Tipplers in ‘God’s own country’ drank up 70 percent more wine and 36 percent more beer in December 2015 compared to November that year. Government-run Kerala State Beverages Corporation (Bevco) witnessed a general spurt in its liquor sales during Christmas and New Year season.
According to the statistics for December released by Bevco recently, wine sales shot up by 70.9 percent. In November, Bevco had sold 9,762 cases of wine (one case equals twelve 750 ml bottles). It went up to 16,684 cases during December.
Beer sales also saw a big increase in December compared to that in November. Sales went up from 8.97 lakh cases in November to 12.21 lakh cases in December, an increase of 36.15 per cent. Sales of all brands of Indian Made Foreign Liquor (IMFL)- excluding beer- rose from 15.08 lakh cases in November to 17.83 lakh cases in December.
Beer and wine are enjoying increased patronage by Malayalees, courtesy the decision of the UDF government to allow closed-down bars to transform into wine and beer parlors. Various agencies including the India chapter of the Alcohol and Drug Information Centre (ADIC), have raised concerns regarding the government policy to promote wine and beer. In fact, the past one year has seen a massive increase in beer and wine sales. Beer sales shot up by 95.8 per cent while wine sales rose by 131.7 per cent.