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Gurgaon based Brewers has started draining their beer

As the effects of the COVID-19 virus lockdown all over the country continues to impact
businesses and industries, the recent news of a further extension of the nationwide quarantine has caused dismay to several enterprises. Almost 250 microbreweries across India have witnessed a loss of almost 8 lakh litres of freshly brewed beer as per industry experts.

Further, 1.2 million cases of Indian-made Foreign Liquor worth almost Rs 700 crores is stuck in northern states with the exception of Delhi. This is because at the start of the new financial year amidst the lockdown, sellers were required to seek the permission of the respective state governments to clear their stock which had built up during the period as they could not make any sales.

“Beer being disposed of in drains”

According to experts, fresh beer or craft beer is not easy to store unlike bottled beer as they have a short shelf life. Due to this drawback, several brewers all across Gurgoan have started draining their beer as plants require electricity to maintain the temperature required for storing fresh beer.

Beer lovers have suffered great heartache as the Craft Brewers Association had stated that if a solution to this storage issue is not found, the 8 lakh litres of beer stock will end up in the drainage system.

The association further pleaded the central government to allow microbreweries to start
take-away services with the help of beer growlers to ensure they do not suffer further losses.

“Several relaxations have been given in the latest guidelines, but beer bars and clubs have not been given any relaxation. We should be allowed to start take-away facilities with beer growlers.

By doing this, social-distancing can strictly be followed,” Nakul Bhonsle, president of
Maharashtra Craft Brewers Association of Indian.
Bhonsle further added that around 35 countries have started such facilities and have been providing these services for years.

“Major unemployment”

Sibi Venkataraju, who runs brewpub Toit in Bengaluru and is the national office bearer of Craft Brewers Association of India, said that there are 250-odd microbreweries in the country and they provide employment to around 50,000 people and that such a lockdown has resulted in the unemployment of these workers.

Confederation of Indian Alcoholic Beverage Companies (CIABC) general director Vinod Giri said that they have estimated that around 1.2 million cases of IMFL are stuck due to the lockdown in northern states, except Delhi.
“We will need the approval of state governments to sell the old stock of 1.2 million cases of IMFL in the new financial year,” Giri stated.

“New guidelines for liquor shops”

According to the latest lockdown guidelines issued by the Ministry of Home Affairs, the sale of liquor, paan and tobacco will be allowed from Monday after ensuring a minimum of six feet social distancing with not more than five persons at one time at a shop. These shops should not be located in markets and malls in urban areas.

All shops in rural areas, except in malls, are permitted to remain open without any distinction of essential and non-essential.

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