Must-Try Beers in India (2023)
We have put together a list of the must-try beers in India. We also have a list of the different types of beers available for all the beer junkies.
There’s nothing more relaxing than a good, chilled glass of beer on a hot Sunday afternoon, preferably on a beach somewhere, with good food on the side. Now, it might not be possible for you to immediately hop on to the next flight out to Goa, but you can enjoy some of the very good beers the Indian beer market has to offer.
Stronger lager beers are usually the crowd favorite in the country. So it’s no wonder that beers like the Kingfisher Strong, Budweiser, and other IPA’s. However, there has been a rise in demand for lighter ales, witbiers, stouts, and porters. The most commonly found beers in India are Kingfisher, Tuborg, Budweiser, Corona, Heineken, Carlsberg, Bira, and Fosters.
Best Beers In India
In a previously conducted Best Beer Review by our team, three lagers and 2 wheat beers particularly stood out.
- Budweiser Lager Beer
- Carlsberg Smooth Lager Beer
- Bira 91 Blonde Lager Beer
- Simba Wit
- Bira White Wheat Beer
Thums Up Soft Drink PET Bottle, 750 ml
Let’s get to know these best beer brands a bit better:
Budweiser Lager Beer
Budweiser has been revered as the king of beers around the world. The Budweiser was a Bohemian-style lager developed in America in 1876 after two friends German-born Adolphus Busch and his friend Carl Conrad were inspired by a trip to Bohemia.
This lager has a honey-like aroma and citrusy notes too. It has a smooth unique taste.
Carlsberg Smooth Lager Beer
The Carlsberg smooth lager has been made with the finest European barley. It has a smooth and rich taste specially crafted for the Indian palate.
Bira 91 Blonde Lager Beer
The Bira 91 Blonde lager has a very nice delicate malty flavor which is balanced out with the bitterness. It also has a fresh, summery and fruity aroma.
Simba beers have been crafted by beer lovers for beer lovers. The company gives priority to quality and choose the best possible raw ingredients. This refreshing and crisp wheat beer has the subtle flavors of orange peel, lemongrass, and coriander in it.
Bira White Wheat Beer
This is a low bitterness beer with soft hints of spice and citrus.
Best Easily Available Beers In India
The following are some of the most common beers available in most parts of India-
Kingfisher of the United Breweries Group has been one of the most commonly found beer brands around the country. These lagers have an initial bitter taste which is followed by a slight sweeter malty taste.
- Kingfisher Premium
- Kingfisher Strong
- Kingfisher Ultra
- Kingfisher Storm
Tuborg is a bottom-fermented lager with lower alcohol content. The taste is mild and theirs a subtle fruity aroma.
- Tuborg Strong
- Tuborg Classic
This is a light beer with a balanced bitter flavor. It leaves a bitter aftertaste of the hops in the mouth. Made with superior quality European barley for a smooth and rich taste.
- Carlsberg Smooth
- Carlsberg Elephant
Gerard Heineken started a small brewery in Amsterdam in 1873. Over the next 140 years, the popularity of the Heineken Premium Lager has spread all over the globe.
- Heineken Premium
- Heineken Draught
The Mexican Corona is perfect for people who don’t like the bitter taste of beer. It has a rich, smooth taste with a fruity aroma along with a little hint of malt.
- Corona Light
- Corona Extra
The uniquely crisp and roust taste of Foster’s beer is the result of the delayed addition of hops to the fermentation process.
- Foster’s Lager
- Foster’s Premium
Bangalore’s Bira 91 has made a boom in the craft beer business. The smooth finish with a spicy, citrusy note and low bitterness makes Bira the perfect beer to sip on throughout the day.
- Bira Pale Ale
- Bira Light
- Bira Strong Ale
- Haywards 5000
- Budweiser Magnum
Lesser-Known or Uncommon Beers In India
All of the previously mentioned beers are easily available in most parts of the country. However, there a few more very good beers that are not available everywhere or in all cities.
