“Beer is living proof that God loves us and wants us to be happy.” -Benjamin Franklin
Puneites certainly seem to reverberate the words of Franklin. Be it the lagers, ales or draught, the varied types of beers are finding an increasing number of takers among the beer connoisseurs in the city.
For many beer drinkers, choosing a beer isn’t purely a matter of taste- it’s about place , taste and connection. It’s thrilling to visit a brewery and enjoy a mug of beer with the people who have made beer just a few yards away from the place they are serving it.
Indians aren’t exactly beer guzzlers. For the longest time it has been just another buddy drink among youngster during the hot summer months or a beverage quaffed in solidarity during a game. In fact, for Indians beer has always been more of an appetizer that is relished before a meal.
With 70 per cent of the population of the Indian liquor market preferring hard liquor, leaving the following for beer at only 30 per cent. However, over the past five years, the trends are changing-beer cafes and breweries are mushrooming fast. The sway towards the golden ale has been dramatic.
“The combination of good beer, great music and delicious snacks makes these places a perfect hangout spot for youngsters,” says Rupali Suri, a graphic designer.
A report by a global market research company Euromonitor states that ,”Beer clubs and microbreweries are expected to expand their reach and even target second and third tier cities all over India…premium and handcrafted beer have strong potential for growth.”According to industry estimates, the market for such handcrafted beer ranges between Rs. 75 crores to Rs. 125 crores.
Today, beer drinkers are a much more discerning lot than they were in the ’90s, with more sophisticated palates and the savvy to know. For the uninitiated, a microbrewery crafts beer that is fresh and known for its unique taste, colour and strong character.
“The ambiance of microbreweries is inviting and different. The different beers and exciting starters are perfect for an relaxed evening with friends,” say Vivek Nair, a 23-year-old MBA student.
The Concept of Micro-breweries:
The beer-on-tap concept is slowly catching up in India. The approximate cost of starting a microbrewery on an average is Rs. 6 Crores.
A microbrewery or a brewpub by western definition brew beer in small quantities on premise, typically 1,000 litres per batch and then serve them fresh on the tap to consumers. It takes about seven hours to brew each variety of beer using imported ingredients.
Getting a microbrewery license is a uphill task and is very time consuming.”Liquor is now a state matter and so you need to get a license to start a brewery,” says Suketu Talekar, co-owner of Doolallys’s in Pune. He added that without the license it is impossible to produce and sell beer on the premise.
With Pune set for the new brewpub revolution, the winner is clearly going to be the beer drinker.
Let’s drink to that !