State raises a mug to micro beer

Hotels, clubs to get licence for brewpubs

State raises a mug to micro beer

For the first time ever, the State Government has begun the process for setting up microbreweries popularly know as brewpubs. Bars, clubs, and  hotels, which satisfy norms specified by the Excise Department, can soon seek licence to manufacture limited amount of beer in their own microbreweries at their premises.

The concept is new to India with a couple of brewpubs having opened in Kerala, Pune, and Gurgaon in Haryana. Karnataka will be the fourth state to open its doors to microbreweries and an official notification inviting applications for licences will be notified soon.

“If Pune and Gurgaon can have it, why not Bangalore? It is innovative concept and as a progressive state, we too should be open to it,” officials in the department said. The term and trend originated in the United Kingdom in the late 1970s and gradually came to reflect an alternative approach to flexibility and adaptability of beer brewing. It then spread to the US in the 1980s.

The lager beer that comes in bottles and cans are manufactured in huge breweries. Microbreweries can be set up in a room but the brewing technology will remain the same. “In the West, many clubs and hotels have brewpubs where the microbrewery forms the backdrop behind a glass partition and freshly brewed beer is served to customers over the counter,” the officials said.

Clubs and hotels, which install microbreweries can have their own branded brewed beer. The Excise Department will also allow major breweries to set up their own micro-units to promote their brands. The microbreweries equipment is expensive and need to be imported. It costs around Rs two crore, sources said. The licence fee for setting up the microbrewery has been fixed at Rs 2.5 lakh per annum. Besides, excise duty of Rs five has been fixed for every litre of beer manufactured. The maximum quantum of beer that can be produced is yet to be finalised.

Norms have also been stipulated for setting up the units. For instance, the licencee will have to arrange to check the quality of raw materials and beer produced, by a chemist with specialisation in bio-chemistry or in alcohol technology. The beer produced cannot exceed eight per cent in alcohol content. Cheers !

Facts

*  Beer can be manufactured in a brewery that fits in a room

*  Karnataka is fourth state opening its doors for microbreweries

*  Brewpubs are popular in UK & US

*  Clubs, bars and hotels can apply for setting up microbreweries

*  Beer produced cannot exceed eight per cent in alcohol content

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