BW Beerpreneur: “Brunonia Was The Only Brand We Could Think Of”
This interview is a part of BW Beerpreneur, a continuing series of interviews with the Beer Entrepreneurs, owners of the beer brands from across the world. Brewer World will share business and personal insights to help build the industry network and consumers understand beer well.
India is a big tropical country with many diverse seasons. A tropical country is always assumed to be a beer country. With more than 200 breweries and 40 plus beer local brands in India, the assumption is not wrong. It was in 1716 that European beer Pale Ale and Burton Ale were introduced in India. Since then, India has imported beer from different countries and beer brands like Corona, Brunonia, Singha, Tsingtao, Victoria Bitter, Geist, Christoffel and many others are now present in the country.
The Classic European Beer
In summer of 2021, a German brand Brunonia came to India. This European beer was brought to India by a mother and daughter duo through CIRO Trade Private Limited. Kiran Hemdev and Roshni K Hemdev are the directors of CIRO Trade Private Limited, an Indo-German company which imports alcoholic and non alcoholic beverages to India. They want to cater to various tastes of prospects ranging from the iGen or Gen Z to Gen X.
Brunonia is a classic European beer with a golden hue and a thick head. Featuring a clean, dry hop finish, this full-bodied lager beer is sweet and soft-balanced. It has floral and fruity aromas from European Noble hops and a 4.8% ABV. The quality tradition of Brunonia, Germany, stems from the almost thousand-year-old brewing tradition. Golden lager is a perfect accompaniment to backyard barbecues or steak dinners with friends.
Brewer World got a chance to interact with Roshni K Hemdev who is an Ex-Public Relations Strategist. She is also a branding expert who helped Louis Vuitton, Jimmy Choo, Coach, Canali, Hugo Boss and many others to launch in India. Below are the excerpts…
What exactly is Ciro Trade Private Limited?
CIRO trade Private Limited is an Indo German company that imports alcoholic and non alcoholic beverages from the European Union. We have a wide range of sparkling wines from J Oppmann, red and white wines from Becksteiner Winzer and Wheat and Lager beer from Brunonia.
How did you come up with Ciro? What was the idea behind?
CIRO is a brain child of 3 individuals – Kiran Hemdev, Christian Saathoff and I. Every time Christian would travel to India, the quality of beverages available would leave him flabbergasted. While I started my journey working for Christian’s German company, I was majoring in R & D. With both our ideas in place keeping the demand and supply of current beverage options in the market we felt we could add to the existing list with way better quality and value for price. These ideas were taken to Kiran Hemdev, my mother, our anchor, who started working on the compliances and the rest is history. Christian is very happy now when he travels he has a good selection to choose from within his company. (giggles)
Ciro mainly deals with Alcoholic and non-alcoholic products, as women how tough or easy was it to get through the industry?
Well I wouldn’t say it’s tough or easy, it’s work! You have got to be determined how many ever detours you face. I would like to add that higher officials have always been very supportive of us and helped us with guidance anytime we have needed it.
What is your background?
I have an MBA in Marketing and Branding. I’ve worked in PR, luxury retail and the events space for more than 9 years.
Was exporting and importing a family business or was it started by you and your mother?
My mother Kiran Hemdev ran an import export company with my dad that dealt with garments and accessories. They even owned a factory at one point. After the passing of my dad, she was an agent for Gokaldas Exports Cash & Carry wholesale and retail store in Chennai for 12 years.
Tell us about Brunonia beer.
Brunonia is made by Wolters Brewery that has been dedicated to making beer that meets Germany high quality requirements for the art of brewing. In recognition of the very high quality of all of the beers made by Hofbraeuhaus Wolters, in 1882 the Duke of Brunswick awarded the company the title of ‘Brewers of the Ducal Court’. Brunonia beer is brewed according to German Purity Law. Today Hofbraeuhaus Wolters is one of the most modern breweries in northern Germany. We have two styles right now.
Brunonia Wheat, which is loved by everyone for its fruity taste. The brand name and the design of the can expresses the close historical connection of beer to Braunschweig town.
Brunonia Lager, full bodied lager beer is sweet and soft-balanced with a clean, dry hop finish. It is a delicately luminous appearance with a Hoppy Aroma.
Why only Brunonia beer and not other brands? What was special about Brunonia?
Brunonia was our top pick keeping in mind the local markets and requirements. Wolters is the only brewery to use water from the Harz mountain range which gives it its unique taste, and we were clearly impressed by that.
In 2022, what other beer styles are you looking to import from Brunonia?
We have already added the lager to the already existing wheat. By summer we plan to bring in a strong and the non alcoholic variant.
How has the response been towards Brunonia?
Brunonia being a beer in a can still gives you a fresh craft beer taste. It’s brewing composition sets its taste apart. The fact that there are no additives and the carbs are low with no added sugar. Brunonia is the second highest selling wheat beer in Tamil Nadu.
Do you plan to import any other beer brands?
Yes, we plan on bringing in premium beer brand Barre with 3 variants – pilsner, wheat and a bouquet lager aka champagne lager.
Are you planning to expand the sale of Brunonia outside Bangalore and Chennai?
Yes, Hyderabad and Goa are next on our map.
How often do you guys drink beer and any specific beer style or brand you like?
Well I love the Barre bouquet lager which is a champagne lager. The flavour is like something I have never tasted before.
Do you and your mom drink together?
Oh yes! We most certainly enjoy a glass of wine, mom likes the lager beer for a sunny day.