The Delhi Government has decided to grant license in form L1, L1F and L2 for the wholesale vend of Indian liquor in the National Capital Region (NCR) of Delhi for the licensing year 2023-24 with effect from October 1, 2023.
The Excise Department has said that the prescribed forms can be obtained from its website and that there would be a processing fee of Rs. 5,000 for each license. The Department said that the terms and conditions for the licensing 2023-24 would be the same as that of 2022-23. The government said that it reserved the right to review the duties / fees to be paid / payable in case of any amendment to the law related to liquor and bonded warehouses.
The Department said that in case of existing licensees / registered brands active up to September 30, 2023 there is no change in the EDP / right structure / label / source warehouse etc. The registered brands for the year 2022-23 may be registered for 2023-24 on the same terms and conditions of the previous year, consequent to the payment of requisite fees and submission of undertaking / affidavit of the same.
It said that for new registration of brands applications received without complete information and supporting documents as required in the prescribed form along with annexures shall be liable to be rejected.
These changes are to ensure continuity of supply and the amendments will be in place till the new policy is formed. This will be third time the Delhi Government is giving the extension.
It may be mentioned here that the previous policy introduced in 2021 by the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) government had to be scrapped as it ended up in scandal which is currently under investigation.
The excise department has proposed to extend the existing 2020-21 liquor policy by six months till March 31, 2024, to ensure the continuity of liquor supply. The excise department will issue a formal order in this regard.
Expert welcomes policy
Mr. Raju Vaziraney, one of the veterans of the wine and spirits sector and presently Adviser and Business Development Head of Amrut Distilleries, has welcomed the policy saying technically it is a new policy thereby allowing new companies to get registered and pay one-time fees and not fees from retrospective effect. The Companies will be encouraged to bring – in new brands, thus ensure more variety of brands, more consumer choice. However, he said the new policy gave only two days for companies to submit all documents.
However, he reiterated that the salient features are a) Existing Licences to be renewed by giving an undertaking / affidavit; Existing licences are renewed till March 31, 2024; Existing brands with existing EDPs to continue till March 31, 2024; Existing brands to pay proportionate fees of six months and not 18 months as was the practise in the policy of 2022-23.
In order to ensure continuity of supplies the online transparent system worked overnight & supplies commenced from October 3, 2023. However in view of paucity of time lot of prominent brands are under process of being made available. Mr. Vaziraney said that however, the challenges are that Delhi will have to wait till six more months to get a full-term year policy with possible participation of private trade thereby offering a great buying experience. The vends at the airport could also open next year as presently a world class city like Delhi does not have any vends at the airports
It is expected that Delhi will have a full year policy which will bring-in consumer choice brands and also bring – in reforms in terms of more liquor stores, more in trade outlets, he added.
Abhinav Jindal, founder of Kimaya Himalayan Beverages, outlines the company’s growth trajectory
What is your impression of the response to craft beers?
The craft beer industry in India is still in its nascent stage, but it is exhibiting positive indicators of expansion. The global trend towards craft beer is starting to take hold in India, and this presents a significant opportunity for the industry. Unlike developed economies, where the craft beer movement has been established for over a decade, India is experiencing high double-digit growth in the craft beer category compared to a lower double-digit growth in the overall beer market. This indicates that the craft beer industry in India is experiencing a strong upward trend and is expected to continue this path in the future. The surge in the demand for craft beer offers possibilities to innovate and introduce new products in various categories, as well as to redefine existing categories in the competitive market space. This creates a lot of opportunities for innovation and differentiation within the industry, which will further drive growth and create more choices for consumers. Overall, the craft beer industry in India is poised for substantial expansion, and businesses that can tap into this trend and create exciting new products will be well-positioned to capitalise on this opportunity.
Do you feel consumers will go back to regular beer as compared to strong beer or is it only millennials?
