Brews & Spirits I Aug - Sep | 2019 I 1
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Brews & Spirits I Aug - Sep | 2019 I 3
Arundeep Singla carves out an ‘Estate’ of
brewpubs in the North
Home-grown brands are in: Suraj Shenai of
Anshuman Vohra on creating and building the
The shaping up of Belgium’s Hopper beer
Craft Sisterhood: A handful of women
are nurturing a craft gin brand in India
Challenges and pitfalls in making the best
Craft Drinks India 2019 blended business with
First ‘30 Best Bars in India’ competition gets
3rd India Wine Awards scheduled for October
Sourcing equipment and technology: India or
Spiritual Sweat by Shatbhi Basu
Singleton brand ambassador, Ervin Trykowski
These are a few of my favourite things!
Organic wine from Arunachal; chikkoo scores
On The Block
Budweiser, Kingfisher go alcohol-free; and
Cocktails and camaraderie at Singapore
Going nuts over cashew for Goa’s Cazulo Feni
News From Here & There
Purrfect sunsets in the Carribean for Gautam
August 15 was also International Rum Day
Tiger ‘Roar’ trip, Pernod Ricard chief for
India, and more
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Brews & Spirits I Aug - Sep | 2019 I 5
Nurturing brands, blending
business, and bar games
It is said that research – not trends – result in better products. And
that is what we highlight in this issue of the magazine. From an Indian
dreaming up a successful gin formula (Bulldog) and building it into a
global brand, to a new breed of entrepreneurs cooking up another ‘ginnaissance’
spirit (Stranger & Sons), it is a story of keen nose for ‘new’,
thorough diligence, and drive to share their passion! Read also how a
brood of new-age women entrepreneurs are nurturing the new-born
There is another story to learn from: Arundeep Singla’s success in
establishing North India’s largest chain of brewpubs, The Brew Estate.
With his ‘Café by Day, Pub by Night’ approach he seems to be achieving
his goal – fostering social conversations in a happy and relaxed
atmosphere! His chain introduces new beer flavours every month and
is probably the only brewpub chain in India with 80 such offerings. How
does he do it?
The bartending expert, Shatbhi Basu, writes to suggest ways in which
you can turn the tables in your favour to suggest a few drinks to a new/
introvert customer – and when to not do it! On an equally serious note,
industry voices debate what is good for newcomers: depend on locally
available technology suppliers and machinery manufacturers for the
beer, wine and spirits business, or source it from abroad?
Craft Drinks India 2019, the country’s only international trade show
for the alco-bev industry, went off well in Bengaluru on 3 and 4 July,
2019. CDI this year was marked by a generous expansion, participation
of exhibitors who shared their latest technologies and expertise with
the industry. There was considerable excitement at the concurrent flair
bartending competition, held in Bengaluru for the first time. All this, and
more, are on offer in the pages within.
India’s first independent annual bar ranking and awards, ‘30 Best Bars
India 2019’, have been announced. The ranking will be based on a
nationwide poll of bar enthusiasts, industry experts, connoisseurs and
writers. They will recognise and celebrate the best of bars, mixologists
and teams that have made meaningful contributions through their craft.
Check out the details!
We have received some feedback from our readers – all encouraging
so far! I welcome you to connect with us (email@example.com) to let
us know what is good, what is not so good, and what is lacking in this
publication. Cheers until next time!
6 I Brews & Spirits I Aug - Sep I 2019
Chief Editor | Dhananjay Sardeshpande
Consulting Editor | Vikram Achanta
Chief Copy Editor | Roy Thomas
President | Tony Doulton
Sr. Manager - Advertisement | Fabian Roberts
Asst. Manager - Advertisement | Hansika Seshashayee
Sr. Executive – Circulation/Admin | Chandrababu M
General Manager - Design | Infant Vikas
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may be reproduced, in part or in full, only with prior permission and
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correspondence, including material for publication, may be addressed
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Brews & Spirits I Aug - Sep | 2019 I 7
WORDSMITHS in this issue
Anshuman Vohra Son of a career
diplomat, Anshuman Vohra was
fortunate to have had exposure
to various countries and cultures
in his formative years. After
graduating in Finance on a tennis
scholarship in the US, he joined JP
Morgan as an analyst and expert in
global mergers and acquisitions.
Anshuman conceptualised and
created the Bulldog brand, a
premium gin with a more neutral
flavour and a modern image
that appealed to vodka lovers
and attracted new gin drinkers.
