MANGALURU: Gallons of beer is flowing down drains across Karnataka as expired stocks have piled up in the depots of the Karnataka State Beverages Corporation Ltd. KSBCL depots got huge stocks of beer as the excise department ramped up revenue target by 9.32 per cent to earn an additional `1,500 crore from liquor sales to recover losses of last year.But the plan did not work. After the Supreme Court ban on liquor vends on highways and the slump in realty sector, the excise department achieved 96.48 per cent target set for December — a month when the liquor sales usually peak and reach the target. As a result, the beer stocks remained in the depots. Beer has a shelf life of six months.
In KSBCL’s Baikampady depot alone, about 1,090 boxes of beer were destroyed a few days ago. It also destroyed 24 cases of a Vodka brand at the same time. Around 66 boxes were destroyed in Dharwad in January. Depot manager Ramesh Bhat said vodka cases were destroyed as it had no buyers and also after request from manufacturers. If a liquor stock exceeds three months in a KSBCL depot, then the manufacturers have to pay rent. Bhat said it was the first time that such a huge amount of beer is being drained out due to expiry. .
Sources in the excise department said the headquarters in Bengaluru is flooded with requests to destroy beer stocks. Many depots have drained the expired beer as per the procedures and in the presence of KSBCL and excise officials while others will do the same in the coming days.
Excise commissioner Manjunath Naik said any liquor with alcohol content of over 20 per cent will not have a shelf life and beer has a shelf life of six months. The department does not have an account of the amount of liquor destroyed statewide.