Bubbling with enthusiasm, the craft beer industry in India has grown in leaps and bounds. The contribution of beer enthusiasts in this growth is also significant. Collaborations with breweries breeds creativity and helps them in honing their skills (to maybe start a brewery in the future). The craft beer industry has given a boost to experimentation with flavours that match people’s palates. Every brewer’s aim is to get good beer back in the limelight. What exactly is good beer? Let’s rewind a bit…
Beer is broadly classified into two sub categories – ales and lagers. Ales are generally more complex and take lesser time to make as compared to lagers which, when done right, can take months. These were the qualities that great men in history strived for. Despite being deprived of technology, these great minds still made the best beer there was. The history of craft beer in India too is rather fascinating. India’s first brewery was started in Kasauli in 1830!
With the advent of commercialisation and technology, the world unfortunately saw craft beer fading, as bottled beer with preservatives started taking over. However in the last few years, the industry has seen the curve change in favour of craft beer as people have started to realize the true value & essence of ‘good beer’. People, tired with the lack of choice, didn’t follow trends but created them – this led to the birth of craft beer. Craft beer was easily accepted and liked because of the process of brewing, ingredients, variety of styles and the freshness. In the last two years, craft beer has gone from strength to strength. Consumers now know that beer is so much more than the unfortunate stereotype that came to mind a few years ago.
The microbrewery industry in India is just a few years old but demand has been increasing at a rapid speed. With its growing popularity, craft beer is emerging as a new area of interest for private equity investors who see the immense potential available. Good craft beer will always be made with all natural ingredients and never any chemical or preservative additions. It is this commitment to quality that is reflected in the exponential growth in the sector – craft beer has a share of approximately 280 crores out of a 25,000 crore Indian beer market, with a forecast of 4500 crores by 2020! That’s more than a four-fold growth year on year.
“Go back to your roots” is the best marketing solution which can be given to brands who want content patrons. The brand needs to understand the changing consumer palate and provide accordingly while also introducing them to new innovative beers. The changes need to be aligned with the patron’s expectations while staying true to the roots of good beer. Our country’s thirst for craft beer is growing with its young, discerning audience and savvy investors catching up. Be true to the product in order to serve the beer that has been denied to us Indians for the last 200 years.
The author of the article is Manu Gulati, Founder of Effingut Brewerkz (A legendary Craft Brewery)