Crafted beers are a craze in India, with special brews making their way to the top. But not many are aware of the process and ingredients that go into it, which differentiates between a bottled beer and a crafted beer. Here’s demystifying the process for you:
The brewing process starts with milling the grains to break the husk. They are then mixed with hot water in a process called mashing. Through this process, natural enzymes in the grain break down starches into desirable sugars. This also extracts flavour and colour. After mashing, the juices (wort) are collected in a boiling kettle in a process called lautering and then boiled to pasteurise the wort to develop flavour, and also add hops.
Following this, the wort is instantly cooled to around 20 degrees celsius and transferred to one of the fermenters. Yeast is added and the fermentation process takes 10 to 14 days on average. During this time, alcohol, flavour, and aroma in beer are developed naturally due to yeast action. Then the beer is clarified or filtered (based on style) and transferred to storage tanks called Bright Beer Tanks where it is carbonated. At this stage, the beer is ready to be shipped for drinking.
Craft brewing licences were initially issued in India in 2010. Currently, multiple states allow craft brewing, including Maharashtra, Karnataka, Goa, Telangana, Delhi, Haryana, West Bengal, UP, and Rajasthan.
We have a brewing team with a combined 30+ years of brewing experience. All of our brewers left commercial brewing to pursue craft brewing. We have a strong emphasis on quality and variety in what we produce. Most of our wheat styles are very popular like Belgian Wit and Hefeweizen, also more and more consumers are also taking to stronger and more flavourful styles like Belgian Tripel, IPA, Stout, etc. Apple Ciders are also a big hit with some customers.
Our craft beers are brewed with hand-picked ingredients like malt, hops, and yeast, and all ingredients are imported from foreign countries at the moment to ensure consistent quality. Locally sourced water, which is almost 90 per cent of all beers, goes through a state-of-the-art softening and RO process to create absolutely clean, sweet water. We are also backed by one of the most advanced brewing equipment setups in India and also a full lab set up for both QC and yeast management.
Lastly, we believe in being leaders in putting out the best quality product first and everything else comes next.
(Shailendra Bist, Director & Head Brewer at Independence Brewing Company)