The market trend indicates that consumers generally prefer stronger beer over milder ones, and this preference has been evident in the high growth rates of the premium, stronger beer category. With the availability of better-quality products in the stronger beer category, consumers are more likely to stick with their preference for stronger beer, and therefore, it is unlikely that there will be a significant shift in consumer preference towards milder beer.
What are your plans for the summer season – new launches, and promotions?
We have some exciting developments this season. Firstly, we have introduced a newer bottle packaging for BeeYoung Strong 650 ml bottle, which is a one-of-a-kind innovation that is unprecedented in this industry. It is highly likely that this packaging has not been seen before in the market. Moreover, our team is actively working towards launching BeeYoung in Himachal Pradesh to mark our market presence. To further enhance our product offerings, we plan on introducing new variants in premium segment with unique flavour notes to the Kimaya’s profile, likely to be launched in a couple of months. On the marketing front, we have launched an exciting summer campaign that will be visible both digitally and on the ground. This campaign is designed to be fun and engaging, and we are actively seeking out opportunities for collaborations and event sponsorships that align with the spirit of the summer campaign in the near future.
How would you describe Kimaya Himalayan Beverages’ remarkable journey from being the latest entrant in the market just before the pandemic to becoming a company worth over 100 crores in just one year of full operation?
The pandemic has caused significant disruption in the industry, particularly impacting small businesses and homegrown brands. Despite the uncertainties and obstacles caused by the pandemic, BeeYoung, which was launched in September 2019, has managed to stay resilient with a mindful approach and strategic resource allocation. Through proactive market analysis, the company has taken effective measures to reach its sales targets and develop a robust strategy for expansion into larger markets. As a result, BeeYoung achieved a remarkable milestone by dispatching 1,00,000 hectolitres of beer in its first year of full operation, experiencing an impressive growth rate of 129%. The brand has also successfully established itself in Delhi, Uttar Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Punjab, and Chandigarh and is now focussed on expanding into other states. To meet the increasing demand in its existing markets, Kimaya Himalayan Beverages is increasing its production capacity, reaffirming its commitment to meeting its customers’ needs.
How has the company ensured enhancing product availability in the existing market, diversifying the product range, and venturing into new regions across the nation.
To enhance product availability in the existing market, Kimaya Himalayan Beverages has established partnerships with distributors and retailers to ensure that its products are widely available. The brand has successfully established its presence in multiple regions of North India including Delhi, Uttarakhand, Punjab, and Uttar Pradesh. To diversify its product range, the team is working on introducing new variants with distinctive flavour notes to cater to the changing tastes of consumers. We are working on strengthening the foothold in North India by expanding into new regions and states, such as the upcoming launch in Himachal Pradesh. We have also invested in marketing campaigns to raise brand awareness and attract new customers. Overall, we have taken a proactive and strategic approach to enhancing product availability, diversifying its product range, and venturing into new regions across the nation. These efforts have helped us to grow.
What is the industry overview on alcobev category – the shifts and trends?
The alcohol beverage category has undergone significant shifts and trends in recent years. One of the most notable changes is the growing consumer interest in healthier and low-alcohol options. Consumers are more health-conscious and looking for beverages that align with their wellness goals. This has led to an increase in the demand for low-alcohol or non-alcoholic beverages, such as hard seltzers and non-alcoholic beers. Another trend in the alcohol beverage industry is the rise of craft and artisanal beverages. This has led to an increase in the number of craft breweries, distilleries, and wineries, as well as a growing interest in local and regional products. Finally, sustainability and environmental concerns have become increasingly important to consumers, and brands are responding by prioritising sustainability in their operations and products. This includes using eco-friendly packaging, reducing waste, and sourcing ingredients from sustainable sources.
Overall, the alcohol beverage industry is evolving rapidly, with a focus on health, quality, sustainability, and innovation. Brands that can adapt to these changing trends and meet the evolving needs of consumers are likely to succeed in this competitive market.