Bro Code Beers
The BroCode Beer is the newest talk of beer-town thanks to the unique flavor and higher alcohol content that gives you the slow buzz. The three beer variants by bro code are the Witty Bro wheat beer, the Bro Code 10 with 10% alcohol content and then the Bro Code 15 with 15% ABV.
- Witty Bro
- Bro Code 10
- Bro Code 15
Kati Patang beers are brewed by an Indian couple in Bhutan. Only the purest Himalayan water is used for the brewing process of these beers.
- Kati Patang Snappy Wheat
- Kati Patang Zesty Amber
La Micro Brewing Co.
The brewing company has originated from Costa Rica. Their beers are still trying to make their place in the market and so, are not available everywhere in the country.
- Buho Strong
- Buho Lager
Coppers brewery is an Australia based brewing company established over 150 years ago. Thomas Cooper began the legacy with a simple ale all the way back in 1862. The Cooper family now lives believing the motto “we were born to brew”.
- Coopers Extra Stout
- Coopers Light
- Coopers Lager
Although launched in Bangalore, Wittlinger beer has its origins in the UK. The brewery follows a strictly English brewing procedure. The beers are made from hops and yeast sourced from the UK and their malt is imported from Germany.
- Wittlinger Wheat Ale
- Wittlinger Lager
Arbor Brewing Co.
The idea for the Arbor Brewing Company, India was the brainchild of Gaurav Sikka, a student of the University of Michigan. After moving to Bangalore, Gaurav decided to bring USA’s Arbor Brewing Company to India by contacting the founders of the company, spearheading the craft beer movement in the country.
- Easy Rider
- Beach Shack
- Smooth Criminal
Himalayan Beer Company
This Nepalese brewery was established in the year 1980. The first brew was produced in 1982. The company uses pristine natural spring waters of the river Godavari to produce their beers.
- Himalayan Monkey
- Iceberg Beer
- Kathmandu Premium Lager
- Khajuraho Premium Lager
- Khajuraho Lager
- Khajuraho Super Strong Beer Hopper Blonde
- Mahou Wheat
- White Rhino Lager
- White Owl Spark
- 7 Rivers Brewing Co. Wheat Beer
- Bira IPA (Brewed with Pomelo)
- Amstel Light
- Royal Challenge Strong
- Royal Challenge Lager
- Miller Coors
- King’s Beer
- Godfather Beer
- Hunter Beer
- DNA Strong
- Simba Stout
- Simba Light
- Simba Strong
Types of Beers
This type of beer has a much lighter taste and lower in alcohol content. The list of pale lagers include-
- German Helles – Maltier taste with bright gold color.
- German Pilsner- A pale gold beer with moderated hops flavor with some maltiness.
- Bohemian Pilsner- A floral smelling beer with a bitter hop flavor.
- American Lager- Beer that is light in flavor and color and low in alcohol content.
These ales tend to have a more malty flavor, with tones of caramel. It has lid-range alcohol levels and has a slight hoppy bitterness.
- American Brown Ale- This is a dark beer but is not bitter like porter or stout beers.
- English Brown Ale- This expresses a nutty malt flavor along with a caramel aroma.
These are mid-range alcohol content beers with the tasty caramel-like flavor profile.
- Oktoberfest- This beer named after the Munich festival, has a deep copper color and a toasted flavor.
- Vienna Lager- Reddish in color and a sweet malt flavor.
- Amber American Lager- This beer exhibits a dark color, caramel aroma, and smooth taste.
- German Schwarzbier- A dark beer with low malt and light flavor profile.
Don’t let the dark color of a porter put you off. These dark-colored ales have chocolate, caramel or coffee-like flavor profiles. What makes them different from stouts is that porters have a less coffee-like taste and their slightly more chocolaty taste makes them different from brown ales.
- English Brown Porter- These beers are lower in alcohol content and lower in sweetness.
