower Parel.
  • All their signature Bangalore brews are on tap.
  • You can read more about the Taproom HERE

 

  • Super Happy Pop Up at The Barking Deer – Beer brand Thirsty has taken over the Barking Deer and is serving their Happy By Thirty Beers at the venue along with some of the Deer’s Craft Beers. The plan is to eventually renovate the entire facility and convert the space into a production brewery and open up several tap rooms across Mumbai & Maharashtra.

 

  • Doolally open their 4th outlet in Mumbai in Colaba and now their 5th outlet in Khar – Open August 15th. Mumbai is certainly going Doolally now!

Doolally Colaba

 

Pune

  • Effingut Brewerkz have opened their 2nd taproom in Kharadi (August 04) making it a total of 3 outlets in Pune.

effingut

  • Their outlet in Banner recently lost their liquor license which unfair to say the least but they fought hard and got the and they are back in business.

Ales Brews & Ciders Brewing Company.png

 

Production Brewery

Mumbai

  • Ninkasi Brewworks– Mumbai’s second production brewery is now online and have their beers at a few select locations across Mumbai. Their brewery is located in Navi Mumbai. Currently pouring across Mumbai. You can read about them HERE.
  • Bombay Duck Brewing Co – Project is still in initial stages but do follow their Instagram page HERE for their latest updates. This nano production brewery is the brainchild of a well seasoned Beer Geek and Brewer.

bombay-duck-brewing

Pune

  • Moonshine Meadery finally have their license. Draft meads are already on tap in Mumbai but their bottled products will be rolling off the bottling line in early 2018. Meads are not Beers but fermented honey and this is the first meadery in India. The founders of Moonshine are extremely close to the brewing fraternity in Maharashtra.

11WKMoonshine bottles

  • Kiva – Hinjewadi has shut down operations. Kiva contract brewed for Doolally’s taprooms in Mumbai. The sudden shutdown has had minimal effect on Doolally since several local Craft breweries in Mumbai & Pune rushed to their rescue. A true     spirit of kinship in Maharashtra, as always.  The equipment at Kiva has been sold and will be deployed at a new location in Pune.

Kiva.jpg

  • Kimaya Brewing Co – Pune’s latest boutique nano brewery have been serving their Beers at several other outlets across Pune, the latest one being Farzi Cafe, Pune. Well done lads. Check out the blog post  with a complete interview and walk around  HERE

Kimaya Farzi.jpg

  • Great State Ale Works – One more production brewery run by Beer Geeks finally got licensed and they’ve been supplying their beers to a handful of outlets in Pune and a few in Mumbai. We visited their brewery in late May. Stay tuned for a full blog post in due course.
  • Yavasura –  Pune’s next production brewery is still in the planning stages but do follow them. Yet another example of a brewery started by a seasoned Beer Geek and Brewer.

yavasura-brews

Nasik

  • Unconfirmed rumors that Sula Vineyards are planning to set up either a production brewery or a brewpub. This rumor is not true however we may see brewpubs or tap rooms in this city soon. Just visited Nasik in early June.
  • Nasik also just had it’s first Craft Beer Festival in October – Oktobrew at Grape County with beers from Ninkasi Brewworks, Great State Aleworks and Bira 91.

Grape County


Microbrewery  News | Telengana , Andhra Pradesh, Odisha, West Bengal & Mizoram

Telengana

Hyderabad now has 11 brewpubs in total after these 5 new brewpubs have entered the scene. We hear that number will go up to 10 this year.

Brewpubs already open include – Hylife, Over The Moon (OTM), Zero40 Brewing, Prost and the 7 recently opened brewpubs are:

  • Rumors are that Arbor Brewing Co are also looking to set up contract brewing in Hyderabad. – unconfirmed.
  • Wild Barrel Brewing Co is set to launch in early 2018 in Hyderabad. Equipment is by Brew Force

Production Brewery

  • There’s a new production brewery under construction and they will be launching an iconic Beer India has had before, “Khajuraho” Beer.

kHAJURAHO bEER

Andhra Pradesh

  • Andhra Pradesh’s first Craft Brewery, Iron Hill Brewery,  is set to open on December 27th, in Vizag.  From the group that owns Prost, this brewpub will have 4 beers on tap. Equipment is from Spectraa.

