The second edition of Craft Drinks India was held in Bangalore recently.
Author: Ganesh Vancheeswaran

The second edition of Craft Drinks India, the international trade show for the alco-bev industry, was held at Manpho Convention Centre in Bangalore on July 3 and 4, 2019. It was jointly organised by NuernbergMesse (the organisers of the globally-recognised Bevialecluster of beverage events) and PDA Trade Fairs. Industry verticals of beer, spirits and wine were represented at this B2B expo, in which a hundred exhibitors are estimated to have participated this year.

From yeast to beer kegs to tapping solutions for pubs to water treatment solutions for breweries and distilleries, a wide range of products and services were exhibited at Craft Drinks India. The Craft Drinks India website (www.craftdrinksindia.com) announces that the intent was to “showcase new, exciting and futuristic developments in the industry and bring together the who’s who of the alco-bev fraternity to draft a roadmap for the industry’s growth.”

A conference titled ‘From Grain to Glass’ was also held as part of the trade show. This conference saw professionals from the industry come together to discuss diverse topics, such as ‘Creating Robust Brand Identities’, ‘Tasting Success with Innovation’, ‘Building an Exports-driven Brand’, ‘Premiumisation’, ‘Equipment Sourcing’ and so on.

Livening up proceedings was the IFBA Flair Challenge 2019, a mixology and flair bartending competition organised by the Indian Flair Bartenders Association, a non-profit organisation. The Mahua Spirit and Mahua Liquer that were recently launched in India by the brand Desmondji, were showcased at the trade fair, too. This put the spotlight on efforts being made to package and serve traditional, native Indian spirits to the modern market.

Craft Drinks India took place against a backdrop of dynamic developments in the Indian market for beer and spirits. India is the 3rd largest liquor market in the world, with an estimated retail market size in the region of USD 40 Billion per annum. A global study by Paris-based Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) has found that alcohol consumption in India rose 55% over a period of 20 years. With 600 million people of legal drinking age, India is perceived to have a lot of potential for marketers of beer, wine and spirits.

This perception has led to diverse developments in the alco-bev industry – from the setting up of numerous microbreweries, development of new beer recipes, innovation in distilling and bottling native Indian spirits such as Mahua and so on. Within a decade, India has seen nearly 100 brewpubs being set up, mainly in Bangalore, Pune, Mumbai, Hyderabad and Gurgaon. Bangalore itself is estimated to have around 55 brewpubs.

The annual trade show is expected to be held again in mid-2020.

Please note: The industry statistics mentioned in this article were taken from the Craft Drinks India website.