THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: Beer is scarcely king anymore, notwithstanding the government’s move to allow microbreweries which promise brand-new ‘beery’ flavours to fans.
If sales statistics are to be believed, in the past six months, brandy, for the first time, has emerged the most popular alcoholic drink sold in Kerala. Three years ago, brandy had pipped rum to become the most popular ‘hard’ liquor sold in the state. Now, it has also trounced beer, which normally sells more than any other alcoholic beverage marketed by the state government-run Kerala State Beverages Corporation (Bevco).
In the first half of the 2017-18 financial year, Bevco sold 5.26 crore litres of brandy while beer sales stood at 4.20 crore litres, reveal Bevco’s sales figures from April to September. The difference; 22 per cent, which is stunning since beer has always topped overall sales for Bevco over the years. Brandy has, in fact, sold more than beer in each of the six months from April to September, which is a first.
The reopening of bars under the Pinarayi Vijayan regime is one reason for the surge in sale of Indian Made Foreign Liquor (IMFL) including brandy, but it does not fully answer the question why brandy sells more than beer.
Bevco managing director H Venkatesh was unavailable for comment. V G Shaji, Finance Manager (Bevco), who is also in charge of sales, said the changing trend had not come to the notice of Bevco. ‘’We will look into it. In the past, Kerala used to be known as the ‘rum market,’ indicating the preference for rum here,” he said. “At Bevco, we usually compare the total IMFL (brandy, whisky, rum, gin, wine and vodka) sales with that of beer.”