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Image Courtesy – YoVizag.com

The second brewpub in Vizag has opened its doors.

  • Myz-Uno is now open for business.  Craft Beers are on tap now. Equipment by S Brewing Co

Myzuno

Odisha

The state of Odisha gets its first brewpub in the city of Bhubaneswar.

Mad Mule has opened its doors and is expected to be brewing shortly. Equipment by Ambicon.

Mad Mule

West Bengal

  • Happy to report that The Grid is pouring, in Kolkata & winning awards and hearts along the way. Well done Team!

the-grid

aftratafri.png

scrapyard kolkota

 

  • If you have information on new Brewpubs that have opened in WB, please send me a message on the Tales Of Froth Contact Page – click HERE . Thank you in advance!

Mizoram

 

  • Craft Beer comes to Mizoram in the form of the State’s first production Craft Brewery.  Set up by an American married to a Mizoram native. We wish them all the best – Congrats and you have our support! Please visit Mizoram and ask for this beer. Support Local – Drink Local!
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Founder Felipe R with Doolally’s Head Brewer Oliver Schauff in Mizoram
  • The new Beer brand is called “Local” and launched last week (December 3rd week, 2017) in Aizawal.
  • It’s a Strong Ale at 8% ABV brewed wit a mixture of 2 row barley and wheat.
  • First production run is extremely limited and the next batch will roll off the lines in January.
  • Distribution will be limited in Mizoram to local bottle shops.
  • Information & Images Courtesy: Felipe R and Oliver Schauff.

Microbrewery  News | Haryana/NCR/Delhi & Punjab

The Beer Cafe has launched a few innovative products:

  • URBar

Beer Cafe urbar

 

Beer Cafe Online Billing.PNG

  • UrBar is a system similar to HipBar – you have your own virtual Bar at any Beer Cafe outlet thus saving time and making ordering so much easier.
  • The Beer Cafe launches India’s first PYOB Wall (Pour Your Own Beer) at their outlets in DLF Place Mall, Saket & Biggie CP.  This is different from the PYOB concept from other bars such as Cafe Mojo for one simple reason – you get to choose from several different types of Beer not just one type or style.  Load up your Beer Cafe account on the Beer Cafe app, scan the tap you want beer from and pour away.

Beer Cafe PYOB.jpg

  • Brew Buddy launches in Sector 29 with a similar PYOB (but Craft Beer this time) concept.
  • Too many brewpubs to count these days. If you have an updated list for these regions, please let us know!

 

MOB Gurgaon.jpg

  • Philtre opens in Sector 29, a new microbrewery and bistro. Beers on tap once they get their brewing license.

Philtre

Faridabad

  • New 10,000 Sq ft brewpub to open soon.

Punjab

Underdogs

Chandigarh

Brewpubs Opening Soon:

1. Social Offline- Sector 7 Social – Open – Beers launching soon. 

sector 7 social.jpg
2. Farzi Cafe
3. Mtv Flyp – now open! Beers on Tap.

Mtv flyp
4. Kingdom Of Beer
5. The Great Kebab Factory( previously known TAO)


Microbrewery  News | Goa

  • Goa’s first Craft Brewery, Susegado Brewing is now open with beer on tap and are operating from within Habenero Goa, Baga. There are 4 Beers on tap – A Mango Wheat, Pale Ale, Vanilla Porter & a seasonal special. You’ll find their beers on tap at select bars/restaurants around North & South Goa.