What steps are being taken to ensure Sustainability in the alcohol and beer industry: Innovative approaches towards environmental responsibility?
The alcohol and beer industry are taking various steps towards ensuring sustainability and environmental responsibility. These steps include implementing sustainable sourcing practices, using eco-friendly packaging, conserving water, reducing energy consumption, and minimising waste. Companies are exploring innovative approaches towards sustainability, such as using renewable energy sources, investing in water-saving technologies, and using waste-to-energy technologies. The industry is responding to the growing consumer demand for environmentally responsible products and operations. By prioritising sustainability in their operations and products, companies are demonstrating their commitment to social responsibility and ensuring long-term success in the competitive market.
How would you describe the Science of Brewing: The chemistry behind a ‘Perfect Pint’?
Brewing is a complex process that blends the art and science of beer-making. It involves a variety of chemical reactions that transform simple ingredients such as water, malt, hops, and yeast into the diverse range of beers we enjoy today. The science of brewing entails understanding and manipulating these chemical reactions to create the desired flavour, aroma, and appearance of beer. However, creating the perfect pint requires not only scientific knowledge, but also artistic skill. Artistry in brewing involves being artisanal and selecting the right ingredients in the desired quantities. It also involves carefully combining the ingredients without adding concentrated hops, colour, or flavour. The art of brewing complements the science, which includes determining the appropriate temperature to boil, ferment, and so on. Understanding the chemistry behind brewing is essential for creating a satisfying and enjoyable drinking experience that caters to the diverse preferences of beer drinkers worldwide. In summary, brewing is a delicate balance of science and art that requires skill, expertise, and creativity to produce a perfect pint.
What can you do to make the industry more circular?
To make the beer industry more sustainable and reduce waste, adopting a circular approach is crucial. At Kimaya Himalayan Beverages, we have taken steps to minimise our environmental impact by recycling the used bottles. Additionally, breweries can use sustainable ingredients such as organic and locally sourced grains and hops, as well as switching to renewable energy sources like solar or wind power to reduce their carbon footprint. Breweries can also reduce packaging waste by using biodegradable materials. Furthermore, minimising packaging waste by using lightweight materials or reducing packaging size can be another effective approach. Lastly, partnering with local farmers to source ingredients can reduce transportation emissions and support the local economy. Adopting these circular approaches can significantly reduce waste, promote sustainability, and help create a more environmentally friendly product. As businesses, we have a responsibility to act towards becoming more sustainable for future generations.
How would stress the importance on the Art of Beer Labelling: Design Trends and marketing strategies?
In the beer industry, the art of beer labelling is a crucial element that plays a vital role in attracting and retaining customers. A well-designed beer label not only conveys essential information about the beer, such as its flavour and ingredients, but also serves as a marketing tool that sets the brand apart from its competitors. As design trends in beer labelling continually evolve, companies are embracing creative and eye-catching designs that appeal to a broad range of consumers.
Sterling Reserve B10 whisky is made by ABD, which is Allied Blenders and Distilleries, the largest manufacturer of IMFL spirit by volume. The whisky is priced at Rs. 1,350 in Maharashtra and it is available almost Pan India. The reason why this whisky is called ‘B10’ is because it is supposed to give the experience of 10 different flavours to the consumer. If you are more of a video person then you can check out the video review on top as well.
Before we start talking about Sterling Reserve let’s take a look at ABD. So ABD is a very renowned name in the industry and has been in the market for decades now. One of their best- known millionaire brands is Officers Choice, which also is a category leader in that segment. For ones who don’t know what a millionaire brand is, millionaire brand means that it sells more than a million cases in a year, which isn’t an easy feat to achieve.
