Beer has slowly become perfect after work date for young India. With increasing economic development, levels of anxiety and stress also have increased in India. People find life hard and look for a partner to share their stress in evenings. Chilled beer is observed to be slowly becoming the primary choice of drink among Indians.
The chilled beer culture is not a modern habit; India’s beer journey began centuries ago going as early as 1500 BC. The early beers were primarily rice-based made with fermented barley and spiced with local spices and fruits. This early beer form is still available in parts of rural India today. However, the majority of modern beer in the country follows the standard beer making process using hops, malted barley, and yeast.
Old is always gold, but what about present India?
According to reports by Business Monitor International, the Indian beer market is expected to see huge growth in 2019 and 2020. On the other side, there are always chances that change in government policies and may oppose the consumption and production of beer. However, experts predict that this won’t be the case going forward.
If we look deep into this, the majority of India’s population are in the age group 20-39. With globalization and western cultural influence, the younger generation favors beer consumption compared to hard alcohol. Also, the economic development achieved by India has made people willing to spend on luxury and leisure, which in turn, has increased nightlife and pub culture in India. There is a change in preferences among Indian beer consumers. They no longer desire large, corporate brands but are going the extra mile to find homegrown craft beers. The growth of craft beer has opened a new channel for growth in the Indian beer market.
A view into the present market
While our population is high at a massive 1.3 billion, the per capita beer consumption is quite low – just 2.6 liters on average per adult. Compare this with other Asian countries like China (where the per capita beer consumption is 50 liters). India is far behind, but the positive news here is that the curve in the graph is going higher and higher each year.
When we look into the present market scenario, the factors which drive growth are:
- The rise in the middle class with disposable incomes – The number of lower-middle-class households continue to fall, while we see a huge rise in the number of upper-middle-class households in the country. With rising disposable incomes Indians especially the younger generations are more likely to spend on alcohol and other luxury expenses.
- Drinking is now Part of Socialising – A few years ago, there were negative stigmas associated with alcohol consumption. That has now changed, and most young Indians see drinking as part of their daily lives. They love to socialize, network and meet up with friends over drinks. This has led to the growth of beer pubs not just in metros but also in upcoming Tier-II cities. Out of the total population of India, millennials make up 33% of the population. You can expect brewers modifying their offerings to attract this crucial customer segment.
- The emergence of pub culture in India: In the age of smartphones, people are exposed to the western world and wish to live them. Evenings in pubs with friends and chilled beer are a great way to unwind, relax and escape the stresses of work.
- Fast-Emerging Craft Beer Culture – The beer culture from developed nations in the West and East is expanding to India. It’s influencing rapid developments in India’s own craft beer culture. Although India’s craft beer Industry is still in its nascent stages, the All India Brewers Association is positive about the growth of the craft beer industry in the country. It predicts that craft breweries will grow by 20% annually.
Let’s have a closer look
The city of Bangalore is not only the garden city of India but also has earned the nickname of India’s pub capital, due to the hundreds of pubs and craft breweries dotting the city. This name was given after the concept of draught beer, (beer served directly from a keg, on tap or cask rather than pre-packaged beer from a can or bottle) was introduced.
Indian beer tastes are different from the rest of the world. Our beers tend to be sweet compared to the bitterness found in beers in other beer-drinking nations like Germany, Belgium, and others. You can notice that Indian lagers have some residual sweetness and have low IBU values compared with beers from the rest of the world.
Like we said the craft beer emergence affected the beer market in India. New Delhi and Pune made Brewpubs door to the public almost a decade ago. Today, you can find craft breweries and brewpubs in several cities across the country like Gurgaon, Chandigarh, Panchkula, Ludhiana, Faridabad, Pune, Mumbai, Kolkata, and several more.
Other states like Haryana, Goa, Punjab, Maharashtra, West Bengal, Odisha and Telangana all have brewpubs. Kerala, Uttarakhand, and Andhra Pradesh are slotted for microbrewery launches in the next few years. Several brewpubs in Gurgaon, Bangalore, Pune, and other cities sell their in-house beer to other neighboring pubs and nightclubs.
The two main styles of craft beers in India are both ales namely the Belgian Wit and German-style Hefeweizens. It’s no surprise that Indians love these ales since they have low bitterness, with spicy or fruity undernotes. Lighter styles like pilsners and blonde ales are also preferred by Indians. On the contrary, IPA, Porters, Pale Ales and Stouts don’t enjoy immense popularity.
With that said, there is a lot of experimenting happening in craft breweries in India. Breweries in Bangalore, Gurgaon, Pune, Mumbai, and other cities test new hops and try to expand the Indian palate by introducing craft beers with high IBUs. Additionally, you can find exciting desi flavors using spices, fruits, chocolate, coffee and even flowers making their way into Indian craft breweries.
Craft beers are not limited to just these states. They have spread all across the country thanks to the availability of beer packaging facilities using kegs, cans, bottles, and barrels. If you are looking to set up a craft brewery in India or want to update your existing brewery, reach out to Rohit Jafa brewing solutions. We deliver high-quality brewery equipment to address all your requirements.
India’s beer consumption is certainly undergoing a transition phase but still has a long way (and great potentials) to go before it can catch up with other beer-drinking nations. The sudden change in government policies and licenses always create fear around the industry. There is always the lone chance that certain Indian states may prohibit alcohol, but with increasing demand from consumers of all ages, there is huge hope that beer consumption in the country will surge in the next few years.