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  • The Big Tap Goa is  open now in Baga (December). Beers – you’ll have to wait till they have a license to brew which is expected soon.
  •  Red Ginger, Colva is now open. From the same folks who brought you SinQ.  We are told that Red Ginger has a similar system which means D.M.E (Dry Malt Extract) is being used and the Beers are similar. Latest update – Red Ginger is NO longer serving their own Beer.
  • Goa also had its first ever Beer Festival, The Beer Circus on November 4 & 5th at Stone Water Eco Resort. Several people from across the country and Goa attended this 2 day fest which saw several bands perform, Beer workshops being conducted, several food options and of course plenty of Beer – both Craft & Commercial to go around.

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Production Brewery

  • Brewpubs are pushing to start bottling their Beers. The easiest workaround with India’s unfriendly excise laws is to contract brew at an established brewery .  Arbor Brewing Company India have completed building a brewery/canning plant in an industrial zone in Goa. The latest update is that there will be two taprooms – one in North and South Goa and once licenses are secured and real estate for taprooms procured in Maharashtra, Arbor will be kegging to Mumbai/Pune. Cans will probably be for distribution across India or to Delhi/Gurgaon, Mumbai/Pune, Bangalore etc.
Arbor Goa
Image – Taken at Drink Tec 2016, Mumbai

New Brewery Solar Panel Sneak Peek (Courtesy Matt Greff)

Arbor Goa Rooftop Solar

Arbor Brewing Co’s founders Matt & Rene Greff have recently moved to India from Michigan. I had the pleasure of meeting Matt at Arbor along with India MD Gaurav Sikka recently. (Also pictured is Independence Brewing Co’s co-founder Avanish Vellanki  who was visiting from the US)

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Matt Greff, Gaurav Sikka, JJ The Keg & Avanish Vellanki
  • Windmills Craftworks will be setting up their production brewery in Goa in 2018. Their other expansion plans include a new brewpub in Texas, as well.
  • Independence Brewing Co are also considering Goa for a production brewery site.
  • There will be other new brands that also set up shop in Goa in the years to come.

Bottled Craft Beer News

White Rhino Brewing Co (India)

  • *New Craft Beer Brand* – White Rhino Brewing Co (Himalayan Ales Pvt Ltd) out of Gwalior, MP launched India’s first domestically brewed and bottled Craft Beer in October 2016.  Two variants have hit the Indian market – a Belgian styled Wit and a German Lager.  They have launched an authentic IPA and are releasing draft versions of their Beers and will bottle and export an IPA & Hoppy Lager to the UK.  They are distributing currently in Delhi and Gurgaon and plan to export to Mumbai and Bangalore early next year. Find them on Facebook Here.

white rhino

  • White Rhino Lager – Brewed with German Pilsner & Vienna Malts this lager is hopped with traditional German hops and lagered for over a month to give it a crispy, light-medium bodied lager brewed the right way.  4.8% ABV | 22 IBU
  • White Rhino Wheat – White Rhino’s take on a Belgian Wit using barley and special Indian rolled wheat along with orange peels and Indian coriander seeds to give you a light-medium bodied refreshing, citrusy, wheat ale. 4.8% ABV | 12 IBU
  • White Rhino IPA – Bringing back the Pale Ale that got it’s name from our country, White Rhino are recreating history by bringing back a triple hopped IPA with American/English hops with piney, citrusy, fruity and floral properties (the best kind). Launched in Gurgaon and currently waiting for other cities like Mumbai and Bangalore in Q1 2018 (hopefully).

 White Rhino IPA

White Rhino Draft – You’ll soon be able to find theirs on taps in Delhi/Gurgaon shortly.