Over the next 10 years, the brand
became one of the fastest-growing
gins in the world, available in more
than 100 countries. In 2017 Gruppo
Campari acquired the brand for
US$ 92.5 million.
Anshuman subsequently founded
Halo Sport, a drink that seeks to
revolutionise the way the world
hydrates by optimising functionality,
but without compromising on taste.
ROHAN JELKIE is an independent
wine and spirits consultant and
trainer based in New Delhi. He
has over a decade’s experience
in consulting for Alcobev brands
and hospitality brands in India,
Sri Lanka and West Asia. You can
follow his musings on booze, drinks
and travel through his Instagram
Shatbhi Basu The writer is an
alumnus of IHM Mumbai (vintage
1980), a bar and beverage
consultant to international brands,
mixologist and educator. Apart
from being India’s first woman
bartender and starting the country’s
first bartending academy (STIR,
in Mumbai), she has authored a
book (The Can’t Go Wrong Book
of Cocktails), is a content creator
for India’s first television show on
cocktails, and the first American
whiskey ambassador to India (2013-
Shubhanshu Joshi is Head
of Marketing & New Product
Development at Brindco, India’s
largest importer and distributor
for alcohol-based beverages. In a
career span over 10 years, he has
worked across multiple positions
in business development, trade
marketing, consumer experiences
and consumer marketing.
Shubhanshu Joshi has been the
front face in driving new product
development and contract
manufacturing alliances with
Belgian brewers and has an
intimate connection with Belgian
beer culture and craftsmanship.
When not promoting his beers, he
enjoys cooking, trekking, swimming
and restoring classic bikes.
HANSEL VAZ is the Founder of Cazulo
Premium Feni, Goa. After 9 years of
prospecting rocks around the world as
a geologist, he decided that Feni on the
rocks was a much better option. Taking
over a family business, he reworked
and restructured Feni to compete as a
respectable spirit. Cazulo has achieved
substantial traction in the cocktail scene,
in tastings and as a tourism option of
culinary and beverage experiences.
Rohit Arora is a wine professional with
work experience in winery, vineyards, wine
education, brand building and marketing.
He is a certified specialist of wine, WSET
level-3 certified and a Lincoln university
(oenology & viticulture) alumnus. He
currently works in the capacity of Manager
with Tulleeho Portals Pvt. Ltd.
VIKRAM ACHANTA is the Co-Founder and
CEO of Tulleeho, a provider of beverage
education and training services in India. It
services several multi-national and Indian
beverage companies, hotel chains and
independent bars and restaurants.
8 I Brews & Spirits I Aug - Sep I 2019
Vodka As It Should Be
Brews & Spirits I Aug - Sep | 2019 I 9
Café by day, pub at night!
Arundeep Singla is the founder of The Brew Estate in North India, the
country’s largest chain of brewpubs with seven outlets, and many more
in the pipeline. During his stint in Australia for his Master’s degree, he
chanced upon brewpubs that fostered social conversations in a happy and
relaxed atmosphere. What he did next was bring that culture home!
By Rohit Arora
Arundeep grew up in Sunam
(Punjab), and his Australian
encounters spurred the desire to
do something that would cater
to the lifestyle aspirations of his
prosperous north Indian state.
Upon returning to India, he set up
his own distillery.
Looking at the voluminous
opportunities in bottled spirits,
he launched his own brands of
whisky and vodka in the premium
categories. Although he had no
background in the alcohol industry,
Arundeep managed to grow his
portfolio to 14 brands in six states
in just 8 years. Today, the brands
under the Rock & Storm banner are
valued at Rs. 450 crore.
In 2016, he launched his second
venture in the artisanal spirits
space with The Brew Estate as
Punjab’s first, fine dining brewpub.
In a twist, he designated it a “café
by day, a pub at night”!
Like any other entrepreneurial
venture, Arundeep and his team
went through a learning phase –
albeit a short one – and quickly
expanded his network to seven
10 I Brews & Spirits I Aug - Sep I 2019
outlets in Punjab, Haryana and
“The consumer palate for artisanal
spirits is different and evolving –
unlike the bottled spirits industry,
where little innovation has
happened over the last 10 years,”
he notes. Having an abiding interest
in craft spirits, rather than bottled
ones, the setting up of The Brew
Estate was natural, and spurred his
interest in craft beers.
