A microbrewery or craft brewery refers to a beer manufacturing unit that produces small amounts of beer in a batch. Microbreweries are independently owned and target a niche audience — distinguishing themselves from large-scale corporate breweries, based on the quality, brewing techniques, flavor of the brews, and more.
India has seen growth in the microbrewing business, especially in tiny areas of Bengaluru, Pune and Delhi neighboring cities such as Gurgaon and Noida. Ghaziabad, too, got its first microbrewery, Hit A Pint, in the city’s upscale Raj Nagar.
The brewery, which produces 3,000 liters of fresh beer in a month, sources its beer malt water from Germany, with flavors curated to suit the Indian palate. Hit A Pint serves a variety of beers, including craft beer.
According to market research company Imarc, the overall beer market in India was valued at Rs 383.6 billion in 2022 and was expected to grow at a CAGR of 8.1% during 2023-2028. Based on the production, the India beer market is categorized into macro-brewery, micro-brewery, and others. Among these, the macro-breweries or the industrial-size units account for the largest share.
With a rise in demand for ‘specialty beers’, microbreweries are also slowly growing ground.
Siddharth Chaudhary, the founder of the brewery that offers a variety of beers and cocktails, says, “As a microbrewery and restaurant owner, my goal is to create a unique and memorable experience for every customer. From the quality of our craft beer to the freshness of our ingredients, we strive to exceed expectations and leave a lasting impression. We believe good food and good beer bring people together, and we’re proud to be a part of that tradition.”
Hit a Pint has got brewing machines from Brew Force India, a company that has been delivering processing and engineering equipment and solutions to breweries and many distilleries for 35 years.
“As a fine-dine restaurant, infused with a restro-bar atmosphere, Hit A Pint caters to an upscale crowd, primarily families. The restro-bar has open workstations at one corner, which can be utilized by those who want to work and enjoy their drinks. The bar, unlike other restro-bars, has an unconventional lower seating style, inspired by the bars of New York. The beveled mirror on the walls adds to the brewery’s grandeur, giving the impression of a larger space,” Chaudhary said.
A microbrewery may or may not have a packaging facility. Generally, microbreweries sell on the premises using mugs or pitchers filled directly from the tap. In India, microbreweries are allowed to keg their beer for sale in other nearby bars and pubs. Kegging is the process where freshly brewed beer is filled in pressurized and insulated vessels known as kegs. Bars purchase these kegs from microbrewers at wholesale rates and sell them at retail prices at their premises.
Brewing is a process for the production of malt beverages. Ale and lagers are the main malt beverages produced by this method. Brewing is a complex fermentation process. It differs from other industrial fermentation because flavor, aroma, clarity, color, foam production, foam stability, and percentage of alcohol are the factors associated with the finished product. The brewing process can be broken down into four simplified steps — mashing, separation, boiling, and fermentation. Together, these four steps create a variety of beers.
Chaudhary, who has done elaborate research on the subject, said, “Craft beer has a much better taste in comparison to commercial beer as it is fresh and without any additive preservatives. Glycerine is added in commercial alcohol to heighten their shelf life whereas craft beer only has a shelf life of 20 days. The glycerine is responsible for the bloating effect in beer where water gets retained in the belly of a consumer. Brewing is the amalgamation of basic chemistry and temperature regulation and anything sweet can be turned into alcohol. The technology of brewing is not limited to sweet stuff; many breweries in Delhi and Gurgaon make beer from popcorn and so versatility in beer is increasing.”
Hospitality is one aspect Hit a Pint focuses on, Chaudhary adds. “Beers being good is nice but food quality is of utmost importance to us. A restro-bar is known for its ambiance, service, and food. During weekdays, we see a lower crowd of drinkers. We try our best to be known for our food alongside our fresh brews. We have also started lunch meal platters for students and a variety of mocktails to choose from.”