From its humble beginnings, first brewed in Egypt in 10,000 BCE where it was made simply by fortuitous chance of wild yeast fermenting gathered grain to now its thousands of variants made in all possible exotic flavours and adaptations. Beer has come a long way.
From malty amber lager with a mild toasty aroma to, golden wheat beers with tall heads, beer storm in India has been brewing for quite some time now and well, all beers are beautiful. With our penchant to try new things and our new found love for Atmanirbhar Bharat and all things Indian, home grown beer brands with their excellent quality of beers in a multitude of styles have left us spoilt for choice.
“In my opinion, Indian homegrown businesses are on the verge of a significant transformation. Many industries are experiencing tremendous growth, with consumers increasingly opting for ‘made in India’ and ‘vocal for local products. This shift has occurred because people now trust home-grown businesses that offer competitively priced products and understand the tastes and needs of an Indian consumer,” says Mohit Bhagchandani – Founder Of 7Ink Brews & Copter7.
Why are Indians preferring home grown brands?
Indians are certainly preferring homegrown brands, as is visible from the number of craft breweries that have set up shop. A few years ago, there were only a handful of breweries that were in this space, but now we are looking at over 200 microbreweries with more yet to come. “A big positive is that, the market is not showing signs of crowding with microbreweries across the board doing well. With competition, the drive to deliver and give our patrons a taste of exceptional, unique craft beers is only going to increase and it bodes well for the industry as a whole,” says Teja Chekuri, Managing Partner, Ironhill India.
Homegrown brands have been around for a while but post the pandemic, consumer behavior has changed significantly. Consumers are more open to trying new products and enjoy hearing the stories and inspiration behind these businesses. “This adaptability has allowed brands to incorporate new product variations that resonate with the customers. We as a brand are focused on providing premium quality products, with the finest of ingredients, at an affordable price to our consumers,” adds Bhagchandani.
While craft beer is at a very nascent stage in India, it commands a share of around 2 to 3 percent of the overall beer market. “While, there is a long way to go, with awareness, exposure and craft beer fast becoming a lifestyle drink of choice, we believe the market is getting primed for exponential growth from here. There has been steady demand for innovative flavours in lagers, wheat, and ales. So, we believe that is the trajectory that market is going to take and continue on,” adds Chekuri.
What are the most popular flavours in India?
Created with fruit pulp, natural fruit extracts, and a burst of flavors, the Zero Beer variants in Cherry and Chokeberry flavours from the house of Copter7, leave you refreshed. “Chokeberry, also known as Aronia, has a strong earthy and tart flavor. It contains a high level of tannins, which are a gift from the fruit itself. Apple concentrate adds a dash of sweetness to this. Cherry, on the other hand, has an inherently sweetish taste and tinge, explains Bhagchandani.
“From our experience, we have observed that our patrons prefer beers that are crisp, light and flavourful. The general population has been averse to beers that are extremely complex or bitter. Hence, beers that are citrusy, zesty, mildly sweet or fruity have been in demand and we believe that will continue, going forward,” opines Chekuri.
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