There’s a storm brewing in the beer mug, and it shows no sign of abating. It’s been a decade (or thereabouts) since the first few microbreweries sprung up in India, and today we have more than 200 brewpubs and breweries around the country. While the pandemic and ensuing lockdowns resulted in a massive slowdown in business, craft breweries have found innovative ways to serve the home consumption market by offering doorstep deliveries, introducing takeaway growlers, opening beer filling stations, and more. Here are 10 made-in-India craft beers to say “cheers” with.Brew Whale Craft Beer
The Mumbai-based boutique craft brewery Brew Whale has multiple beers on tap and their experimental brews will blow you away—consider their Moby Wit, a cloudy Belgian Witbier spiced with notes of coriander and orange, or Bowhead Stout, a bold and beautiful coffee stout with generous amounts of dark malts with hops. Their newest entrant is an American IPA brewed using American hops to give the beer classic pine notes with hints of grapefruit and passion fruit.
Available in Mumbai and Pune, WhatsApp 08928543276 or order onlineBriggs Brewery
Bengaluru-based Briggs Brewery was founded in 2018 and offers a range of four time-tested beer styles. Their Willy’s Witbier is a bestseller, a light-bodied drink with a low bitterness profile, along with the Griffin, a fruity Belgian strong ale with a hint of spiciness and a dry finish. Other variants include Hoppy Feet, a dry American IPA with floral aroma and Stout Alchemy, a full-bodied Irish Stout with notes of chocolate, caramel, and coffee.
Available across Karnataka; Briggsbrewery.comCrafters
Started in 2018 with a taproom in Powai, the Mumbai-based Crafters has shifted focus to the retail segment by opening two growler stations at Andheri and Chembur. Their two wheat beers, the Hefeweizen (German-style wheat) and the Belgian Wit (Belgian-style wheat) are absolute crowd-pleasers. They also experiment with a wide variety of ingredients like cucumber, cantaloupe, figs, lemon myrtle, etc, and release seasonal beers like the Cucumber Lager and special beers like Coffee Stout and Lemon Myrtle Lager.
Available at select restaurants in Mumbai or order onlineGoa Brewing Co.
Located inside a 250-year-old sprawling Indo-Portuguese mansion, Goa Brewing Co.’s microbrewery is a rather interesting space (in pre-pandemic times, you could take a brewery tour). Their best-known beer is Eight Finger Eddie, an intensely hoppy oat cream IPA, which is an ode to the free-spirited hippie movement of the '60s. The brewery offers two seasonal variants—a crisp Wheat Ale and the fruity, summer-perfect Pineapple Saison. Their two limited releases have been very well received as well—we particularly loved the Trappist-style dark ale, Saint & Sinner.
Available across Goa; Goabrewing.coKati Patang
Brewed with Himalayan spring water, Kati Patang’s millennial-centric brews come with an Indian spin. The Delhi-based company launched in 2018 with Zesty Amber loaded with all-natural malts and aromatic hops, giving it an intense complexity and a smooth caramel finish. Their Snappy Wheat is chock-full of lemon rind flavours and the subtle finish of Indian spices like peppercorn, coriander, ginger, and turmeric. Their latest offering is Saffron Lager, a light-bodied and crisp beer with hints of Saffron from Pampore, Kashmir.
Available across Delhi, Haryana, and Himachal Pradesh, plus draught beer pouring in Mumbai and Pune, and growler delivery in Mumbai, call 09910018847; Katipatang.comKimaya Himalayan Beverages
Another beer brand that uses Himalayan source water, Kimaya Himalayan Beverages launched in September 2019 with two craft beers. Their Bee Young is India’s first crafted strong beer (7.2 ABV), a crisp, clean drink with punchy citrus flavours, while Yavira (which is Sanskrit for beer) is a Basmati pilsner made with premium rice grains and is well-balanced and aromatic with a creamy finish. The beers are available in 500ml bottles so that you can enjoy your drink at the right temperature until the last sip.
Available across Delhi, Uttar Pradesh, and Uttarakhand; Kimayahimalayan.comMAKA di
A relatively new entrant on the craft beer scene, Goa-based Latambarcem Brewers launched MAKA di (Konkani for ‘give me’) in October 2020. The brand offers four variants like the Belgian Tripel, an aromatic bespoke beer created exclusively for India in partnership with Lupulus Brewery in Belgium, Honey Ale with honey sourced from Jim Corbett National Park, and Belgian Blanche that is dripping with citrus notes, topped with fresh coriander and a bite of cumin. Their Bavarian Keller is an interesting unfiltered beer that follows ‘Reinheitsgebot’, the Bavarian Purity Law of 1516, which permits only water, hops, malts, and yeast to be used in the brewing process.
Available in Goa and Bengaluru; Makabeer.spaceSimba Beer
Founded in 2016, Simba is a premium-segment craft beer brand, which makes its beer at their flagship, state-of-the-art brewery in Durg in Chhattisgarh. Simba Wit is their bestseller, a Belgian Wit-style beer with citrusy notes and subtle hints of lemongrass, while their lagers come in strong and light variants. Simba Stout is India’s first bottled stout, an easy-drinking, low-bitterness beer with coffee notes complemented by toffee, caramel, and dark chocolate.
Available across multiple states; Simbabeer.comSusegado Beer
Channelling Goa’s famous laidback vibe, Susegado has been offering draught beers since 2017 (and bottles since late 2020). The brand is founded by Aditya Challa, a professionally trained brewer who learnt brewing in Scotland and went on to brew in Singapore for four years before moving back to India. The brand offers six beer styles—English Ale, Dortmund Lager, Tropical Wit, American IPA, Vanilla Porter, and Kokum Gosé—the last one is a Goan take on the German Goslar style with the sour-salty hit of kokum.
Available across Goa; Susegado.comWhite Rhino Brewing Co.
White Rhino Brewing Co launched India’s first bottled craft beer. The company, founded in 2016, owns and operates a state-of-the-art brewing facility in Gwalior, Madhya Pradesh, from where it distributes to both domestic and international (Nepal and the UK) markets. On offer are four beers—White Rhino Wit, a Belgian Witbier brewed with Curacao orange peel and organic coriander, White Rhino Lager, brewed in the German tradition with 100 per cent Pilsner malt and matured in tank for over a month, and the IPA, which is their bestseller. The newly launched Pale Ale is a balanced, easy-drinking beer with low bitterness.
Available across Delhi, Gurugram, Bengaluru, Chandigarh, Punjab, and Himachal Pradesh; Whiterhinobrewing.inAlso read:
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