Director, Brigade Hospitality Services Ltd.
Nirupa Shankar shares with BW how Brigade Hospitality entered the microbrewery business and how she visualize the prospects of this business.
Being from a real estate background, how did you develop an interest in setting up a microbrewery in Bangalore?
We were keen to create an F&B destination within our Brigade Gateway campus. Already existing was our Orion mall with over 30 F&B brands in the space – be it in the food court or coffee shops or fine dining restaurants. The Sheraton Grand Hotel has 6 F&B outlets and the World Trade Centre – Bangalore had a roof top restaurant called HIGH Ultra Lounge; so close to 40 outlets all within the same campus. While this created a variety of cuisines at various price points, what was missing was a micro-brewery within the campus. Microbreweries were also the rage back in 2012- 2013. So interest in setting up a micro-brewery came up.
Microbrewery is a booming business. However, capital expenses required to set up the microbrewery are significantly higher than that of a regular bar and restaurant.
What was your involvement in District 6 Pub Brewery and Kitchen?
As part of Brigade Group, we were the owners (LESSORS) of the space. Our role was to lease the space to the tenants and ensure the tenant (LESSEE) could complete the fit outs with ease. It was also our responsibility to ensure that the venue was positioned right in terms of price, product and design to ensure there was no cannibalisation of business for any of the other brands within the same campus.
Did you face any challenges since this was a new industry back then?
Not really. Microbreweries have been doing very well since 2009 and still are.
How do you find the brewery scenario in India today?
It’s a booming business. However, capital expenses required to set up microbrewery are significantly higher than that of a regular bar and restaurant. This is due to the additional equipment required for brewing craft beer. There are other requirements such as high ceilings and a minimum carpet area of 10,000 sqft that make it a little hard for entrepreneurs who want to set up a microbrewery to find the right venue. But the operators have other advantages such as low beverage cost and a consumer base that has a preference for fresh beer in the Indian market.
Would you be encouraged to set up an independent microbrewery in the country? Any plans?
While I am personally very passionate about F&B and have set up Brigade 1st standalone lounge bar, our focus as a company is on the creation and development of high grade spaces. We prefer to sell/lease these spaces to operators who are specialised in a particular business.
HOW do you see the future of this industry in the country?
As per a recent article in India Times, “the Indian beer market is estimated at ₹25,000 crores with craft beer taking a ₹280 crore share. The market is expected to reach a whopping ₹4400 cr by 2020”. The business is driven by high volume sales and it’s the micro-breweries that have the highest revenues per outlet.
As per a recent article in India Times, “the Indian beer market is estimated at ₹25,000 crores with craft beer taking a ₹280 crores share. The market is expected to reach a whopping ₹4400 crores by 2020”.