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Bira 91 (India)

Bira bottle new batch

  • After stabilizing production of their White & Blonde, Bira 91  have released 3 new variants this year:
  1. Bira Lite Lager (released)
  2. Bira Wheat Strong Ale (released)
  3. Bira IPA (released)

The New Bira 91 IPA:

Possibly one of the worst Beer releases in India, this strong, flavored ale bares no resemblance to a Pale Ale let alone an IPA. It’s a clear sign that Bira is certainly not Craft Beer with the use of several flavorings and adjuncts and is on a mission to target the masses keeping production costs to a minimum. They certainly are being very “Crafty”

Bira IPA.jpegBira IPA Comprehensive Review – Please click HERE

Review of Bira Lite and Strong – Please read our blog post HERE

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 Witlinger (India)

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  • Witlinger from Kaama Impex has been in the market since 2014 as an imported Craft Beer on tap and they intensified brand awareness last year by launching 2 bottle variants – a lager and an English Wheat (essentially similar to a Belgian Wit with coriander and orange peels).  The bottles were launched in Delhi, Gurgaon and soon after Mumbai and Goa.
  • Witlinger has entertered the Karnataka market and a Bangalore launch is imminent. Karnataka – Product has launched.
  • Like Bira, they will be shifting production from S A Brain & Co in Wales to a contract brewing facility (Sona Beverages) in Raipur, Chhattisgarh.

Re-Branding & Indian Batches

Witlinger have no changed their logo. Now bolder and brighter with a British Bulldog as the mascot.

Witlinger India VS Wales.jpg

Indian batches have turned out brilliant – better carbonation, body & aroma/flavor profile. Very well executed and a great sign that Witlinger is committed to delivering a superior product.


White Owl (India)

WhiteOwl Taps

  • Mumbai’s very own microbrewery, The White Owl will make history by being the brewpub to bottle their Craft Beers.
  • The Spark – Belgian Wit & The Diablo – Irish Red have been bottled at Som Distilleries (Som Distilleries -contract brewery in Madhya Pradesh) under a limited production run.

White Owl

  • This new line of limited edition Craft Beer bottles have been be launched in Goa and will slowly make their way to Karnataka and other cities across India.

Beach Beauty (India)

  • Aquarian Bev from New Delhi/Punjab have just launched a new Craft Beer label in Punjab called Beach Beauty Beer. Two variants – A Pilsner and German Style Hefeweizen will be available in bottles and cans. These Beers will be brewed in the US & Germany and then shipped to India.
  • We received 2 cans of the Pilsner – review  is up on Instagram @talesoffroth.

Beach Beauty.jpg


 

Belo Beer (India)

 

  • The folks at Impala Distillery & Brewery Limited who are credited with inventing Kings Beer which was later sold off have now re-vived “Belo” for Goa.
  • Not sure if this is “Commercial” or “Craft” yet.
  • New packaging and new variants – A Euro Beer (Pils possibly?) and a Dark Beer (Stout or Dunkel Lager perhaps?)
  • No information about price points or distribution yet.
  • These photos were shared by a liquor store owner in Goa – Images courtesy: Hansel Vaz.

 


Simba Beer (India)

Simba Beer.jpg

  • Sometime in December 2016, a new Beer label made its debut – Simba Beer. Brewed by Sona Beverages from Chhattisgarh, this Beer is currently available in 2 variants, a Lager and a Strong Lager, for sale in State only and select locations.
  • Sona worked on 2 Craft Beer Simba variants in technical collaboration with VLB Berlin (German Brewing Institute) –  a Belgian Style Wit and a Stout. So, get ready to Roar With Simba – released in Goa in late 2017 (soft launch at The Beer Circus) with cities like Delhi//Gurgaon/Mumbai/Pune sometime in early 2018 and then the rest of India.

 

  • We visited their Brand/Design team in Mumbai recently and got to sample Simba’s regular Lager (brewed with adjuncts). It would seem that animals for Beer labels in India are proving to be quite popular and the way to go! Since then, I’ve had the good fortune of meeting one of their co-founders.

 


Barlyez – (India )

Barleyz

  • Rumored to have set up a massive production brewery close to Delhi to facilitate production of Craft Beer (Hefeweizen) – bottling line. The new beer is called – Weissman. No other details available at this time.

