India. Telangana gears up to meet demand for beer this summer

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The Telangana State Beverages Corporation Limited (TSBCL) has geared up to meet a record demand for beer in anticipation of unprecedented hot days of summer ahead.

The sale of beer increased by 20 per cent over the summer months last year and there was a record sale of 180 lakh cases up to June, according to Excise Commissioner and corporation managing director R.V. Chandravadan.

He told The Hindu that the demand was likely to touch 40 lakh cases a month, while it is only 25 lakh cases a month during the off season. Hence, the corporation had made arrangements to hire private and temporary godowns for its storage.

Mr. Chandravadan convened a meeting with beer manufacturing units and officials of the Excise Department and the TSBCL on Saturday in view of reports about the possibility of the hottest days ever in Telangana shortly. The meeting discussed that major beer producing States like Maharashtra and Karnataka might ban export of the drink like they did last year during peak summer.

Hence, the State should be self-sufficient to meet the local demand for regular brands of beer, while importing premium brands and the canned beer which was not manufactured by any of the breweries here.

The canned beer constituted only one per cent of the total demand.

The planning of the corporation for heavy sale of beer comes at a time when there was a fall in consumption of Indian Made Foreign Liquor. The loss of revenue to the government from sale of IMFL will be compensated by off take of beer.

The government has permitted the breweries to drill extra borewells in their premises to fetch water for production, since all permanent sources have dried up. They could also hire water tankers in a big way, Mr. Chandravadan said. The TSBCL presently had 20 lakh cases of beer in all its 17 IMFL depots, which in itself was a record.

The five breweries in the State – which are all located in Medak – were fully equipped to manufacture and supply over 40 lakh cases a month. One brewery, M/s. Lilasons, had stopped production since April last year due to its internal problems.

The brewery managements requested the Commissioner to waive additional licence fee for running the units extra time due to water shortage and low profit margins. They informed him that they also had 10 lakh cases ready for despatch to depots.