The Best Indian Beers – A Quick Guide.
We’ll start this blog post with a disclaimer – here at FlavourDelivered we would always encourage drinking beer responsibly. I mean, we personally also enjoy a good glass of wine or a even cheeky gin in an evening. However it is quite the British tradition to have a nice cool beer with a curry and so we thought we would share some typical Indian branded beers for you to look out for, try and sample.
Among all the beer brands in India, Kingfisher remains unchallenged as the largest selling brand. With a market share of over 36% and recognition as one of the country’s trusted brands, it really is “The King of Good Times.” Kingfisher crossed the 100-million cases in 2012, after 35 years of production. Part of the allure of Kingfisher beer lies in the taste, which has been described as “A fully matured beer with an exceptional clarity, and has a pleasantly bitter taste.” This is the Bud or Heineken of India.
This beer brand was launched in 1978 and like Kingfisher, has quite a number of variants. The most popular though is the Haywards 5000 label which was launched in the 1980’s (with 7% of alcohol). Haywards beers are produced by SABMiller India at about 10 different breweries across India. With an attractive golden-yellow colour and a full bodied, malty flavour, it is not hard to see why Haywards beers are so popular across India. Apart from Haywards 2k and 5k, another interesting variant is Haywards Black, which is India’s first genuine stout. With its dark colour, heavy sweet malty taste with hints of caramel, it is one beer that lovers of beer will definitely want to try out.
Launched in 1993 Royal Challenge Premium is another popular beer in India. This especially in the states of Uttar Pradesh, Orissa and Andhra Pradesh. Royal Challenge’s most distinctive feature is its exceptionally long brewing cycle; giving rise to its popular slogan of “Brewed Longer, Brewed Better.” According to SABMiller India, who also produce Royal Challenge, the most important consideration in the production of this beer is “smoothness”, as a result of which it is “one of the smoothest beers in India.” The fact that Royal Challenge Premium Lager Beer enjoys extremely high sales seems to validate those claims. It is generally agreed to be a full bodied and tasty beer.
Kalyani Black Label
One of India’s oldest Lager brands is Kalyani Black Label. This enjoys most of its popularity in such cities as Kolkata and Delhi, as well as other areas of eastern India. Available in strong and premium varieties, this beer is a well flavoured one, with a smooth taste that leaves a sweet aftertaste on the tongue. With an alcohol content of 7.8% this is not a beer to be trifled with, but one to be savoured and enjoyed with respect.
Be sure to keep an eye out for these brands the next time you take a trip to your local supermarket or ethnic food store. They would make a great accompaniment to the unique FlavourDelivered recipes and make a truly Indian themed evening. Cheers!