BENGALURU: While the hospitality industry has struggled with several restrictions owing to the pandemic, there’s some reason to rejoice now. Pub owners in the city are finally heaving a sigh of relief after the sale and service of draught beer was granted on Monday. After the second lockdown in May, pubs were only allowed to sell bottled or IMFL drinks despite having the RVB (Resale Vending of Beer) which permits the sale of beer on tap.
Chethan Hegde, owner of 1522 The Pub in Malleswaram, says, “There’s been a really good buzz since Monday. The footfall has definitely increased. We got a week’s heads-up to sell the kegs and we’re happy that it’s finally happening.” He points out that they lost many customers over the last few months as they weren’t allowed to sell beer on tap. “Bengalureans love their fresh beers. When we told customers that we couldn’t serve fresh beer, many of them would just go to nearby microbreweries instead,” Hegde adds.
Known for their craft beer, the team of Geist is also thrilled to be serving beer on tap now. Geetanjali Chitnis, head of brand and communications, says, “Supply of draught beer to RVB licence holders was stopped on April 20 in the light of the second wave. Over the last two months, representatives of draught beer and the hospitality industry came together to work directly with government authorities to identify a timeline for re-opening channels of supply.” Now, many of the existing restaurants, pubs and club partners have reached out to them to place orders for draught beer kegs, supply of which they resumed on Monday.
Popular watering hole Watson’s relied heavily on selling beer on tap. Like most pub owners, they too suffered losses due to the restriction. Owner Amit Roy says, “It never really made sense as to why it was stopped in the first place, especially when we were allowed to sell bottled beer. In addition, with the lockdown, there was more bottled consumption in the last couple of months and we faced some supply issues as well — we hadn’t anticipated that the wait would be this long.”
In order to ensure the government heard the pleas, the pub owners worked with the National Restaurant Association of India (NRAI) for months to make this happen. At the various Social outlets, they are waiting for their beer kegs to arrive so they can start serving on tap too and hope to resume service by next week. Ranveer Sabhani, business head — south, Impresario Handmade Restaurants, says, “It was tough to not know how long this will take and we ended up missing a good clientele as we don’t always stock bottled beer. We’re looking forward to seeing how this will change things for the industry once again.”
The lockdown brought in several restrictions for pubs, including curbs on the sale of draught beer. Now, after a long hiatus, pub owners are heaving a sigh of relief that they can serve the drink on tap