Brews from Down Under set to Entice Indian Palate

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Brews from Down Under set to Entice Indian Palate

Such has been the turnaround in the mindset of beer drinkers in India that every beer drinker in India now seem to want a share of new tastes, aromas, flavours and experiences. And with the young generation making footprints across the globe, the demand for beer of different nations is on the rise in India. Within this context, it is but natural for Andrew Purchase, Chairman - St Andrews Beach Brewery to be quite excited about bringing Australian beer to India.

India is changing and so are the drinking trends in India. For instance, the Indian beer industry which has for long been dominated by strong beers, is now forced to look at craft, light beer, wheat, IPAs, etc. Young consumers with disposable income and travels abroad that expose them to experiencing different styles of beer are now more open to adopt global drinking patterns, which includes craft and light beers. India is witnessing a craft beer revolution, with large number of microbreweries and craft breweries opening up across the country, offering a wide variety of unique and high-quality beer options.

“These appeal to consumers looking for more diverse and authentic tasting experiences. Craft beer has gained a dedicated following and is expected to continue to thrive,” opines Andrew Purchase. Authentic craft beer from Australia caters to the aspiration-driven young India, St Andrews Beach Brewery has a wide range of beers in the portfolio, ranging from easy drinking mid- strengths to bold IPAs and flavoursome dark beers.

In India, its flagship options are Pale Ale, Australian Lager and Japanese Lager, which have unique imported hops and follow the Australian brewing techniques and fermentation processes.

Technology at Play

For the most part, the brewing industry has embraced technological advancements to not only improve production efficiency, but also to improve the overall quality of beer. Examples of technological advancements in the brewing industry can be found across the board. From an equipment perspective, many large- scale breweries have installed brewing- specific software that has automated many aspects of the brewing process.

From a lab perspective, technology is constantly improving, which is leading to more consistent, high-quality beers. And from an ingredient perspective, hop growers are producing products such as hop oils and extracts to improve consistency and reduce wastage in the final product.


The Australian Mantra

Differentiation is also a crucial factor when it comes to marketing different kinds of beer. For example, what makes St Andrews Beach Brewery unique is that it is truly Australian.

“Australia is such a beautiful and unique country, and it’s this key differentiator that we will be pushing in all of our marketing and communications to carve out a niche. All of our marketing and communications, visual and written, will have a very Australian feel, and we are excited to see how the Indian market reacts to an authentic Australian brand,” Andrew reveals.

St Andrews Beach Brewery’s beers are primarily made with Australian grown and harvested hops, malt and yeast. Australian hops are known to be some of the best in the world as they provide incredible tropical flavours and aromas. These bright hop flavours are balanced with malts that provide beautiful mouth feel, body and colour. From a packaging perspective, St Andrews Beach Brewery’s brewery and taproom are located within an old horse training stable with a storied history.

“Through our beers and packaging, we acknowledge the past and try to tell the story of our site’s unique history,” Andrew discloses.

The Indian Challenge

As Andrew admits, doing alcobev business in India is like doing business in 28 countries at the same time with every state having a different excise policy – all very complicated and challenging. Extremely high label registration fee in excise makes it challenging to be present in all states, especially in smaller states of India.

“We strongly believe that on light beer the registration fee in India should be minimal so as to encourage companies to be present in more states and provide consumers with more options. Thereby, the excise revenue will also go up,” he elaborates. The duties being quite high in some of the Indian states present another impediment to overcome for them.

Emerging Trends

Globally, the low alcohol beer trend is gaining momentum even though concerns still persist around its taste. St Andrews Beach Brewery has made several attempts to produce a beer in this category but has never been satisfied on the end product in terms of body and taste.

“Consumers want taste combined with the health benefit of low carbohydrates. Female consumers are gravitating towards this along with males in the 20-40 years of age,” Andrew points out.

Andrew is of the opinion that the popularity of seltzer within the 20-40 age group will be replicated in low carbohydrate beers. Also, even if the craft beer industry in India is in its nascent stage, this market will gradually mature as Indian consumers expand their appetite for different styles and tastes of beer.