- Robust Porter- Stronger, more bitter and dark beer with a slight caramel flavor.
- American Imperial Porter- These are dark beers with malty sweet flavors.
These are sweet and nutty flavored beers. While some bocks are low on alcohol content some others tend to move up the ladder.
- Traditional Bock- A malt like sweet beer with a toasty flavor and a dark copper color.
- Weizenbock- These are wheat bocks with fruity, malty flavors.
- Maibock- This is a pale and hoppy beer with a malty flavor.
- Doppelbock- This is a darker beer with a stronger flavor and higher alcohol content.
These are light beers, with a more hop-like flavor profile. These are generally lower in alcohol content levels.
- American Pale Ale- A light copper-colored ale with a pronounced hop flavor.
- American Amber Ale- A malty, caramel-flavored beer in an amber color.
- English Bitter- A beer with bitter hoppy and fruity flavor, with lower alcohol content.
- English Pale Ale-The English Pale ale has a very hop prominent flavor which is balanced out with the sweet malty flavor.
- Blonde Ale- A malt and hops flavored beer with a fruity aroma.
India Pale Ales
These are usually high alcohol content beers with a very prominent hops taste.
- English IPA- English IPAs have a mild hops flavor and low alcohol content.
- Imperial IPA- Strong bitter flavored IPA with high alcohol content.
- American IPA- A highly bitter ale with herbs and citrusy flavor profile.
These are strong roasted flavored dark beers. They have higher alcohol content.
- American Stout- These are beers with notes of strong chocolate and coffee along with the hoppy bitterness.
- Oatmeal Stout- At the malting process in the making of this beer, oats are added which gives the beer a sweet and smooth flavor.
- American Imperial Stout- These are very dark beers that give out a strong malty flavor.
- Irish Dry Stout – These are almost black colored beers made with roasted barley.
- Milk Stout-This beer consists of lactose sugars that give it caramel or chocolate-like flavor.
How is Beer Made? | Beer Making Process
The process of brewing the perfect mug of beer involves a number of intricate steps. Each step is a very important factor and plays a key role in determining the outcome.
Step 1: Milling
In this stage, beer-making grains such as barley or wheat is crushed. It becomes easier to extract fermentable sugars from these broken grain kernels.
Step 2: Mash Conversion
The broken kernels are transferred to a large drum known as the mash tun where heated water is mixed in. This process is referred to as mash conversion. Here enzymes are released which help the starch in the grains to convert into sugars.
Step 3: Lautering
The mash is then moved to another drum known as the lautering tin where the sweet liquid, known as wort, gets separated from the grains.
Step 4: Boiling
The liquid is then passed into a kettle where it is boiled at a controlled temperature. Hops are added to this mix at this stage.
Step 5: Wort Separation and Cooling
At this stage, the wort is moved to another drum where any remaining malt or hop grains are removed. The remaining clear liquid is then allowed to cool and ferment.
Step 6: Fermenting
At this stage, yeast is added to the clear liquid. It is then allowed to sit for some time so the yeast can convert the sugars present in the wort to alcohol. This stage also allows a flavor to develop and carbon dioxide is also produced.
Step 7: Maturing
Fermented young beer is allowed to sit so that it can develop a flavor and a smooth finishing texture.
Step 8: Carbonation and Cellaring
Matured beer is then filtered, carbonated and then transferred to another drum for the cellaring process which takes about 3-4 weeks to complete. After this period the beer is ready to be packages and sold.
Beer brewing requires expertise and patience. Over the year, people have begun to try out newer flavors and types of beers rather than sticking to the usual lagers and IPAs. This has lead to the creation of new brews that cater to the palate of the adventurous drinker. Although we have chosen what we think is the best of beers, your choice would also depend on what kind of flavors you like. Some love the beer bitterness while others prefer beers with a toned-down bitterness level. It’s all about preference, but if you ever decide to experiment a little with beer, we hope you have this list handy.