Sir John Strong Beer – Toronto Ale Brewing Co (India)

With a brewery in Bhubaneswar, Canadian brewery Toronto Ale Brewing Co has just launched it’s line, Sir John Strong Beer in Bhubaneswar and will slowly market the product to other cities.

Sir John.jpg

“Sir John Strong beer has the unique blend of Canadian ingredients along with European hops that gives it it’s smooth alcohol taste and good body.  Tried and tested in Canada, Sir John strong beer is pleasantly crisp and easy to drink”


Ser Bhum (Bhutan)

  • Ser Bhum  Brewery operating out of Thimpu, Bhutan is a small production Craft canning facility that commenced operations in early 2016

Ser Bhum.png

  • 2 variants are being produced – Bhutan Glory -An hoppy Amber Ale (reminiscent of Hobgoblin) and the Dragon Stout.
  • Excellent Craft Beers that will be making their way to India as soon as logistics, permissions and all the other bureaucratic red tape has been sorted out. This would be wonderful to have in India.

Barre (Germany)

Barre_logo.svg.png

  • Barre is a German Beer brand by the Ernst Barre Private Brewery located in town of Lubbeke in NW Germany.
  • 4 Variants are in bound to India via Chennai (Radler, Pilsner, Festbier & Hefeweizen)
  • Expected to be released first in Chennai followed by other metros. Launched December 2017.
  • Subscribe to the blog and follow Tales Of Froth to get all the exclusive updates about this brand.

Availability: Tamil Nadu | Price Points: Rs. 245 (Tamil Nadu)

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 Pivo (India)/Valentins Weissbier

  • Pivo, a new Indian Craft label will debut it’s 2 variants, a German style Hefeweizen and Dunkelweizen in Karnataka in 2018.
  • The beers have been brewed at a contract brewery in Germany but the recipes have been tweaked for Indian palates we are told.
  • Price points will be somewhere between Rs. 150-200

In the meantime, the guys behind Pivo, have brought in German brand Valentins:

flasche_glas-hefetrueb.png

Brewed in the town of Primasens, close to the border of France this Hefeweizen is brewed according to the Reinheitsgebot (German Purity Law). The result is a light, classic German Hefeweizen that’s easy drinking and refreshing.

Availability: Bangalore  | Price: Rs. 175 for a 500 ml Can.  List of Outlets to follow.


Simona |Thirsty Beer

From the same stables that brought you Happy By Thirsty comes a new variant Simona which is a traditional German Hefeweizen.

Now available in Mumbai and will be in other cities shortly.

Simona Thirsty Beer.jpg

Availability: Mumbai/Goa Then other cities | Price Points: Unknown


New UK Imports

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These 2 offerings from St. Peter’s are now available in Mumbai via the Yeast India Company – A Cream Stout and Black IPA.

Availability: Maharashtra | Price points:  in the Rs. 300-400 range.

New Belgian Imports

Chimay makes a return to India and we have Delirium Termens inbound, as well. Stocks should be available in New Delhi and Mumbai within the next few months.

Imported by Hema Connoisseur & distributed in Maharashtra by Yeast India Co.

Availability:  Delhi/Mumbai | Price points: in the Rs. 500-600 range.


COMMERCIAL BEER

Hite Brewery

75216__Hite-Beer_Best-Selling-Korean-Beer_Thailand.jpg

Hit Extra Cold Lager has arrived from South Korea to India for the first time. It’s a pale lager that is brewed, fermented and filtered at very low temperatures, resulting in a light, clear, clean and crisp lager.

Availability: Delhi (UP), Tamil Nadu & Uttarakhand. | Price Points: Rs. 200-235


Blue Moon

Blue Moon

A cult classic in the US, a Belgian style Wit brewed by the Blue Moon Brewing Company (Owned by MillerCoors) has finally hit Indian shores.

Imported/Distributed by IndoSpirit. Available in Delhi at present.

Pricing information to follow.


