India is a country where beer consumption has been on the rise for the past few years. While it may not be an alcoholic beverage that everyone will enjoy, there are many who do love drinking and exploring some of India’s best beers. Here are 15 of our favorites!
We are sure you’ll be pleasantly amazed to discover that the listing is a little wider than Kingfisher and Tuborg. From the Exotic Brands to the Country Made and the bottled beers brands like Heineken and Hoegaarden, the offerings would please even the snootiest connoisseur. And don’t care about the beer belly, we hear whispers that it’s a fable, and we’re inclined to trust those mumblings.
Beer – The Drink of Nation | Few Facts & Figures
Our nation prides itself on being one of the largest beer consumers in the entire world, and we can’t complain honestly. In addition, the Indian beer industry is booming, with an annual growth of 10% anticipated in drawing close years. The beer was brought to India by the British, who subsequently installation a brewery that produced Asia’s first beer – a pale ale, popularly known as LION. However, nowadays, lager is the predominant type of beer available in India. It is available in two strengths – mild (with around 5% alcohol) and a generous strong (with around 6-8% alcohol). Relying on the location, a large 650 ml bottle of beer will value you about 100 rupees at a liquor store, and double or triple that at the bar in India.
The largest manufacturer of beer in India is Bangalore-based United Breweries, which makes Kingfisher and Kalyani Black Label. The organization dominates about half the market. Global brewing giant SABMiller (now Anheuser-Busch InBev) entered the Indian market in 2000. In 2001, it acquired Mysore Breweries (which makes Knock Out beer), accompanied by Shaw Wallace’s beer brands Royal challenge and Haywards 5000 in 2003. it is the second largest beer producer in India, with a market share of around 25%.
What’s especially noteworthy is the recent upward thrust of craft beer in India. It is anticipated to be a major trend in the future with many new players getting into the marketplace. In case you’re inquisitive about Indian craft beers, check out these microbreweries in Bangalore.
Kingfisher isn’t just a beer, it’s a religion in itself. One of the finest and Best Beer Brands in India, Kingfisher is the most recognized and extensively available brand that unites beer lovers across the country. This is the one true national player, that regardless of the difficult situation, remains the “King of Good Times”. Exceptional flavor, good price, and great distribution are what makes Kingfisher the most trustable and broadly consumed beer in India.
Kingfisher was released in India in 1978 and since then it has acquired a massive market share of about 40%, although this has now decreased by 4.3% in recent years according to market studies. The very popular Kingfisher strong, containing around 8% alcohol, leads the Indian beer market. It has more flavor than the regular Kingfisher premium, which has 4.8% alcohol. Another variation is Kingfisher Blue, marketed as the young and trendy. This is also a strong beer with the alcohol content around 8% but it has a very mild watery flavor. Distinctive and full-bodied Kingfisher ultra, crafted from imported ingredients, is the most modern label to hit the marketplace.
The tagline of Carlsberg “Probably The Best in The World” is ironic because it’s far away from the best even in countries that don’t produce much beer themselves. Surprising even though it’s a notably huge brand, it’s still not available at a number of places. Talking about the taste and flavor, this spiffy beer has grainy bittersweet notes and offers a pretty clean drinking experience. This is the kind of beer you want to sip on by the poolside, and delicately pair a light salad or even a fruit platter with it.
Budweiser is one of the best beer brands available in our country, this legendary American beer has inspired so many beer brands to come into existence. Known for its fresh and light taste, today Budweiser has become synonymous with “beer”. The primary reason to drink Bud is to switch you back to those good vintage days as this will certainly make you happy and help you to rejoice your reminiscences. Savor your bud with a well-done burger and fries combo.
This mild-colored Australian lager is a full-bodied drink with a rather malty flavor, and it pairs nicely with classic sports night food. Goes well with the chicken wings and pizza!
Read More:- It’s time to run for beer!
This clever party beer with the handy pull tab is driving our youth with its mighty potency and quite the distinct bitterness. Conveniently available everywhere, this Danish brand has probably unlocked the distribution secret in India like no other. For it to be competent to survive in the market for this long without actually having any taste is an achievement in itself.
Tuborg is a Danish brewing company which was started in 1873 by Carl Frederik Tietgen. Since 1970 it has come under Carlsberg Group. The brewery was set up in Hellerup which is a part of northern Copenhagen, Denmark. It is one of the finest beer and is loved by people because of the combination of fine taste and economical rate.
One of the best beer brands in India, the Haywards beer is most recognized for its iconic Haywards 5000, a brew which is one hell of a strong lager. With 7% of alcohol content, this “damdaar” lager has made its remarkable presence for its vintage advertising and of course, a formidable hit that rocked most of North India.
