India. Heat Adds Fizz to Beer Sales in Karnataka

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Beer sales across the State have shot up, thanks to the scorching heat. In the first two weeks of this month, beer consumption crossed one crore litres.

According to the Karnataka State Excise Department data, in March 2016, 2.75 crore litres of beer were sold as against 2.06 crore litres in March 2015 — that is, this year we consumed at least 69 lakh litres of beer more than the last.

From April 1 to 16, beer consumption has crossed one crore litres, while IML has touched 1.41 crore litres. The trend will continue till May-end. “When monsoon begins, the trend will change,” said an excise department official.

In Karnataka, there are 9,948 licence holders to sell IML and beer including 3,943 retail shops, 3,583 bar and restaurants. In the last two decades, the state government has not given fresh licences to retail shops. “Though it was announced that fresh licences would be given to new outlets, the proposal is pending before the finance department,” an official from the excise department said.

The state government, which generated a revenue of Rs 12,998 crore through IML sale in 2015-16, is expecting Rs 13,770 crore this financial year. And through the beer sale, the state government has generated Rs 1,705 crore last year and is expected to make Rs 2,030 crore in 2016-17.

Shivalingaiah, Secretary General, Karnataka Brewers And Distillers Association, said that the state stands fourth in terms of beer sale. “Beer sale commonly goes up in summer and this time it has gone up further because of the heat. Beer sale is directly proportionate to heat and it is preferred by youngsters. Also people carry beer when they travel in the summer,” he said.

Chandrappa A M, Chief General Manager (brewery division), Mysore Sales International Limited (MSIL), said that every month around 90,000 cartons of beer are sold during normal months through MSIL outlets, while 1.5 lakh cartons are sold in the summer. “This year as the temperature is higher, we are expecting to sell about 1.45 to 1.5 lakh cartons this month alone,” he said.