Beer is India’s summer best friend. And crafted beers have already started on their path to make locally-sourced drinks the youth’s favourite much before ‘Vocal for Local’. Well, this International Beer Day, let’s sip local!
Tis’ the season of summer breaks, beach outings, some carefree travel, and life lessons on the go. Well, that’s what it used to be before the grave pandemic decided to pay a visit. For all of the industries present and for the crowd too, things haven’t been easy or looked fruitful. Similarly, breweries (your summer best friend) have been under pressure with the closure of retails, bars in many of the Indian cities. The pandemic has reset a lot about how things exist and operate and the cry for going vocal for local has never resonated louder. The consequence of this unanimous movement has helped lay the foundation for many homegrown brands that have managed to emerge during this period of crisis.
According to reports, “The Indian alcohol market ranks third in the world. It was valued at Rs 2 billion in 2018 and could reach Rs 5 billion by 2027, growing at a CAGR of 7.8 per cent in 10 years with Beer counting as the second most popular alcoholic beverage after whiskey.” The emerging trend of craft beers are carried on to become a favourite – it has certainly made Indians get the taste of locally sourced ingredients and give their taste buds the hang of ‘handcrafted drinks’. This International Beer Day, it’s very important to go local and support our indigenous community.
Welcome to Kimaya
Kimaya Himalayan recently made a debut in the craft beer industry with two homegrown brews – BeeYoung and Yavirā which are uniquely positioned as India’s first strong-craft brews. Started by Abhinav Jindal, CEO and Founder, he has laid the importance of bringing native provenance to the mainstream crowd.
Kimaya Himalayan felt that a strong beer and a flavourful one needn’t be mutually exclusive propositions and set about creating brews to dispel the very notion – ‘strong craft beers come without much concern for taste’. Well, the idea for the brand has always been to showcase India – its produce and its expertise – in every sense. Experiments with coarse grains like Jhangora and Mandwa grown in the remote hilly regions of Uttarakhand has also been underway.
Abhinav Jindal, Founder & CEO, Kimaya Himalayan
The best part about homegrown brands has been the constant building of connections with local folks, farmers and other small producers across the country. Kimaya too has been popular among the crowd for its international standards of taste, quality and packaging all while staying in sync with the more immediate, local market and consumer.
India has been the treasure hub of ingredients, ferments since ages. With a great pinch of simplicity, Kimaya’s brews cultivate local delight. Holding their market base in Delhi, Uttar Pradesh and Uttranchal, their two products – Yavira and BeeYoung, however, represent two different codes and flavours.
Bee Young happens to narrate the story of spirited youth. Containing Argentinean Two-Row Barley, 100% Sortex Rice, Columbus and Styrian Golding hops, it makes an ideal sip with some citrusy twists. While, the base of Yavira happens to be the inclusion of local certified Basmati rice, owing to its smooth and silky-textured sip. Yavira happens to deliver a more local, simply-selected, sourced ingredients with its name deriving from a Sanskrit word, ushering the crafted beer with an even deeper Indian connection. Their two drinks come in ideal 500ml bottles – not too small or too big to ensure proper enjoyment at the right temperature.
Fizzing During Pandemic
The sudden closing factor across the country has hit many big and small industries. Independent brewing brands and organisations have had their works and businesses disturbed from manufacturing to retail. It takes almost two weeks for beer to be brewed which disrupted the supply chain and procuring of raw materials. Mr Abhinav Jindal remarks, “Due to lockdown, the supply chain was certainly disrupted for all the players in the market but the working capital was adversely hit and thus, affecting production. Some relief has been experienced in terms of the supply chain which has accelerated the production and sales both in favour of the brand.”
Although the various work involved gradually picked pace with the eased lockdown in the last two months, the earlier production cycle which was of 3 shifts has gone down to one. However, the availability of manpower and labour is also coming into place which eyes to a usual production pace in the coming months.
The retail has been picking up gradually too, opening up and a new edge to the digital world can be seen too. Commercial behaviour has changed over time with online alcohol retail starting to operate in certain parts of the south. He also adds, “As far as digital sales are concerned, home delivery hasn’t been allowed in our key markets i.e Delhi, UP & Uttarakhand. In terms of digital presence, we are engaging our user base with fun campaigns for both our variants. For eg- we have been engaging the audience with mixology videos by influencers, DJ collabs, UGC campaigns for BeeYoung and running a recipe campaign ‘EATWITHYAVIRA’ for Yavira.”
Crafted Beers are truly the new favourites of the Indian crowd. Well, beer has been the mascot of friendship and the local crowd understood the needed awareness for locally sourced ones. The potential for craft breweries in India is on a major boom, thanks to their fine taste and the passion to support local communities and farms.
Availability – Delhi, Uttarakhand and Uttar Pradesh and some parts of Punjab