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7 Indian Craft Beer Brands To Try In 2021

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You’d be amazed by how good these are!

A A A tT

Catching up with your best mates over chilled beer and all-you-can-eat pub nibbles on a weekend— is all you need to wash away a longggg work week! Yes, a glass of beer can make the world seem like a better place. For years, we Indians had to pay a steep amount for imported beers or have had to rely on mass-produced ones for lack of choice. Not anymore! The Craft Beer scene has been brewing for the last few years—attracting young adults above the legal drinking age—with their unique flavours, quality brews, and fun and creative packaging served at pocket-friendly rates! Here’s Man’s Life’s guide to a few good, craft beer brands…



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A post shared by White Owl (@whiteowlbrewery)

The brand started off as a restaurant, and in 2014, expanded into a brewery after acquiring the required licences. This Mumbai-based microbrewery, now has a loyal fan base. White Owl imports grain from Belgium and Germany. The brand’s available across Mumbai, Pune, Bengaluru, Goa and Delhi. White Owl’s line up has four impressive beers—Ace, Diablo, Spark and Spike—among others. Spike is a deliciously strong brew with 7.9 per cent ABV and hints of banana and clove—loved by beer snobs everywhere! 



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Maka beer is produced at a Goa-based brewery with a fully automated system—with precise controls to virtually eliminate human error and ensure consistency in their beers. Craft ideology and innovation are at the brand’s forefront. High-quality brews at par with fabled German and Belgium ones are their speciality.  Currently available in Goa, Bangalore, Mumbai, Daman and Chandigarh. The brand currently has five variants—Belgian Blanche, Honey Ale (with honey sourced from Jim Corbett National Park according to their IG page), Bavarian Keller and a Belgian Tripel.



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‘A cut kite isn’t lost. It has only found freedom’. These are the lines on their website that gives you insight into the ‘free-spiritedness’ the brand embodies and also explains the thought behind the moniker. Founders Lata and Shantanu Upadhyay cut ties with their corporate careers to launch Kati Patang in October 2018, in Delhi. The label’s famously known for brewing its beer with clear, pure Himalayan spring water, and is said to contribute two per cent of its profits to water conservation! Brewed in Bhutan’s Serbhum brewery, the craft beers can be found in Mumbai, Bangalore, Chandigarh and Himachal Pradesh.  The Zesty Amber Ale in its line-up is the star attraction. This amber-coloured beer perfectly balances intensely complex flavours with smooth caramel touches! Snappy Wheat and Saffron Lager are the other variants.

4. BIRA 91


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A post shared by Bira 91 (@bira91beer)

We think it’s fair to credit Bira with spearheading the craft-beer revolution in India. The label started off in 2015 by importing from Belgium, but now is completely made in India. The trademark monkey that’s become the face of Bira is now recognisable across pubs and bars in India! It’s first production facility was launched in Indore, and now has expanded to Nagpur, Mysuru and Kovur in Andhra Pradesh. A favourite amongst Indian craft beer aficionados—the label has been able to build a strong emotional connect with our country’s young, urban beer lovers. It can now be found in New York City, US and Singapore! We were first introduced to Bira with their Blonde and White variants. Now, they also offer a diverse portfolio—with Light, Strong, Gold, Indian Pale Ale, Malabar Stout, Boom Strong and Boom Classic. Light only packs in 80 calories and 3gms of carbs without compromising on flavour!



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Founded in 2016 by Prabhtej Singh Bhatia with its brewery in Chhattisgarh’s Durg, Simba was the first Indian brand to bring bottled Stout to the country’s pubs. Today, the brand is available across Goa, Assam, Delhi, Bangalore, Mumbai, Pune, Shillong and Kolkata. You can also give their Wit, Light and Strong beers a try. A second brewery is said to be in the works in Arunachal Pradesh. The bearded lion man in a suit, shades and bowtie with plenty of swag is making waves in the craft beer scene in the country!



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A post shared by White Rhino Brewing Co. (@whiterhinobrewingco)

A brand that has established itself well in the Indian, Nepalese and UK markets, White Rhino’s ethos is woven around local ingredients and uncompromising brew quality. Founded by Ishan Puri in 2016, the label was among the first craft beers that was brewed and bottled in India in Gwalior. The brand works with German malt and high-quality hops from Europe and the US. You can find it in Delhi, Gurugram, Punjab, Himachal Pradesh and Bangalore.  Belgian-style Witbier and German-style Lager were the first variants to enter the market, followed by India Pale Ale (IPA) and Pale Ale. The wheat beer uses Indian-rolled wheat and complements it with fresh organic coriander seeds from the Himalayas—giving it an rich, aromatic twist—which can be best enjoyed with burgers and sandwiches.



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A post shared by Abhilash Pradhan (@abthefoodie)

Non-conformist, homegrown and authentic are some words synonymous with the brand. Founded in 2018 by Suraj Shenai and Dr Ash Paradh, the Goa Brewing Co is unique and experimental. They didn’t take the usual Belgian-and-German-brew route and tried unusual flavour profiles. Their brewery is unlike any other too: It’s a 250-year-old heritage home in Porvorim in Goa! The label sources ingredients from across India and the world—be it gondhoraj lemons from Bengal, hops from Yakima Valley or sancho pepper from Japan. When the pandemic hit, they churned out sanitisers from their facility. The best bet? They recycle their beer bottles too! For now, you can enjoy their brews in Mumbai, Bangalore and Goa. Goa Brewing Co has so far come up with five variants: Eight Finger Eddie, Saint & Sinner, Breakfast Cereal Stout and Wheat. Eight Finger Eddie is named after Yertward Mazamanian, who started Goa’s fabled Anjuna Flea Market. He was fondly known as Eight Finger Eddie (because he had only eight fingers); his craft beer namesake is fruity with hints of bitterness. 

The craft beer market is a booming one. If you have a favourite that hasn’t made it to this list, let us know in the comments! All this beer talk has made us really thirsty. We are going to call it a day with a glass of chilled beer. Drink responsibly! Cheers!


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