Beer is the answer to everything - had a bad day? Have a beer. Cure a hangover? Have a beer. On a vacation? Have a beer. I know all you beer enthusiasts can relate and are going to be grinning from cheek to cheek.
I asked a few of my colleagues this question and the answers I got were either Fosters, Carlsberg, Heineken, Tuborg, Corona or Budweiser. Nobody around me was experimenting with home breweries and giving local brands a shot.
If you have been keeping up with recent events in the country, the Delhi authorities have banned the world’s largest beer makers Anheuser-Busch InBev (AB InBev). If rumours are to be believed, SABMiller, a company that was bought by AB InBev in 2016 was caught duplicating barcodes in an effort to evade duties and taxes. Unfortunately, the ban on AB InBev beers in Delhi is a 3-year long one that includes but isn’t limited to Corona, Budweiser, Stella among others. And it certainly isn’t the first ban we’ve seen in the country. So it seemed like the perfect time to find you some of the best homegrown, locally produced beer brands!
Stating the obvious perhaps but every single one of us has tasted and had some good times to a chilled pint of Kingfisher. Owned by the infamous Vijay Mallya, Kingfisher is manufactured by the United Breweries Group. It’s one of India’s largest breweries that dominate nearly half the market share. It has and will always continue to be one of India’s best locally produced beers.
Variants: Kingfisher Strong, Kingfisher Premium, Kingfisher Ultra and Kingfisher Blue
One of the hottest new entrants in the market has to be the craft beer manufactured in Bangalore by B9 beverages. Bira 91 is the perfect beer for anyone who doesn’t like the bitter after-taste associated with beer. It’s zesty, citrus flavour and low bitterness makes it a hot millennial favourite.
Variants: Bira Blonde, Bira White, Bira Light, Bira Pale Al and Bira Strong
No trip to Goa is complete without trying their locally brewed King’s light and crispy black label beer. The bottle is short and stout, probably like me and my beer belly! A pint of King’s beer barely costs around 40-50 rupees and it’s a light, pale beer with a smoky malt aroma. Also, it’s gluten-free! The latest beer made by the brand, King’s Maxx is brewed with utmost patience and fermented at low temperatures giving it a unique taste. King’s is now available in more parts of the country too. Make sure to try it the next time you see it.
Variants: King’s Black Label Premium Pilsner, King’s Goa Maxx
Simba is a relatively new entrant to the craft beer market. It was launched by Prabhtej Bhatia in 2016 with two variants, a wheat beer and a stout. Simba is available in Delhi NCR, Assam, Mumbai, Goa, Chhattisgarh, Bengaluru, Kerela, Madhya Pradesh, Jharkhand and Kolkatta and what makes the brand unique is their production process. The beers are produced in smaller batches to ensure quality control and to maintain the same amount of flavours in each batch. Simba’s wheat beer uses orange peel, oats and roast barley to give it it’s unique taste while Simba’s Stout has a hint of coffee and chocolate. The brand has grown multifold in a mere 3 years. Do try!
Variants: Simba Wit and Simba Stout, Light and Strong
If you’re not a fan of bitter beer, the Apple Ciders at Doolally in Mumbai and Pune will have your heart. The microbrewery has outlets all over Mumbai and Pune serving their iconic craft beers. If sweet-ish and flavoured beers are your thing, do drop in and have a few. Doolally is pet-friendly and has a whole lot of entertainment to keep you occupied. You can come here to read or on a beer binge with your buddies. You won’t be disappointed with the ambience or the beer.
Variants: Hefeweizen, Mango Cider, Belgian Wit, Apple Cider, Rauch Bier, and English Bitter
White Owl was a microbrewery founded in Mumbai by Javed Murad in 2013. They make premium craft beer at affordable prices. White Owl first started as a restaurant at Lower Parel in Mumbai and then turned into a microbrewery. They have 8 different brews that are sold in Mumbai, Delhi, Bengaluru, Pune and Goa. The beers are brewed using both old-world and new-age styles. If you want to try some of their special home brews which are bursting with flavours like citrus, cinnamon, banana and chocolate, head to White Owl in Lower Parel, Mumbai.
Variants: Shadow, Diablo, Halcyon, Ace, Torpedo, Paulina and Spark
White Rhino is the first Indian brewery that brewed and bottled craft beer in India. Located in Malanpur and founded in 2016, this beer is now exported to the UK! White Rhino is one of the first, premium domestic craft beer to be offered to customers in bottles. White Rhino currently retails in Delhi and Gurgaon.
Variants: White Rhino Lager and Wit.
Which one of these are you trying out tonight?!
Featured Image: Shutterstock
Love all things colourful and cute? Take it up a POP with POPxo Shop's collection of super fun mugs, phone covers, cushions, laptop sleeves and more!