India’s fourth largest brewer, B9 Beverages Pvt, owner of the Indian craft beer brand Bira 91 have announced they are planning to set up a new brewery in India by the end of the year.
The brewery, with a planned production capacity of 400,000 hectolitres per year and the capability to expand to 1 million, will be their fifth in India. It will be built in Madhya Pradesh, B9’s second in the central state.
Indian entrepreneur Ankur Jain founded B9 Beverages in 2015 with Bira 91 as their flagship brand. Bira 91 quickly grew to be India’s most recognizable craft brand. The beer, which is known for it’s cartoon monkey mascot, was originally brewed in Belgium before production was transferred to India once B9 set up their first brewery.
Currently the company has a production capacity of 2 million hectolitres per year which is an estimated 5-10% share of the domestic beer market in cities such as New Delhi, Bengaluru and Mumbai.
It is estimated B9 holds a 5% share of the total Indian beer market and over 20% share of the premium beer category.
While India’s beer industry has been hard-hit from Covid-related lockdowns over the past year, B9 which brews a range of lagers, stouts and ales under it’s Bira 91 label, managed to double its sales and triple market share as many customers looked to experiment with new beerstyles at home and take advantage of emerging e-delivery platforms.
The company has annual sales of USD170 million in a market valued at USD 7.8 billion in 2019.
The potential of the India premium beer market has been noted by larger global brewers with Japan’s Kirin Holdings investing USD 30 million in January this year in return for a minority share in the company of less than 10%.
B9 have also attracted investment in recent years from non-brewers such as American venture capital firm Sequoia Capital, Belgium’s Sofina Capital and India’s Vikramaditya Mohan Thapar Family Trust.
So far this year B9 Beverages have secured USD 50 million in funding from investors. After one more planned round of fund raising this year the Jain, B9’s CEO, expects to take the company public.