“From the point of view of
consumers, craft beers are a new,
premium product for youth and
tech-savvy people who prefer it
over bottled products for its handcrafted
and fresh image,” Arundeep
With the success of his brewpubs,
hasn’t the thought of bottling
his beers entered his thoughts?
“Bottled craft beer is an oxymoron.
Once you mass-produce a brand,
there is no room for craft. It is like
any other industrial production
initiative,” he retorts.
“If we have come this far with
our innovations on flavour with
ingredients sourced from the best
locations in the world, we will
continue this journey and delight
our consumers,” he asserts.
But he adds that the industry has
to come up with standards and
definitions of what craft spirit is,
and not allow short-term gains
from volume business of bottled
spirits to take consumers for a ride.
This is the practice worldwide, he
notes, pointing out that the US and
UK have clear, definitive rules on
what can be classified as ‘craft’.
The Brew Estate’s consumer profile
in Chandigarh, Panchkula, Shimla,
etc. comprises of the upwardly
mobile youth who are willing to try
out innovative drinking experiences.
“We also see families at our outlets
with high discretionary spends.
They are looking for memorable
experiences for their special
Increasingly big players are
entering the unexplored segment
of non-alcoholic beers…. Before I
could finish my question, Arundeep
has caught on and says, “’Sober
spirits’ is a self-defeating category.
This is a weak, surrogate attempt
at increasing brand franchise to the
uninitiated or underage drinkers.”
“Globally, the industry has
witnessed innovations at a different
level, for example, light beers, or
flavoured beers. Non-alcoholic
drinks are carbonated and have
added sugar content,” he notes.
While craft beer culture is catching
on the biggest concern is poor
quality, Arundeep agrees. “The
quick, cash-flow model of serving
craft beer is attracting several
players to this industry. As the
brewpub business expands its
footprint across India the risk is
that the industry’s reputation will
be at stake,” he says.
Hence, he adds, it is important
for a central craft brewer’s body
to evolve standards and quality
benchmarks to foster the growth of
the industry, similar to those in the
US, Germany, Australia and other
On wheat beer being the most
commonly available beer style
in India in both bottled and tap
versions, Arundeep observes,
“Wheat beer has certain tartness
and with optimum carbonation, the
fruitiness gets heightened and so it
goes well with fruits. Its moderate
sweetness and feeble bitterness
make it the best among the rest.”
The Brew Estate plans to launch
30 outlets in the next 3 years. “Our
rapid expansion is the outcome of
our long-term view of the industry
and our commitment to offering
innovative craft beer experiences to
consumers,” the founder says.
Ambience & styles
Consistent product quality,
innovation in beer production,
research about new products and
uniqueness are some aspects
that have helped and ensured the
“Great ambience and being a place
best-suited for every community
with premium food and craft beers
are visible elements that helped
us grow,” is how he sums up the
The Brew Estate introduces
new flavours every month and is
probably the only brewpub chain
in India with 80 such offerings.
Throughout the year, six beer styles
are consistently available at all its
outlets: Thirsty Crow, Homerun,
Red Ale, Belgian Wit, Wheat Wine
and Premium Lager.
Of course, it also launches seasonal
beers every month – among them
beer flavoured with mango, lychee,
watermelon and kiwi – to provide
consumers with something new
Training of staff in the brewpubs is
an ongoing function. Trained staff
adds to the customer experience
by giving information on the
beers, allowing consumers to
take informed decisions on what
they want to try or patronise at
specific outlets. “It also provides
an opportunity to upsell premium
beers,” Arundeep signs off.
Brews & Spirits I Aug - Sep | 2019 I 11
the ‘in’ thing
The one thing you’d like to change
about the Indian market…
Nothing. We have the best young
curious consumers right now, who
love to experiment and try new
Who do you think sets drinking
trends in India?
Drinking trends in India are
generational. Between the mid
‘90s until about 2015 you saw the
emergence and domination of
celebrity-led IMFL campaigns with
emphasis on claiming that these
brands were Western, Scotch, etc.
After 2010 you saw that there was
overall fatigue and disconnect with
these brands, after young Indians
travelled and got better connected
with global trends – and saw the
lies in those claims!
Today the young consumer is
looking for interesting products.
There is also a growing pride in
consuming home-grown brands.
