Dodging the draft, here comes craft beer

As if the lineup of foreign and Indian beer brands is not enough, here is a new concept to try out

This summer, beer lovers can try out a new kind of beverage: bottled craft beer. Launched in Delhi in November, this product from White Owl company is already being sold in 250 bars and retail stores, but the winter chill kept it under wraps for a few months.

So what exactly is craft beer, and how is it different from draft beer? It is supposed to be a premium product, not mass produced in a big brewery like your familiar Kingfisher or Budweiser. It is brewed in small quantities in microbreweries and brewpubs. It is targeted will probably satisfy the millennials’ perpetual search for something new on an evening out with friends.

In territories where White Owl’s craft beer was introduced last year — Mumbai, Pune, Goa and Bengaluru — the top-selling brew has been Spark, a ‘Belgian Wit with Summery Orange-Citrus notes’ (Rs 110 per 350 ml) and Diablo, ‘an Irish Red Ale, loved for its Roast Caramel finish’ (Rs 130). Ace, its apple cider ale, is claimed to be the only locally-bottled cider ale available in India today and Spike, a strong German wheat beer, is on the cards.

In Delhi, you can try craft beer at The Beer Café and The Irish House (across Delhi), Café Tesu, C Suri (GK 2), Ashok T Gulrajani (Jangpura), Raasta (Green Park), Yes Minister (Aurobindo Marg) What A Comic Show (SDA Market & GK) and The Taste (Defence Colony).

White Owl was founded by entrepreneurs from Harvard Business School and the Wharton School of Business and is supported by a diverse investor group in India and the US. The beer market in India is expected to grow at 8% per annum from 2019 to 2023.

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