Going to India over Xmas/NY and was wondering what the scene is like. Not a lot going on according to RB. Will be in Delhi briefly, Rajasthan, Goa and Mumbai.
The Indian beer scene is more about light lagers than anything else.
When it comes to craft as we understand it in Europe and the US, the tech city of Bangalore is the best of the cities with quite a few micro breweries, but they are mostly producing mediocre to OK ipas, wits, hefeweizens and blondes.
I’d probably rate Mumbai and Gurgaon (basically a tech and business suburb of Delhi) as the next in line city quality wise, but they are not important beer destinations.
Having a rather high number of Catholics, and being influenced by Portuguese, Goa is the Indian state where alcohol has the least of stigma (and tax!) to it. Even though I haven’t been there for the last few years, from what I hear from Indian friends, focus is still very much on cheap-ish wine and light lagers.
In Rajasthan you’ll find Kingfisher Premium and other similar lagers in top end and tourist based hotels and restaurants.
From your destinations I’d say your greatest possibilities to find something other than lagers would be something from White Rhino somewhere in Delhi and something from Goa Brewing in Goa.
You can drink beers in India, but you should definately not go there for beer.
Expect US to North European prices for alcohol.
Agreed, the quality of craft beer isn’t going to be exceptional. Having said that, go with low expectations and you could be pleasantly surprised. When in Mumbai, try visiting Doolally. They do a decent stout.
Cheers guys! That more or less what I figured, just wanted to hear more of an inside scoop. Not like I’m going to spend a lot of time searching around for beer or anything, but will keep an eye open fro White Rhino, Goa brewing etc. Thanks @YD84 and @kjellh !
Looks like @ompher was in India recently (recall seeing on the forums and found a brewery called Untapped in Gurgaon.
Been to Delhi quite a few times over the years.
When I last visited Delhi in April, the first brewpubs in Delhi proper were just about to open - awaiting the paperwork needed after Delhi became oe of the states that allowed brewpubs.
As of April you needed to head over the state line to Haryana (which starts pretty much at the airport)
Gurgaon is the main hub with something like 45 brewpubs, of which 30+ are located around one square (Leisure Valley Sector 29). Mind you - quantity is by far exceeding quality here. Most of these places are night clubish sort of places with less than great beers but good food if you like north Indian cuisine. Ministry of Beer might be the better choice here, but it can be a bit of fun to spend some hours exploring this craziness. (MoB also has a downtown location at Connaught Place which likely has started brewing by now) I however prefer the beer and atmosphere at other locations in Gurgaon, such as Drunken Botanist @ DLF Cyber City, Clock Tower @ Golf Course Road or (at least the rauchbier at) Brewocrat in Sector 47. Some brewpubs exist also in Faridabad. Both Gurgaon and Faridabad are reachable with metro from downtown Delhi, which is a much faster way to go around than taxi. (Delhi traffic makes LA seem like northern Canada…) Locally tuktuks also work fine - but be carefully prepared with exact address and expect the first price offer to be on the very high side.
Hi, I’m in Bangalore and Hyderabad next week, any tips there please? I have checked online and Hyderabad seems to have quite a few brewpubs and micros
Hey man! Sorry didn’t go to either. I hear Bangalore has a bunch though. I was in Rajasthan, Delhi, Agra, Goa and now Mumbai.
Just got back. Added a few breweries and places, mostly Mumbai and Goa with some randoms. Mumbai definitely more happening than Delhi, though I didn’t go to the Gurgaon suburb.
Also, @omhper , the Connaught location is indeed brewing by the looks of it when I was there. Pretty much all I found in the Delhi area other than the nearby Beer Cafe Biggie.
Goa also has a couple new breweries I added.
Checked out the Khar Road location. Not bad, lots of ciders. Also seems that Witbier is by far the most popular style of craft beer in India. I can see the flavours appealing to Indian palate.
My short trip to Bangalore and Hyderabad was fruitful for beers, 23 new India beers for me, I’ve uploaded the reviews and will add the places to RB, as most were not already logged.
Cool! Ya I had to upload a bunch of beers and places too. Happy drinking!