Sunday, November 20, 2011

We Need a Brew Pub in Hyderabad...

I was lamenting with a dear old friend in Southern California about the lack of good beer and craft ales here in India.  I would cut off a pinkie-finger for a decent India Pale Ale!! ...strange anomaly ain't it?  No IPA in India!  I guess it really isn't that strange, because real IPA back in the day was shipped TO India from England...and it was an ale that was heavily hopped to make it last during the journey around Africa.  

Truly, though...the beer sitch here is pathetic... Kingfisher draft (lager) is drinkable - but the bottled stuff is poison.  There are a few other Kingfisher products (Kingfisher "Blue" isn't bad - - but I've only had it in Pune and Delhi.  Around there (especially at the golf course, we mostly drink Tuborg and Carlsberg....but there is also an Indian-made Budweiser and sometimes Heineken and Corona available (for a price)...but nothing with any real flavour.  

As for opening a brew-pub, although the idea sounds awesome, the truth is that bringing in grains, malted barley, hops, etc. is so closely monitored and taxed it's pretty much illegal.  As a matter of fact, the whole alcohol situation here is closely monitored (controlled) by the state government - in this case: Andhra Pradesh.  

Taxes on beer/wine/booze, especially imports, are excessive... We can now get Glenfiddich, Glenlivet, Bombay (or is it Mumbai?) Sapphire, most Johnny Walker products - you gotta be willing to pay top rupee ...NO California/French/Euro wines (only Oz, S. Africa)... A brew pub would be huge here.  The best beer I've had since I've been here was draft Guinness in Bangkok and - - last trip to Pune for golf we found THIS:


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