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Beer is the third most popular beverage in the world after water and tea. It is accepted and admired universally. The extent of the impact of beer on today’s world can be gauged by its position in the culture. The festivals like Oktoberfest, Pilsner fest and the Philly Beer Week all cement the position of beer in the hearts of the masses.
In addition the impact of beer in the lives of people can also be seen in cultural traditions like pub crawling and pub games. Historians go as far as to say that beer was one of the major reasons why the human civilization could progress citing examples from the civilization of Egypt. Beer in these times is universal, and is consumed more or less in all parts of the world.
With the heat of the summer in mind below are ten beers that are readily available and will make you forget the scorching sun.
1. Hibiscus Beer
Hibiscus Beer: This would be a nice one to start the list off. It is a Craft Beer, which means it is a small scale non-mechanized in-house production. The brewing process was a bit expensive as the flowers used were the export kind to ensure quality. The name might cause some hesitation but cast it aside and try a pint anyways. The beer has a fun peppery taste and a mild bitter aftertaste. It is available at Quaff in Gurgaon.
2. King’s Beer
King’s Beer: The one from the heart of vacationing culture of India, this beer was originally available only in Goa. The dark brown stubby and dimpled bottle is a part of many Goan memories. There was a time when King’s was more readily available in Goa than Feni. At INR 40 for a pint this one is a steal. It has been an absolute favorite of the college students or backpackers, the ones micromanaging a holiday in Goa. The beer is now available in Maharashtra and Karnataka also.
3. Chocolate Beer and Mango Beer
Chocolate Beer and Mango Beer: Try these beers for the sole reason to know how an unpackaged beer tastes. For these beers are without artificial flavors, colors and preservatives. These beers and more of such will be available at The White Owl in Mumbai. If you choose to try the mango flavored one, the name of the same is Alfie. The Alfie comes with a lovely fruit aroma and a moderate body.
4. Australian MAX
Australia MAX: A worthy mention in the list and don’t let the name fool you. It is an indigenous, locally brewed beer from Bangalore. It is a strong beer brewed the Khoday Breweries but has a limited spread. It won the title of “The World’s Best Strong Lager” and “Asia’s Best Strong Lager” at the World Beer Awards of 2011. But the production of this quality and strong beer is limited. The best chance you have of tasting this one is in its home ground of Bangalore or the vacation capital of India (Goa).
5. Budweiser Magnum
Budweiser Magnum: Indians love strong beers, there is no contesting this fact. This fact is also the reason that made the Anheuser-Busch InBev SA/NV launch this full bodied dark golden beauty exclusively in India. It is brewed using the Beechwood aging process for a smooth and rich taste. The beer with 6.5% alcohol by volume is priced a bit higher than the other strong beers of India. But this should not discourage you from picking one up.
6. Little Devils Golden Beer
Little Devils Golden Beer: Brewed in the town of Ghaziabad, this one is the first craft beer of India. It is available in Lager, Strong Lager, Golden Ale, Pale Ale, Dark and Wheat. All of them are based on Pale Ales from around the world but are given an Indian punch to set them apart. These beers are an inexpensive but a worthy alternative to the imports. Presently they can be found in and around the breweries they are brewed in and the vacation capital of the country, Goa.
Darling-Jee: Indians love tea and Indians love beer. When we try to combine those two drinks the result is the Darling-Jee. Crafted by the Gateway Brewing Company in collaboration with The Bombay Canteen. This beer has a red hue and a 5% ABV (Alcohol by volume). The beer is made from Hallertauer Hops, Darjeeling Tea and Earl Grey Tea. The beer is distinct for the notes of orange and citrus that will remind you of The Earl Grey Tea, which was what the company was aiming for.
8. Kingfisher Ultra
Kingfisher Ultra: This is the most recognizable beer brand in India. It is also a precursor to many a brands that call the country their home today. While Kingfisher covers some 19 beers, the one singled out is the most easily identifiable with the brand. It has been singled out for its smooth and crispy texture. The beer is also very light on the pocket and does not burn a hole in it. The beer is akin to Corona but does not come with the hefty price tag associated with the import.
Hoegaarden: This one is an import from Belgium. It is the most popular wheat beer in the country. The beer is cloudy and opaque in its appearance. It has a murky golden color with a foamy head. The beer claims a 4.90% ABV (Alcohol by volume) and is rich and malty in taste. The full flavor of this beer with barley and wheat will very slowly reveal itself and is easily missed if the beer is had with something spicy.
10. Stella Artois
Stella Artois: Another worthy offering from the country of Belgium. This one is a pilsner style mild one with a 5% ABV (Alcohol by volume). The taste of the brew is rich with grain and malts. The beer is prided for the smoothness in its texture. It is one of the most popular brands in the world. Its presence is felt in more than 80 countries around the globe.
While the reasons for picking up a pint range from stoking the nostalgia to beating the heat. The beers in India are unfairly taxed and regulated. These taxes have made the youth turn away from beer to other alcohol heavy options. And have made the country languish at the bottom in the list of the top 30 markets of the world. In terms of absolute content, beer is taxed even more than the spirits. Considering the revenue that this sector can generate, this may be viewed as a hindering factor and an untapped profit avenue.
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