Kolkata: Craft beer, brewed in traditional way by small breweries, is creeping up on pub tables as an emerging fad. The market for this alternate beer category may still be less than 1 per cent of India’s 4.7 billion litres (2017 estimate) beer market, but is growing at over 40 per cent a year, patronised by a young, well-travelled population with higher disposable incomes, according to a Deloitte study.
The change is beer consumption habit is palpable. Going by a study by Craft Brewers Association of India, over the last five years, the number of microbreweries in India has jumped from 20 in 2013 to 120 now. Compared to this, in the US, where craft beer is considered to have originated, there are over 6,000 craft breweries and 12 per cent of beer sales is from craft.
The other significant change taking place in India is that in the initial years, the trend was to set up brewpubs, but now it seems to have shifted to selling packaged beers. The overall craft beer segment is expected to reach $900 million by the end of 2024.
The niche market having popular brands like Bira 91 and White Rhino will soon have competition from United Breweries in major beer consuming states. UBL has stepped into the space with the Kingfisher Ultra Witbier--the first non-lager beer from the stable of Kingfisher. The craft-styled beer is brewed with the authentic Belgian wheat beer recipe, it said.
“Consumers today expect more from their beers--they crave uniqueness in flavour, taste & experience. Ultra Witbier will retain the sense of style and authenticity of the parent brand Ultra, and we are confident it will appeal to our consumers across country,” said Debabrata Mukherjee, Chief Marketing Officer, United Breweries.
He said Kingfisher Ultra Witbier is available in 330ml, 500ml and 650ml ml bottles, priced at Rs. 110, Rs. 150 and Rs. 185, respectively in Karnataka. The beer will soon be available in Maharashtra, Delhi and Haryana, besides, Goa and Karnataka where it is already present.
Interestingly, South India accounts for the largest market share of more than 42 per cent in terms of beer consumption, owing to a significant rise in urban and female consumers in the region.
The per capita consumption of beer is 1.5 litre and has been budding at over 15 per cent in the last few years....