Now what is interesting is that this is also a millionaire brand which means it automatically puts pressure on it to taste good. This whisky is placed in the same segment as Blenders Pride and Antiquity Blue. So basically, this is positioned in a category where you have some of the best premium and highest selling Indian whisky’s honestly. This whisky comes in two variants, B7 which is positioned in the popular category and of course this, which is the B10. If we talk about the blend of this whisky, then there isn’t much clarity about the age of the malts that have been used in this. But this uses imported Scotch malts, which means malts that have aged at least 3-year’s have been used. This is combined with the Indian grain spirits with the Scotch Malts used from different barrel origin including bespoke bourbon oak casks. Naturally there is neutral spirits that are used as well in this since it has Indian grain spirits as well. Now this whisky is also chill-filtered, which means it won’t change colour when you add ice or water to it.
If we talk about the packaging of the brand, then it is very clear that ABD wanted to create an impact since it is a tough market and they have spent a considerable time on this packaging as well. In comparison with blenders and antiquity it is the only brand that comes in a canister, which shows how serious they are about this category. In terms of packaging, it gives you a feel of the premiumness like others as well. They’ve gone with the deep Purple as the base colour and I think it could be coz they want to stand out on the shelf and they’ve managed to achieve that as well to some extent. In terms of the bottle as well it is nice and reminiscent of Indian whisky bottles.
In terms of the nosing you get some honeyed sweetness, nuttiness of the barley and a fruity and heathery nose.
The ABV is 42.8% and it gives you that punch as you taste it. The flavours of oak are clear and also a sweet flavour also comes from the whisky. Although it feels like honey but it is more of vanilla. There is a fruit as well which I think it berries. The finish is meduim-longish and honestly it is difficult to identify 10 flavours honestly but the whisky does seem smooth.
So what do we think about the Sterling Reserve B10 whisky? For a price of Rs. 1,350 in Maharashtra it is already a very popular brand. It gives you that mix of nice flavours, smooth refines for the price and you really can understand why the people who have this brand swear by it and won’t touch anything else. It is not something that you can have on the rocks naturally like most of the whisky’s in this segment. But with water or a mixer of your choice is suited. Maybe you can try it next when you are going to have any whisky’s in this segment and let us know how it is in the comments.
Architect, Interior Designer, Restaurateur, and Founder of Beyond Designs Bistro, Neha Gupta has launched a second restaurant. The new culinary offering is titled, Nineteen78, hinting at the classical influence of the cuisine on offer.
Propelled by the success of Beyond Designs Bistro, Neha takes assured steps to expand her culinary brand. The new restaurant is located at the popular Select CITYWALK, New Delhi.
Having mastered the art of offering a carefully crafted couture experience with the Bistro, she has now launched a prêt affair with Nineteen78. From a relaxed and elegant dining affair at the Bistro that is every bit cherishable, her patrons now have a chance to grab an equally memorable meal at the new restaurant.
The 48-seater multi-cuisine restaurant presents a delectable mix of European, Asian and Coastal cuisines from Vietnam and Sri Lanka. The menu sees the trained chefs revisiting certain classic dishes while also serving up some modern experimental fare. From Caesar and Fattoush salads with a twist to Chicken in spinach sauce with Orzo salad and grilled vegetables; from Sweet and spicy Hong Kong ginger fish to Caramelized dry Vietnamese chicken, and prawn linguini, Sliced lamb in hoisin sauce, there are several finger-licking options to choose from. Raspberry pie with vanilla ice cream, apple crumble & ice cream Chocolate devil cake, and many more make up the dessert menu. The restaurant also has a bar attached, offering a complete dining experience.
There is also an extensive breakfast menu with healthy as well as indulgent selections. The interiors designed by Neha and her husband Sachin Gupta of Beyond Designs, are a youthful mélange of contemporary styles. The boutique vibe of the restaurant is accentuated with colourful and quirky art and a fun bunch of lights made of steel and fiber. The marble tables with metal cast bases are paired with retro-style wooden chairs and sofa seating.
While embracing a contemporary sensibility, the restaurant and the gastronomic experience it offers retain a vintage soul.