Home

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


wp-1470817633212.jpg

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 two weeks if not monthly.

Updates ( June 2017 )

CRAFT BEER

Microbrewery  News | Karnataka

There are several new brewpubs set to open in 2017 across the city. In the mean while, a few new ones have just obtained their microbrewery licenses:

  • Mysore gets it’s first new Brewpub – The Barge – now open but still waiting their brewing license.

The Barge

Production Microbrewery

Geist New Glassware

 

  • 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 will set up a production brewery (kegs) in 2017 at Hoskote to do this. Three variants to be produced – Hefeweizen, Dunkelweizen and a Belgian Wit. Launching late Q2/Early Q3 2017.

Here’s a sneak peak of the facility in Hoskote during my visit there. Closer to launch, expect a look at all the features at the facility and detailed updates.

Here’s me with the 2 founding members of Geist, Paul & Narayan along with one of their partners Mohan and Head Brewer Vidya.

Team Geist


Microbrewery  News | Maharashtra

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

Mumbai

Verbena

  • Woodside Inn Lower Parel have a new infuser – the Dogfishead Randall for infusing beers with a variety of fruits, flowers or spices. They are doing specific Randall nights – check their FB page for more details. If you’re in the area do check out their 25 taps with 24 of them being local Craft Beers from Mumbai and Pune.

Beer Cafe Kamala Mills

  • Toit are doing the finishing touches to their Tap Room in Lower Parel. Set to open in May/June 2017
  • Doolally open their 4th outlet in Mumbai in Colaba.

Doolally Colaba

Pune

  • Effingut Brewerkz are set to open their 2nd taproom in Kharadi shortly (July/August) making it a total of 3 outlets in Pune.

effingut

Production Microbrewery

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 (2 soon to be 3 Beers) at The Beer Cafe – Powai and High Street Phoenix,  Tuning Fork and Kaitlyn’s Beer Garden. Read More about Ninkasi 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

  • Kimaya Brewing Co – Pune’s latest boutique nano brewery have started serving their Beers at the Taj (Vandaag) and at several other outlets across Pune. Well done lads. Check out the blog post  with a complete interview and walk around  HERE
  • Toit’s production brewery is complete – awaiting license to supply thier Mumbai Taproom. The Tap Room in Lower Parel that Blue Frog once occupied is also now complete
  • 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.

Microbrewery  News | Telengana & West Bengal

Telengana

Hyderabad now has 9 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, Zero40, Prost and the 5 recently opened brewpubs are:

  • Rumors are that Arbor Brewing Co are also looking to set up in Hyderabad.
  • It’s also been rumored that Andhra Pradesh will soon get a Microbrewery Policy set up.

West Bengal

  • Happy to report that The Grid is finally pouring, in Kolkota

the-grid

  • 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!

Microbrewery  News | Haryana/NCR/Delhi & Punjab

We are awaiting updates after the Supreme Court decision. For Gurgaon, Sector 29 and Cyberhub have been reopened. Chandigarh still hangs in the balance.

  • 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!

No automatic alt text available.No automatic alt text available.

Image may contain: people sitting, drink and text

Microbrewery  News | Goa

  • Susegado Brewing is now open with beer on tap and are operating from within Habenero Goa, Baga.

Habenero

  • The Big Tap Goa is  open now in Baga (December). Beers – you’l have to wait till they have a license.
  •  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.

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 are slated to 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 for distribution across India or to Delhi/Gurgaon, Mumbai/Pune, Bangalore etc.

Arbor Goa


Bottled Craft Beer News

White Rhino Brewing Co

  • *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 will soon launch an authentic IPA. They also plan to have draft versions of their Beer and will bottle and export an IPA, Stout/Porter and Hefeweizen to the UK.  They are distributing currently in Delhi and Gurgaon and plan to export to Mumbai and Bangalore later this 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). Launching in Gurgaon in Q3 2017.

 wp-1483896240329.jpg


Bira 91

Bira bottle new batch

  • After stabilizing production of their White & Blonde, Bira 91 will be releasing 3 new variants this year:
  1. Bira Lite Lager (released)
  2. Bira Wheat Strong Ale (released)
  3. Bira IPA (more like a pale ale – releasing Q3, 2017)

Leaked Image of the new Bira 91 IPA label:

Bira IPA

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

IMG_20170606_204331_897


Witlinger

Witlinger 2.png

  • 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 now plans to enter the Karnataka market and a Bangalore launch is imminent. Karnataka Launch end of June 2017.
  • Like Bira, they will be shifting production from S A Brain & Co in Wales to a contract brewing facility in Raipur, Chhattisgarh.

White Owl

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 (contract brewery in Madhya Pradesh) under a limited production run.

Image may contain: drink

  • This new line of limited edition Craft Beer bottles will be launched in Mumbai sometime in late June, 2017.

Beach Beauty

  • 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 just received 2 cans of the Pilsner – review coming up shortly.

Beach Beauty.jpg


Simba Beer

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.
  • Sona are working on 2 Craft Beer Simba variants in technical collaboration with VLB Berlin (German Brewing Institute) –  a German style Hefeweizen and a Stout. So, get ready to Roar With Simba soon – these variants to be released in Delhi sometime in 2017 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). The branding, labeling and design including the glassware reminds several people of another popular Indian Craft Beer brand. Would you agree? It would seem that animals for Beer labels in India are proving to be quite popular and the way to go!

Pivo

  • Pivo, a new Indian Craft label will debut it’s 2 variants, a German style Hefeweizen and Dunkelweizen in Karnataka in late 2017.
  • 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
  • More information once we have tried sampled and have more to share.

St. Martin India’s Abbey Draft/Bottles

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 Hoot Bangalore and will be brewed in collaboration with Khoday’s Distilleries Ltd here in Karnataka.
  • The original St. Martins Abbey Ales are indeed from a Belgian Abbey now produced by Brunehaut Brewery
  • Judging from the quality of brews (not flattering) at the brewpubs in Gurgaon and Bangalore, it will be interesting to see what comes out of these bottles!
  • Release dates for bottles are Early Q3 2017?

COMMERCIAL BEER

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 Strong HERENo automatic alt text available.
  • United Breweries are importing several labels from Heineken’s portfolio:

  1. Edelweiss – German Hefeweizen from Austria {Launching June/July 2017}
  2. Desperados – Mexican Lager {Launching June/July 2017}
  3. Sol – Mexican Light Lager (launched June 2017)
  4. Dos Equis – Mexican Lager {Launching June/July 2017}
  5. Affligem – Belgian Abbey Style Blonde {Launching June/July 2017}
  6. British Cider – not confirmed
  7. Irish Stout – not confirmed
  • Also watch for Heineken on draft launching several cities.

Viewpoint:

The Hefeweizen is India’s number one preferred “Craft Beer” style and importing one form Germany whilst keeping pricing competitive would be well received. 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.

Carlsberg

  • Carlsberg are launching Tuborg Classic in India – marketed as a premium strong Beer made form specialty malts.

Som Distilleries 

 

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

A post shared by JJ The Keg | TaLeS Of FrOtH (@talesoffroth) on

  • 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
  • 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).

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.


All Images Courtesy: The Internet & All Respective Brands

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

Cheers and Stay Frothy

JJ The Keg

masala mix.jpeg

8 thoughts on “The Rumor Mill

  1. Pingback: BLR Top Brewpubs | TaLeS Of FrOtH

  2. Pingback: New Bira 91 – Light & Strong  | TaLeS Of FrOtH

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s