City goes on beer binge, sales boom

City goes on beer binge, sales boom

Beer sales have touched a new high in City in the last couple of years, and the demand for a freshly brewed drink is increasing, especially among the hip crowd.

The Karnataka State Beverages Corporation Limited (KSBCL) statistics reveal that there has been a 10 per cent rise in the sale of beer during 2013, compared with six per cent in the Indian Made Foreign Liquor (IMFL) in the previous two years. The sale of beer has increased significantly in KSBCL’s Bannerghatta Road and Whitefield depots, compared with 13 other depots. Each depot covers an average of 225 licensed shops in its vicinity, though their sales are not confined to a particular geographical area.

According to KSBCL, in 2012, around 63 lakh carton barrels (CBs) of beer were sold as against around 95 lakh CBs of IMFL. In 2013, around 69 lakh CBs of beer and around 98 lakh IMFL CBs were sold. Each CB contains nine litres.

An excise department official told Deccan Herald that presently there were three brewery clubs in Bangalore – Lavelle Road, Indiranagar and Koramanagala – where beer was brewed and sold to customers in over 100 flavours suiting their palates.
The department has been receiving many applications for starting such clubs, but no decision has been taken yet. Also, the cost of setting up such units is very high and requires more space, but applicants do not mind the cost as the crowd they cater to would serve the investment purpose.

However, the demand for such centres is more from developing areas and IT corridors, which have high-end apartments, an excise official pointed. A KSBCL official said the capital investment needed to set up such units was over Rs 5 crore and a pitcher of beer was priced at more than Rs 500. These units will have to be associated with one of the KSBCL depots in the City.

The KSBCL official added that the demand for cheap liquor was more on the City outskirts. While semi-urban areas are the indicators of volume growth, business growth is happening near Kempegowda International Airport, Devanahalli, Electronics City and Whitefield. This is because of the mushrooming commercial and residential establishments.

The official said new entrants to Bangalore mostly preferred City outskirts and this was another reason why liquor shops were moving to there.

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