Craft beer cos making Gurgaon a Microbreweries hub

By Bhagyashree Nair for EconomicTimes on Feb 14, 2017

Microbreweries like Manhattan Bar Exchange & Brewery, Open Tap, Brewer Street, Bottles & Barrels, Soi 7 and the Clock Tower have sprung up in Gurgaon, attracting customers for locally brewed beer from all over the country.

Microbreweries like Manhattan Bar Exchange & Brewery, Open Tap, Brewer Street, Bottles & Barrels, Soi 7 and the Clock Tower have sprung up in Gurgaon, attracting customers for locally brewed beer from all over the country.

GURGAON: Bengaluru, with its innumerable pubs, may be the beer capital of India, but Gurgaon is making a mark with crafting and serving the brew afresh. 

Microbreweries with names such as Manhattan Bar Exchange & Brewery, Open Tap, Brewer Street, Bottles & Barrels, Soi 7 and the Clock Tower have sprung up in Gurgaon, attracting customers for locally brewed beer from all over the country. 

A craft brewery is one that is smaller than a commercial brewery. It is typically and independent entity and known for emphasis on quality, flavour and unique techniques. Most breweries have their own style and customised menus. 

“Everything we prepare here has its own unique flavour. We use imported barley and wheat malts with imported hops to brew our beer,” said Prakash, the manager at the Clock Tower. 

Located on Golf Course Road, the outlet with Victorian-styled interiors and stone walls is relatively new, having started about four months ago. A pint of its craft beer costs Rs 225. 

“Lots of locally brewed beer is being consumed, which is good and it also encourages the owners to improve their business,” said Abhilash Nanduri, a regular pub-hopper. 

“Standardisation is required on quality and consumers should be informed about the ingredients.” Gurgaon has 28 microbreweries, while Bengaluru has 18, according to restaurant listing website Zomato. 

“People who have a taste for good beer make it a point to visit Gurgaon when they come to the capital,” said Arun Gopinath from Pune. “My personal favourite is the dark wheat beer served at Downtown, which is excellent and it makes me come back often.” 

Shobhit, the food and services manager at Brewer Street on Sohna Road, said Gurgaon has come a long way with its craft breweries and already had 20 pub breweries when it started out. We set up three and a half years ago and had the same problems that everyone faced. Licensing, permissions, the detailing, but we managed…” 

Brewer Street offers in-house beers with flavours such as Belgian wheat, cream ale, dark beer and red lager, with a pint starting at Rs 95. 

Shobhit reckons that craft breweries might want to consider expanding their business to other parts of the country, while stressing that Gurgaon is still the ideal location. 

“We don’t get permission in Delhi, Mumbai has no space and Bengaluru is too far south,” he said. “Gurgaon has a decent bevy of people coming in from Delhi, apart from the residents of this city, which is suitable for us,” he said. Brewer Street plans to open another craft brewery, promising a unique concept to custo.

While sales are decent through the year, festivals bring in the most crowds, according to Shobhit. “Our place is booked weeks in advance by large parties planning to celebrate the festive season here,” he said.

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