The craft beer industry in India has taken off over the last few years, and a large part of this growth can be ascribed to the rapid growth in the micro-brewery or brewpub sector. Here we are specifically referring to pubs, where fresh beer is brewed and served on site.
To get a beer-side view of the growth in the industry, Tulleeho conducted a survey of two of the epicenters of this industry: Hyderabad and Bengaluru. The Tulleeho team interacted with the management of 35 brewpubs across both locations.
Not a fad
Brewpubs were initially slow to pick up but have, over the last 2 years, seen explosive growth, with 54% of the brewpubs surveyed, having opened in the years 2017-19. Each venue is trying to bring house and special brews with an innate focus on ambience and service excellence.
Roughly half the brewpub surveyed fell in the less than 10 hl (hecto litre) capacity, while the other half were split between more than 15 hl (17%) and 10-15 hl (34%). In Bengaluru the capacities tended to average out to 12 hl, while in Hyderabad it was closer to 5 hl. (1 hecto litre is equal to 100 litres of beer).
Small is beautiful
Roughly half of the brewpubs have taken professional advice from consulting agencies, either for set-up or for ongoing operation of the brewery. 4-5 people is the average people on the brewing team of the surveyed brewpubs..
Good to see that 3/4th of our sample had at least 5-7 beers on tap. The most selling style is Wit everywhere. Ciders work well at some places, lagers at others. People are warming up to IPAs (India Pale Ales) and stouts more in Bengaluru than in Hyderabad. The average cycle for new beer introductions tends to hover around the 45-day mark.
Most breweries (94%) run in-house training programmes for staff, mostly run by their brewmasters. Their staff did list out several challenges including how to introduce a new beer style; style knowledge and beer service; essential terms (IBU, ABV, full-body, sessionable, etc.); and how best to describe the beers (nuances, mouthfeel, aftertaste, hop-character, sweet vs bitter).
Both Bengaluru and Hyderabad have a high percentage of young people in their work force, with large software/ IT firms in both locations. The weekends therefore see a lot of footfalls, with some places going as high as 700 people on Fridays and Saturdays.
3/4th of the spend averages out at between around Rs. 1,500-2,000 (for a couple). The average price for a 500-ml mug hovers between Rs. 270 and Rs. 300, whereas you can get a pint on an average of freshly brewed beer for between Rs. 180 and Rs. 250.