Micro-breweries in Delhi soon as LG clears hurdle
By TNN for Times of India on December 18, 2017
NEW DELHI: In the New Year, beer lovers need not drive all the way to Gurgaon or other parts of NCR to enjoy a freshly brewed drink. Three years after Delhi government’s go-ahead, the stage is finally set for micro-breweries to open in the capital with lieutenant governor Anil Baijal clearing a technical hurdle holding up implementation of the decision.
To enable issue of licences, it has been decided that micro-breweries will be moved out of the “prohibited” category under the Delhi Development Authority’s Masterplan 2021. Under current rules, small breweries are considered as liquor-making plants, which are banned in Delhi.
“In reality, a micro-brewery is a small set-up and is environment-friendly,” an offical said.
Excise commissioner Amjad Tak said units of up to 500-litre capacity will be set up and the assessment of the possibility of pollution due to residues has been done.
“It turns out that these (residue) will not cause any pollution. Only a few applications are pending with the department as of now and these will be approved soon in keeping with the norms for micro-breweries,” Tak said.
National Restaurant Association of India president Riyaz Amlani estimates that the market for micro-breweries in the city is worth around Rs 10,000 crore. Amlani, however, warns that delays in implementation of the decision have already led businesses to shift to NCR.
“Setting up a brewery is expensive and requires a space of not less than 1,000 sq metres. Hence, to set-up one, a lot of planning is required. Investors will only come when the Excise department starts the process of issuing licenses,” Amlani said.
Earlier, entreprenuers keen to open micro-breweries had started making investments and one even set-up an outlet in Vasant Kunj. However, the delays led to much heartburn and many investors chose to go to Gurgaon and cities where micro-breweries are allowed.
Amlani said that micro-breweries are a huge favourite among beer lover across the world. “One, you get freshly brewed beer with no additives and second, the pithcer is more affordable than a bottle,” he explained.
In Delhi, beer is commonly a preferred drink during summer and the monsoon months. Over the years, beer consumption has been steadily growing in the city and hence micro-breweries in the capital are expected to attract many clients who currently have to go all the way to Gurgaon and Faridabad for a drink.