Beer is one of the oldest and most popular drinks in the world. There is no shortage of data on how beloved and prefered it is for different occasions. And backing up these stats is the rise of microbreweries in India. From the opening of the first microbrewery Doolally in 2009 to more than 60 thriving and serving amazing beer today, the business structure for breweries has changed drastically.
Microbreweries are breweries that locally produce beer on a small scale using more natural ingredients. Although they generally cater to a niche market, their market has grown significantly. Microbreweries distinguish themselves from large-scale beer manufacturers based on their quality, diverse pallet of flavours and brewing techniques.
As the concept of microbreweries is becoming popular, people have become curious about the process of setting up a microbrewery in India. One of the most crucial aspects of such a process is getting the required licenses for microbrewery. Alcohol, in India, is a state subject. It means that state governments make their own rules and regulations regarding this subject.
Few states in India have enacted laws and licenses specifically for microbreweries. States like Haryana, Karnataka, Maharashtra, Uttar Pradesh, Assam, and Delhi permit running microbreweries. While granting a permit for a microbrewery, the grantor of the license generally checks for the quality of raw materials by a certified chemist and beer samples in a laboratory.
Getting required licenses for microbrewery can be a tedious process in India. The process differs from state to state. Here is a list of licenses for microbrewery required in five places – Maharashtra, Haryana, Delhi, Uttar Pradesh, and Karnataka.
What Are State-wise Requirments For Opening Microbreweries?
To operate a microbrewery manufacturing up to two lakhs of beer per year in Maharashtra, you must follow a specific process. You need to apply in form BRA with five hundred rupees to the state government to get licenses for microbrewery. In case the State Government is satisfied that your premises, material, utensils, plant and implements to be used to manufacture beer and storage arrangements are suitable, you will be granted the license. You need to pay a forty thousand rupees fee for such a license. The license will be given for a year and can be renewed at the end of the year.
Licenses for Microbrewery in Haryana include forms L-10C, L-4 and L5 for retail and sale of beer manufactured by a microbrewery. The license fee is Rupees 12 Lakhs in Gurugram and Faridabad. For other districts in Haryana, the fee is Rupees 8 Lakhs. While granting the license, the administration will consider the quality of raw materials and the beer produced in the microbrewery. It is important to note that the alcohol content of beer made in microbrewery should not exceed 8% v/v.
In Delhi, to get licenses for microbrewery, you need to submit a form along with relevant documents to the Deputy Commissioner (Excise). Based on the license granter’s assessment of raw materials, beer samples and other requirements, you will be granted an L-11 license with a fee of Rupees 5 thousand for setting up a microbrewery at hotels, restaurants and airports in Delhi. The permit will be issued only for on-site consumption.
4. Uttar Pradesh
Whoever has licenses for hotel, resort, restaurant, and commercial clubs are eligible to apply for licenses for Microbrewery in Uttar Pradesh. They must apply with the state excise commissioner through the district magistrate offices. The excise commissioner could permit microbreweries based on the recommendation of the district magistrate. The fee for such a license is Rupees 2.5 lakhs. Each microbrewery that gets the permit can produce only 600 litres of beer daily. A penalty of Rupees 5,000 can be charged if you violate microbrewery rules.
The Excise Commissioner in Karnataka sanctions distillery license with the state government’s previous permission. Any person who wants to set up a microbrewery in Karnataka must apply to the Excise Commissioner in Form A through a Deputy Commissioner. The application needs to have a complete description of the premises, utensils, and plant installed capacity per day.
The Excise Commissioner can grant the license based on minimum requirements like the 10,000 sq built-up area required for establishing microbreweries with a spacious dining hall and parking facility. You can find a list of documents necessary for getting a microbrewery license in Karnataka here.
To set up a microbrewery establishment, you will need other licenses like commercial electricity license, commercial water line, land registration or lease sanction, and company registration, amongst others.
Microbreweries are witnessing rapid growth in India. Setting up a microbrewery is labour and capital-intensive work. It can take ₹50 lakhs to ₹1 crore (depending on the scale and location of the company) to start a microbrewery in India. If you are considering opening your Microbrewery in India, you can consult a restaurant consultant.
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