The year gone by offered some truly exceptional new drinks for beverage lovers. And in keeping with the rise of craft beers, 2019 saw some great new drinks being launched. So much so that even market leaders Kingfisher and AB InBev were forced to jump on the bandwagon and launch its own version of craft beers. While we wait for 2020 to surprise us with even more drinks, here’s an ode to the best beer launches of 2019.
Veere by 7 Rivers
Gone are the days when the only beer available was from big brands. Around 170 local breweries have come up all across the country where they serve their own craft beer on tap. In order to compete with these breweries and compensate for a falling market share, 7 Rivers brewing company was set up by AB InBev that makes beers such as Budweiser, Corona, Stella, etc. 7 Rivers deals with crafted wheat beer. As is the trend these days, ‘Veere’ by 7 Rivers has an orange flavor. In addition, it also has notes of coriander and the two together provide an excellent aftertaste.
Veere is available in Pune and Mumbai currently.
Price – INR 140 for a can of 330ml
Machaa by 7 Rivers
Remember the time when our mothers used to run behind us with the extremely nutritious banana? If you are one of those who doesn’t like the fruit, think again. Don’t go bananas when you hear that 7 Rivers has given it a different meaning by incorporating its taste in its ‘Machaa’ beer. Another crafted wheat beer in its cap, Machaa is an attempt at innovation by combing the flavours of banana and cloves in your favorite beverage.
Machaa is available in Mumbai and Pune currently.
Price – INR 140 for a can of 330ml
Ultra Witbier by Kingfisher
If you do not know United Breweries for its beer, you definitely know it because of Vijay Mallya! The very own king of good times’ maker has ventured into the craft beer segment with Kingfisher Ultra Witbier. The beer has extracts of oranges and coriander, and specially sourced spices from the USA and Belgium, giving the drink its distinct aroma. Ultra Witbier is the first non-lager drink from Kingfisher. With the rising consumption of wheat beer in India, United Breweries seems keen toleave its mark in this segment as well after Kingfisher.
Ultra Witbier is available in Karnataka and Goa and will soon be available in Maharashtra, Haryana, and Delhi
Price – INR 110 for a 330ml bottle, INR 150 for a 500ml can and INR 185 for a 650ml bottle.
Saint & Sinner by Goa Brewing Company
Goa Brewing Company is the latest kid on the block making its way up in the beer industry. Their first beer was Eight Finger Eddie that put them on the map. In October 2019, they launched Saint & Sinner, a Trappist style Ale. What’s that, you ask? It is the beer that Trappist monks brew in winters during Christmas. The innovative beverage by Goa brewing company is brewed with coconut jaggery and Curacao orange peels giving it a distinct flavor. The packaging of the beer is interesting in the sense that it is painted with ceramic paint and sealed with wax to prevent oxidation.
Saint & Sinner is available in select pubs in Goa.
Breakfast Cereal Stout by Goa Brewing company
Who wants beer for breakfast? Goa brewing company’s latest addition is a breakfast cereal stout, brewed with cocoa as its main ingredient. These cocoa beans are sourced from the foothills of the scenic Annamalai in Tamil Nadu. Apart from cocoa, the beer is also brewed with oats to give it the flavor of breakfast cereal.
Breakfast Cereal Stout is available in select pubs in Goa.
Jolly Gud by 2 Down Beer Co.
You weren’t around during World War 1, at least not in this life. But that is not necessarily a bad thing, given the war. An English Mild Ale, Jolly Gud by 2 Down Beer Co. will take you to the era of World War 1. Brewed with organic jaggery, this beer has a floral as well as an earthy aroma. A fruity flavor is imparted to the beer due to the strain of beer used. The roasty character of the beverage enhances its Belgian toasty malt profile.
Jolly Gud is available in select pubs like Leaping Windows in Mumbai and The Greedy Man- Pizzeria in Pune.
Cucumber Lager by Ninkasi Brewworks
Do you guys find the idea of refreshing cucumber in the even more refreshing chilled beer exciting? Ninkasi Brewworks has brewed a bittersweet beer and combined the crispness of the cucumber with the sweetness of the malt. What a great time to be alive!
Cucumber lager is available in select pubs in Mumbai and Pune.
Passion Fruit IPA by Bombay Duck Brewing Co
Combining the bitterness of the Indian Pale Ale with Passion Fruit – the forbidden fruit, Bombay Duck Brewing Co. has given us the perfect beer that is juicy and tropical with a toasty malt character. The inception of the idea of this beer happened in collaboration with Planters Treasure at Kochi Biennale. The Passion Fruit IPA is a dream come true, transporting us to the tropics while sipping on this delicious beer.
Passion Fruit IPA is available at Woodside Inn in Mumbai.
Streetside by Great State Aleworks
Who doesn’t love some traditional guava with chilli on top? Now imagine having that you’re your beer. Even better, imagine those flavours in beer! Streetside by Great State Aleworks is a Guava Chili Berliner Weisse, with chillies sourced from Andhra. It is a light beer brewed with wheat and barley malt and is sour in taste. Great State Alewoks has launched this beer in collaboration with The Good Juicery.
Streetside is available in Mumbai in pubs like Bonobo, Woodside Inn, Opedro, Hammer and song, etc and in Pune in pubs like Botequim, The Sassy Spoon, etc.
Unicorn by Drifters Tap Station
Thought unicorns are fictional? Well, now they’re real. And it’s every bit as good as the fantasy! Drifters Tap Station has launched the Unicorn beer that is fermented with ale yeast but is finished with lagering. Emitting a subtle aroma of German hops, this is a light and crisp beer with an enriching aftertaste.
Unicorn is available at Drifters Tap Station in BKC in Mumbai.
If you have not tried out these beers, it is time to do so now with the start of the upcoming summer season. Let us know which ones are your favourites from the list in the comments below.
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Sneha is an avid reader and writer who quit her job to pursue her passion for writing. When she is not reading or writing, she can be found teaching kids, cooking or cuddled in her bed watching Netflix.