Beers & Crafts

The Beer Marketing Insights (BMI) Report estimates the market for beer in India is expected to grow at 7.5% annually for the next five years. Bira, a beer label launched two years ago, wants to be a Rs 450 crore business by the end of next fiscal. If Bira has draught and bottle options, others like Gateway and White Owl are targeting curious consumers with a range of beers. The scope for market increase is great. According to BMI, Indians consume 4.6 litres of beer per capita, compared with 56 litres at Asia-Pacific level. Craft beer brewers — over 80 in the country from just a couple a decade ago — may be helping narrow this gap, even as conventional beer companies launch new variants (zero calories and strong). Business of India’s craft brewers is growing 20% year-on-year, compared with 7.5% for conventional beer makers, says BMI.

Likewise, the report sees a strong growth for the beer market in India "on the back of changing cultural attitudes and a young, increasingly affluent population, demand for a premium and craft beer is rapidly emerging." According to a report by Euromonitor International “the huge success of B9 Beverages’ Bira 91 is expected to further encourage many global players to introduce their own craft beers. Additionally, with this category being largely underdeveloped, many new players are also expected to emerge.”

With growth in demand from Indian beer connoisseurs, who don’t mind paying a premium, it’s no surprise that importers and local brewers have launched over 20 new and fresh flavours this summer, including niche craft beers produced in small breweries. There are over 17 new beers hitting Delhi and Maharashtra shelves this summer. Australia has a diversified craft beer culture and some beers from the continent have been introduced for the first time. The year on year growth of craft beer, as opposed to standardized brands is 13% rise in volume and a 16% increase in retail value. ABInBev, which has one of the largest super premium beer portfolios globally, too, has launched Beck’s Ice, a pale German lager, in some markets in India recently.

Craft beers are made in a traditional non-mechanized brewery and sometimes contain local flavours and ingredients that are different from the standard formulation. While many International beer brands have made their mark, the craft beer market offers an opportunity to Indian consumers to enjoy more flavours. Indian consumers are now keen to try different styles of beers and the stories behind German and other craft beers are attracting them. So forget the scorching heat and monsoon woes – it’s time to say cheers to fresh brews and watch out for more coming in.

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