A decade or so ago, craft beers were virtually unknown in India. All that, the lovers of the frothy drink had, were a handful of big names, which offered nothing novel in taste or quality. Enter the year 2006 when craft beers began to make an appearance in India for the first ever time and the life of the beer connoisseur changed forever.
From unique pubs to weddings and corporate events, craft beer has taken over the taps across the country. Worldwide, craft beer sales have seen a massive increase by 15% in the last year alone.
With that said, it’s time to get the basics right!
WHAT EXACTLY IS CRAFT BEER?
To put it in a nutshell, any beer that isn’t mass produced is termed as a craft beer. The Brewer’s Association, the international trade group for craft beer, defines the term as “Beer from breweries that are small, traditional and independent”.
Brewers who produce less than 6 million barrels per year are generally classified as craft brewers. While the segment has far lesser sales when compared to the profits of big names like Carlsberg, Royal Challenge, Budweiser, and Kingfisher it’s true that the impact of the nation’s upcoming craft breweries can’t be ignored.
Now, let’s have a look at the reasons, why we believe that the craft beer industry in India is taking off at unprecedented levels.
BEER DRINKERS ARE LOOKING FOR NEW TWISTS TO THEIR FAVOURITE DRINK
Beer drinkers are open to experimentation. A regular Corona or Haywards isn’t cutting it for beer aficionados anymore. People are looking for new and stronger flavours. This has given rise to exciting flavours and aromas like hibiscus or mango or filter kaapi flavoured beers. There has never been a better time to start drinking beer, than right now.
CRAFT BREWERIES ARE MORE OPEN TO EXPERIMENTATION
Just like beer lovers are trying out new, exciting, contemporary flavours, brewers too are free to experiment with flavours. They are figuring out new hops and unique flavours to retain and grow their loyal customer base.
The sole reason for several microbreweries to be popular and fruitful is that the owners were willing to experiment and their love for innovation.
Also, the impact of failed flavours doesn’t affect craft brewers as much as it does big names. This is because they brew only a few barrels at a time. If a particular flavour doesn’t work well, they can just scratch it off and start afresh. This is the main reason why craft breweries are so popular with beer lovers – the chance to try new flavours and give in their opinion.
CRAFT BEER ISN’T JUST LIMITED TO THE PUBS
Since, craft beers are so popular among the beer drinking clientele, retailers are joining in the explosion too. Several retail stores all over the country are now stocking up on craft beers due to increased demands from customers.
Wholesalers and retailers are driving up the sales, which in turn leads to increased production. The craft beer industry is evolving and at a pretty rapid pace.
CRAFT BREWERIES ARE THE NEW, COOL SPOTS IN TOWN
Ten years ago, if you walked into a bar, all you can get were a few big name beers. Now, the scene has changed so much that all bars stock at least a couple of craft beers along with the regular ones. Also, several craft breweries have an adjoining pub or bar, where you can go with your gang, relax with a couple of new flavours and get serious street-cred in the beerosphere.
Once, people get the hang of a new flavour, they are likely to ask for it the next time at their local watering hole. This increases the sale and spread of craft beers.
For the first time ever, craft beers are no longer restricted to taps. They are now available in cans and can be easily shipped around the country. Soon, you can taste a craft beer brewed with Assamese flavours at your local pub in Mumbai. Canned craft beers are the next growth segment of the microbrewery industry.
THE RISING POPULARITY OF CRAFT BREWS
As more and more craft brews emerge, it’s a good time for both the craft brewer and the beer drinker. For the first, it’s a great investment opportunity and increasing sales means increasing profits. For the latter, it’s time to rejoice and celebrate with new, exciting, never before flavours.
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