United Breweries (UB)

KF UB Office.jpg

  • UB plan to introduce several Kingfisher variants and have already announced the Kingfisher Storm – a new type of Strong Lager. Read our review on Storm HERE
  • United Breweries are importing several labels from Heineken’s portfolio:

  1. Edelweiss – Hefeweizen from Austria {Launched July 2017} Review – Click HERE
  2. Desperados – Mexican Lager {Launching late August 2017}
  3. Sol – Mexican Light Lager (launched June 2017)
  4. Dos Equis – Mexican Lager {Launching July/August 2017}
  5. Affligem – Belgian Abbey Style Blonde {Launched July 2017} Review – Click HERE
  • Also watch for Heineken on draft launching several cities.

Viewpoint:

The Hefeweizen is India’s number one preferred “Craft Beer” style and importing one from Germany whilst keeping pricing competitive would be well received. Designed to compete against Hoegaarden even though technically not exactly the same style although wheat based.

The trio of Mexican lagers/light lagers would be to keep Corona in check. Affligem is to keep Leffe in check and finally we get a proper Irish Dry Stout and a Cider!

Thank you Ungil Mallya, UB & Heineken for listening! 

Our hope is that UB would push for draft versions to help improve beer selection in its home state of Karnataka.

ABInBev

  • ABInBev after its aquistion of SABMiller can now use the new SAB plant outside Mysore to eventually start producing Budweiser which would would in turn mean Bud on tap for Karnataka.
  • They are also pushing to push Corona, Hoegaarden and Stella into several more cities across India and perhaps if enough pressure is put on the Karnataka government, there maybe a chance of seeing draft variants of these brands.
  • What about Craft Beer? The answer – when the market is ready, they may just launch a line of Goose Island brewpubs across the country just like they have in China. The Goose IPA maybe here sooner that we think! We say let that Goose Loose.

Goose IPA.jpg

Carlsberg

Som Distilleries 

 

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Black Fort – another new "strong" lager to hit the shelves in Karnataka. 8% ABV. Brewed by Som Distilleries, MP. . Pale lager with aromas of rice, corn predominantly with good carbonation and head retention and a creamy head. . On the palate whilst chill, rice/corn, warming, no unpleasant sweetness or bitterness however as it warmed, green apple on the nose and palate which is a tell tale flaw. . On warming, you get a wiff of some fusel alcohols. . Overall smooth and easy to drink but once again those fusels and the green apple make it less desirable. . #talesoffroth #beer #blackfort #som #somdistilleries #strongbeer #beergeek #lager #instabeer #beergram #beerstagram #beertography #india #mp #madhyapradesh

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  • Som Distllieries from MP pushes into Karnataka with Black Fort and soon Hunter – Two Strong Beers.
  • They are setting up a brewery in Hasan and plan to produce locally and once producing here will push to put draft version on tap.
  • It is rumored that Som may release their Woodpecker beer label, which includes a wheat based german style hefeweizen.
  • Interestingly enough Som are contract brewing White Owl’s bottled Craft Beers.

 

Viewpoint:

If commercial breweries are really interested in the Craft Beer segment, introducing a line of premium strong beers isn’t really going to target that demographic. Consumers are looking to get away from the mundane selection of lagers and strong lagers today and are slowly gravitating to beers with fuller flavors.

Why doesn’t a brewery come out with a flavorful Blonde Ale for example or a light Farmhouse Ale? Perhaps they will once the Craft Beer market really starts to eat into their market share.

The good news is that consumers will have more imports to choose from. Given India’s climate and the lack of cold chain options/hindrances, imports will have to be delicately handled to maintain their optimum flavor profiles (ie. steps are needed to prevent oxidation and skunking). We have a long way to go to fix that!

Overall, it is great to see such a focus on Beer across India. Let us hope that this can push up the per capita Beer consumption in this country, one pint at a time.


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That’s all for now folks. Please comment, like, share and add to the masala.

Cheers and Stay Frothy

JJ The Keg

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