The brand was launched in 1974, with the Haywards 2000 mild beer, as an extension of the renowned Haywards liquor brand (which was founded in the early 1900s). Haywards 5000 subsequently hit the market in 1978. In 2015, SABMiller launched a Haywards 5000 BOLD beer that’s brewed for 48 hours long and has a full-bodied taste. Haywards also produces a rarer super strong Haywards 10000. Haywards has a market share of nearly 11% and is consumed the most in Rajasthan, Punjab, Haryana, Madhya Pradesh, and Chattisgarh.
Read More- State of Play: Nebbiolo
To our amazement, this “Father of God” is unanimously gifted across all the hill stations we tread to in India. Perhaps because it’s a strong brew and a single bottle is enough for its target audience probably the bus/truck drivers to hold awake through the night time driving through the hills. Well, we aren’t complaining either!
Godfather is the flagship beer brand of Devans Modern Breweries Limited, a brewing company that commenced operations in Jammu in 1961. The beer comes in three varieties – Strong (7.5% alcohol content), Lager (5% alcohol content) and Lite (4.5% alcohol content). What’s unique about Godfather beer is its long-brewing cycle, which lasts for 25 days, as opposed to the usual 12-15 days. This gives it body and a fresher taste. You’ll find that Godfather Lager and Lite beers are more bitter than other lagers such as Kingfisher Premium.
Heineken, an iconic Dutch pale lager is almost a perfect combination of flavor, price and is extremely popular across the country and cherished for its relatively strong punch and a full-bodied taste. Acknowledged for its signature green bottle and the red star, this pale lager is available unanimously across thekas and pubs leading it to one of the most popular and best beer brands in India.
9. Bira 91
Pass over mainstream beers, Bira 91 (the number stands for India’s country code) is a brand new craft beer that’s taking urban India by storm. Introduced in 2015, it’s already turned out to be a household call amongst beer fans and is the very best selling premium beer in lots of the capital city bars. The company pursuits to fill the space in the market for a “trendy, unorthodox, fun and smart brand of beer“. It’s positioned between the mainstream Indian beer brands and steeply-priced imported ones.
In order to identify and create beers that would suit the Indian palate, the company’s founder spent three months traveling across Europe. Bira 91 started out with two varieties that are much milder (with alcohol content below 5%) than other beers in the Indian market. Bira 91 White Ale is a low-bitterness wheat beer with a hint of spicy citrus, while Bira 91 Blonde is a flavourful lager with extra hops and malt. The company has subsequently introduced strong and light beers. Bira 91 Light is a low-calorie beer with reduced alcohol content (4%) for health-conscious consumers. Bira 91 Strong is a high-intensity wheat beer with an alcohol content of 7%. In a testament to Bira’s desirability, the company launched without a marketing campaign and has relied on word of mouth. In May 2017, Bira 91 was featured in the United Nations’ Beer of the Month Program.
Pretty polarising drink, Corona is an easy breezy Mexican number and it has a really mild maltiness. Corona is amazing in taste but in terms of pricing, it isn’t always affordable by everybody. It’s miles an expensive beer and isn’t typically present at every place. So to taste this beer you probably need to wind up at high ended clubs. Well, it is still worth attempting at least once in a lifetime.
Breezer has made all of us lose our alcohol virginity, did you lose the same way?
Bacardi Breezer is essentially a fruit-based alcopop with a varied percentage of alcohol content differ from country to country. For India, it is 4.8% of alcohol. This alcopop comes in a massive range of fruit flavours and pioneered the class of flavoured beers which includes: peach, apple, lemon, ruby grapefruit, pineapple, orange, watermelon, cranberry, blackberry, blueberry, pomegranate, lime, raspberry, coconut, mango, and strawberry. Similarly, it’s also available in both Pina Colada and chocolate flavours.
12. Stella Artois
Quite the sophisticated brew, this Belgian Pilsner is pretty expensive and notoriously absent from most beer stores and bars across the country. Noted to be one of the best beer brands in India, Stella Artois has a well-balanced taste: Pleasantly bitter and a very refreshing finish which is served typically in its special chalice-shaped glasses. This versatile beer is the perfect food accessory, going with everything from flavourful BBQ’s to delicate fish.
13. Kingfisher Ultra
Kingfisher ultra is the newest addition to Kingfishers house but this Lager which is present from ages remains preferred by the majority. It has the same old flavour and is relatively cheap than the other ones. The ultra is a smoother, classier edition of the original hit machine and makes for a perfect play with desi Chinese or Kathi Rolls.
One of the most amazing, expensive and best beer brands currently available in India, Hoegaarden makes the cut solely on the basis of its flavours and taste. Featuring the distinct aroma of an orange peel, coriander, and select herbs and a sunny-meets-cloudy look, this is one Belgian wheat beer that works well with a slice of orange and is designed for long lazy afternoons.
15. Asahi Super Dry
Crisp, smooth, and with just a trace of bitterness, this mild golden lager has a subtle citrus aroma and is flavourful, and balanced. Perfectly fits in the class of the best beer brands in India, Asahi Super Dry is a Japanese import beer with a refreshing flavour and is likely the best accompaniment to a steaming bowl of ramen and even grilled yakitori.