When Abhinav Jindal launched Bee Young, India’s first strong craft beer (at an alcohol per cent of 7.2) in September of last year, little did he know that a global pandemic would force his industry to lay off the brewing for months on end. However, now having resumed production, the brand is growing by leaps and bounds, having just started selling to international audiences.
Having been involved in the alco-bev industry since 2004, the MBA grad notes, "The industry is always trying to fill the gaps as customers' tastes and habits evolve and I realised there was a missing space, for a premium quality strong craft beer, given that most craft beers top off at around 4 per cent."
Jindal and his team spent 18 months conceptualising the brand and coming out with two brews, BeeYoung and Yavira. While the former is a strong larger (7.2 per cent), the latter is a rice beer (6.8 percent) named after the Sanskrit word for the beverage.
"In India, we're selling in four states presently, Delhi, UP, Uttarakhand and Punjab, and have now gone international, having launched BeeYoung in Singapore and Hong Kong, with plans to go to Australia next," says Jindal, noting that the beer is especially a hit with the Indian expat communities in those nationstates.
Jindal says, "We have a long history of brewing in the country, be it rice beers or barley brews among various communities. With Bee Young, the idea was to create a vibrant crafted strong beer, meant to especially appeal to millennial consumers. And I think we have managed to make a brew that is fresh and youthful, and delivers a crisp, clean, and punchy taste with a citrusy twang."
Manufactured and packaged in India, the beers are made to exacting international standards of taste, quality, and packaging, all while staying in sync with the more immediate, local market and consumer. In September 2019, Kimaya Himalayan started brewing at an investment of Rs 15 cr and is now worth Rs 25 cr in just one year despite the industry being out of sales for a few months due to pandemic.
Another USP of the brand is its decision to keep the bottle size at 500ml as opposed to the usual 330ml. "A pint may fall short if you’re grabbing a quick mid-day meal, but you may not want to have a whole bottle by yourself, so we introduced the 500 ml bottle," says Jindal adding, that as an extension to the existing 500 ml packaging, Kimaya has released a special-edition of 650 ml, because, of course, a lot of people are perfectly happy to chug a full beer. Cheers to that.
Abhinav Jindal and his team spent 18 months conceptualising the brand and coming out with two brews,
BeeYoung and Yavira. While the former is a strong larger, the latter is a rice beer named after the Sanskrit
word for the beverage. Jindal has been involved in the alco-bev industry since the year 2004