White Owl going places
Founder, White Owl Brewery
The move to bottle craft beer directly caters to strong and growing consumer demand across all sales channels in India. The bottle launch will enable White Owl Brewery to not only service the substantially larger retail segment but also expand the brand’s existing presence within the restaurant/bar space.
Tapping a new dimension in the microbrewery business, White Owl Brewery, a small Mumbai-based brewery is now set to launch two of its award-winning craft brews in bottles to significantly expand the availability of its handcrafted beer across the country.
With a wide portfolio of craft beer, brewed in small batches under the leadership of a highly experienced and internationally trained brewing team, White Owl Beer is known to boast crisp, complex flavours, distinct aromas, an alive and inviting appearance and smooth texture.
“Our brewery in Lower Parel, Mumbai is manufacturing at full capacity right now, but we were always aware that demand would eventually outweigh supply, which has been the impetus for our expansion. We have partnered with a prominent brewery in Madhya Pradesh to utilize its excess capacity, in a contract arrangement” says Javed Murad, Founder of White Owl Brewery. White Owl’s craft beer will be manufactured and bottled in Madhya Pradesh and then shipped to Maharashtra for sale.
White Owl Brewery currently distributes up to 8 varieties of its craft beer – On Tap and more recently in India’s first-ever kegger (a 5-litre portable keg) at over 70 renowned restaurants and bars across Mumbai and Pune. The brewery’s current portfolio includes Spark – a delicate, refreshing & citrusy Belgian; Diablo – a crisp, roasty Irish Red Ale; Halcyon – a crisp German Hefeweizen; Shadow – a dark English Porter; Torpedo – a punchy American Pale Ale; Paulina – a refreshing German Kolsch; and Ace – a bubbly French Apple Cider.
India’s rapidly advancing craft beer scene is visible in White Owl Brewery’s quick expansion over the last two years. The move to bottles directly caters to strong and growing consumer demand across all sales channels in India. The bottle launch will enable White Owl Brewery to not only service the substantially larger retail segment but also expand the brand’s existing presence within the restaurant/bar space.
Were there any challenges you faced?
Entrepreneurs in India have always faced business challenges, and the beer industry is no exception. However, Murad remains positive with regard to the expansion process. He indicates that the brewery team’s prior planning and commitment to this expansion ensured that they were ready for all hiccups that would inevitably come their way.
Murad recounts the process going through for getting approval for craft beer bottling. “We required approvals for bottle labels – one from Madhya Pradesh, the manufacturing state, and one from Maharashtra where the product will be sold. We will also be paying an export/import tax at the Madhya Pradesh and Maharashtra border. In addition, there were the usual considerations of supply chain complexities of shipping product over longer distances. Apart from this normal business procedures we did not face any extraordinary opposition,” says Murad.
Murad sees more collaboration than competition in the Indian craft beer space; the reason for which could be the microcosmic size of the market today. “We are talking about just a handful of brands in India today, with incredible room for everyone to expand comfortably. For now, the team at White Owl Brewery remains relentlessly focused on maintaining product excellence and even better customer service, which will ultimately drive the long term growth for our brand”, he says.
With its beer soon being available in three formats (On tap, in keggers and in bottles), White Owl Brewery is giving its patrons the unique opportunity to enjoy its craft beer pretty much anywhere. Bottles of White Owl Beer will make their way to the smallest of neighbourhood bars and into any fridge at home. Keggers are not just about their aesthetic appeal; they are uniquely designed to retain beer freshness and are fun-sized for easy storage. And of course, White Owl Brewery will continue to expand its on tap presence across the country where beer lovers and aficionados can enjoy the brand’s entire portfolio of award-winning, handcrafted brews at their favourite watering holes.
We are talking about just a handful of brands in India today, with incredible room for everyone to expand comfortably. For now, the team at White Owl Brewery remains relentlessly focused on maintaining product excellence and even better customer service, which will ultimately drive the long term growth for our brand.