India. City pubs may soon serve freshly brewed beer

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Delhiites will no longer have to travel all the way to Gurgaon to enjoy freshly brewed beer. Soon, tipplers in Delhi will have their own ‘micro brewpubs’ to get their beer brewed to the specific taste they prefer in terms of flavour, bitterness, viscosity and other variables. Delhi government’s excise department has drafted a proposal to allow microbreweries in city’s restaurants and pubs. The proposal has framed the rules and regulations which will act as the eligibility criteria for such pubs; for instance the minimum space required and the volume of beer which can be produced. The proposal has been sent to the cabinet for an approval. According to sources, the proposal will be approved by the cabinet. Micro-breweries are small breweries, typically in pubs that sell self-brewed beer and cater to niche tastes.

“A proposal was sent to the cabinet a fortnight back and once it is approved, a clearance from Delhi Pollution Control Committee (DPCC) will be required,” said a senior official of the Delhi government.

However, officials said that mostly medium and large sized pubs and restaurants will be eligible for getting a license as the space required to set up the brewery is quite large.

“The space required for such a set-up is quite huge. Five star hotels and pubs will have such space. Gurgaon already has two such pubs and are doing quite well. We want to start the same in Delhi now,” added the official.

The government is hoping to increase its revenue through this exercise. The plan to open micro-breweries is part of the new excise policy which was cleared last year.

The Indira Gandhi International Airport (IGIA) was also given permission by the government to set up microbrewery at the airport. Micro-breweries originated in Germany and went on to gain popularity globally in the past four decades, including the United States, Belgium, Japan, Canada and the United Kingdom, where the term microbrewery was first coined in the 1970s.

In India, Haryana is the first state which had allowed opening up of such pubs, thanks to its new excise policy that allows setting up of micro-breweries for an additional Rs 2.5 lakh as the annual license fee.