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10 chug-worthy craft beers to add a refreshing twist to your hop ritual

Fruity brews to classic ales – India’s most popular craft beers come from a few innovative old-school breweries. And if it’s just about time to restock that six-pack stash, we’ve got a list of guzzle-friendly ales to grab.

Cracking open a cold one at the end of a long work week is a time-honored ritual for many across the country. Of late, however, the choice of hop has switched from the more ubiquitous international lagers and stouts to flavourful options produced right at home. Local breweries – from the craft capital Bengaluru to party central Goa – have been pouring some of the most unique creations, complete with eccentric backstories, fruity notes, and high alcohol by volume (ABV). Whether you’ve got a curious palate or are just looking for a flavourful malt to stock up on, we’ve got a list of some of the best Indian craft beers that should be on your radar.

Hop into the weekend with these refreshing Indian craft beers

Kati Patang Zesty Amber

 

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Known for their free-spirited, experimental brews, Kati Patang has some of the most unique options in the business at the moment. Their Amber pours golden and comes packed with all-natural malts. A breezy flavour complemented by a smooth caramel finish, this brew’s aromatic hops will keep you going for more.

Price: Rs 220 approx. (330 ml)

Eight Finger Eddie

 

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Goa Brewing Co. is known for its non-conformist, expressive beers, with each bottle bringing a bit of the sunshine state to your couch. Eight Finger Eddie pays homage to the wildly popular American who put Goa on the hippie map, making it the go-to destination for international tourists. Every sip is creamy with a hint of bitterness from hops – the payoff of quality malted barley, Goan water, steel cut oats, and new-age hops. Fruity aromas and a creamy finish add to the refreshing experience of sipping this intense beer.

Price: Rs 200 approx. (330 ml)

Simba Belgian Wit

 

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Known to be one of the first homegrown breweries in the country, Simba has an eclectic range of craft beers on offer. Their Belgian Wit style pours a golden hazy with a fluffy head and is a light-bodied, mellow, citrusy brew with notes of spice from coriander seeds. Every sip is reminiscent of lemongrass as well. An Indian take on the classic Belgian Wit style, we can’t think of a more refreshing sip for the weekend.

Price: Rs 140 approx. (330 ml)

Susegado Kokum Gose

 

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We’re bringing back the zest and quirk of Goa with this brand. Susegado draws on the sunshine state’s laidback spirit and its brews are some of the most refreshing in the country. Kokum Gose is no different. A tropical take on the traditional salty coriander beer from Germany – this one has a distinctly sour and salty flavour – courtesy of kokum sourced from Nanos, a village six kilometres away from the Goan border. Every sip takes you straight to the beach on a breezy afternoon.

Price: Rs 150 approx. (330 ml)

Maka Di Honey Ale

 

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Another Goa–based brewery, Maka Di has a reputation for producing innovative, experimental, and contemporary craft beers. Their Honey Ale sources wild honey from Uttarakhand’s Jim Corbett Park. Every sip is reminiscent of spring, with notes of malt. Hoppy and layered, it pairs well with Goan sausage currywurst, paneer pakoda, and chicken wings. If you’ve got a bit of a sweet tooth, this beer is right up your alley.

Price: Rs 210 approx. (330 ml)

Bira 91 Kokum Sour

 

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One of the most popular craft beer brands in India, the brewers over at Bira 91 always have something flavourful up their sleeves. The Kokum Sour is a moderately sour beer with a hint of salt, accentuated by the addition of kokum. Low in bitterness, this ale is tangy and draws on the affinity for flavours that most Indians develop over the course of their childhoods. A crowd-pleaser through and through, this one’s a must-try.

Price: Rs 190 (330 ml)

BeeYoung

 

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This homegrown brand is known to brew contemporary beers that cater to the Indian palate. It also happens to be the first to offer a strong crafted beer to the country’s hop enthusiasts. In fact, each can comes with a whopping 8 percent ABV! Every sip of this brew is crisp, clean, and malty – with a distinctive yet subtle citrus twist which makes for easy drinking. The finish, meanwhile, is underlined by Columbus and Styrian Golding hops. If you enjoy your beer strong, this beer won’t disappoint.

Price: Rs 100 approx. (500 ml)

White Rhino Wit

Believed to be India’s first craft brewery, White Rhino has been holding down the fort for craft brews in the country. Their range of beers promise quality and innovation and the Wit rendition is no different. Paying homage to local ingredients, the brew is a take on Belgian beers and uses Indian rolled wheat in place of the usual raw wheat. This is combined with fresh, organic coriander seeds from the Himalayas. At once aromatic and refreshing, you’ll discover hints of orange peel and spice in every sip of this one. Popular amongst beer aficionados, if you enjoy a complex, layered brew, this one’s a must-try.

Price: Rs 150 approx. (330 ml)

Red Rhino IPA

Craft central Bengaluru’s beloved beer destination, Red Rhino has tapped into the bottled beverages market with an eclectic range of brews that are popular in-house. The IPA is a hoppy brew with notes of tropical fruit, especially mango and citrus. The beer pours a copper and the Munich malt adds a candy-like body to this layered beer. Crisp and refreshing, this one’s a crowd pleaser.

Price: Rs 230 approx. (330 ml)

Geist James Blond

 

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Another popular brewery in Bengaluru, Geist offers some of the country’s most experimental beers with a focus on seasonal flavours. Their tenth creation – James Blond – however, is a Belgian-style strong blond ale that’s timeless. It pours a pale yellow and is medium-bodied, with a smooth finish. Underlined by a pleasing hop bitterness, this one makes for easy drinking.

Price: Rs 225 approx. (500 ml)

All images: Courtesy Shutterstock/Brands

Eshita Srinivas
Eshita spends her days writing, rewriting, and thinking of things to write about. In the little time she has left, she daydreams about going on a solo trip across Asia.
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