What’s the most overrated
drinking fad/ drink in India at the
I am glad that molecular mixology
died quietly. I feel that the bars
that did it, did it to be on trend, not
12 I Brews & Spirits I Aug - Sep I 2019
because they were fully committed
to the idea.
What’s the next big thing for
The emergence and dominance
of home-grown brands, which
are competing on quality
with the rest of the
world. In 10 years we
will have new Indian
companies taking on
the global giants
in the Indian
What’s the best motivation for
Jimmy the Dog, because Jimmy
does his thing and doesn’t give a
damn… Be like Jimmy!
Which is your favourite liquor
brand ad campaign?
There is a lot of objectification of
women in liquor ads; so the ones
that stand out are the ones which
refrain from doing so. Brewdog’s
CEO, Goa Brewing Co.
high-impact campaign of using a
battle tank in downtown London
when they were fairly new; and
Mikkeller’s running club are my
Which is your favourite bar in
India and why?
I’ll pick two: Joseph’s Bar in Panaji
and Bob’s Bar in Bengaluru. These
bars are the least pretentious,
most true to local culture, and
extremely hip in an almost
Which of your competitors gives
you sleepless nights?
I don’t think about competitors.
Jack Ma had equated starting a
company to running a marathon, in
the first 2 years you just run!
The one fictional character you’d
like to have a drink with…
Kung Fu Panda! I’d go bar hopping
If you were alone on a deserted
island, which drink would you
want with you?
A really cold Eight-Finger Eddie.
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Brews & Spirits I Aug - Sep | 2019 I 13
FORMULA 1: MAKING A GLOBAL BRAND
By Anshuman Vohra
I was 6 years into my career on Wall
Street but, despite things going well
there, I was restless and had a desire
to follow a more entrepreneurial path
– my own little piece of the American
It was a chance observation that
led me to the spirits world. While
socialising with my friends and
colleagues I noticed everyone drinking
vodka rather than gin, despite gin
being a more flavoursome, heritagerich
Following some research I recognised
that there was an opportunity to
create a super-premium gin for
a more youthful, more discerning
consumer and thus, the idea for
Bulldog was born. A year later I
decided to take a calculated risk,
quit my job and began working on my
I partnered with the leading Gin
distillery in the UK to develop the
recipe. We experimented with
different levels of juniper, the
predominant botanical in gin, to tone
down the slight bitter flavour often
associated with gin.
From the very beginning, Bulldog
was all about defying the category
norms. I wanted a smooth, mixable
London dry liquid that would make a
standout G&T and work in a variety of
other serves and cocktails.
We also assessed countless
botanicals – many of which I found
through my travels – and finally
settling on a list of 12, including
Bulldog was chosen as
a name to reflect the
spirit and tenacity.
14 I Brews & Spirits I Aug - Sep I 2019
FORMULA 1: MAKING A GLOBAL BRAND
Turkish white poppy, Chinese
liquorice, Moroccan coriander and
Asian lotus leaf. These were to
infuse the liquid with a distinctive
aroma and character and make
sure it was well balanced.
I took the same approach when it
came to the branding and design.
To encapsulate the brave new gin
with a fitting brand name, I chose
Bulldog as a name to reflect the
brand’s independent spirit and
I knew I needed the packaging
to be super-premium, stylish,
modern and iconic to reflect this
bold positioning. To really stand
out we moved away from the
traditional clear package with the
typical British icons and went with
a customised charcoal black bottle
with subtle purple hues. In 2007
we successfully created the iconic
bottle I so coveted!
Our distinct positioning and
packaging were a huge part of
our success. In a category that
was teeming with new entrants,
Bulldog managed to continually
differentiate itself with its instantly
recognisable look, confident tone
of voice, differentiated proposition
and delicious, smooth flavour.
Another major driver was the
premium gin boom in Spain – and
subsequently the rest of Europe
– as we launched it (in 2019) just
as the Spanish consumer was
developing an insatiable appetite
for the “Modern G&T”, which
included different flavoured tonics
and exotic garnishes, and served in
a snazzy balloon glass.
We experienced strong annual
growth and quickly became one of
the leading brands in the market.
This position propelled our launch
across Europe, as Spain is a
very popular holiday destination,
allowing many Europeans to
discover the brand there and
then look for it in their home
A lot of Bulldog’s success
was driven by the strength of
our relationship with Campari
Group, our global distributor.
In 2014, the group
Bulldog around the
world and helped
us accelerate our
Beyond distribution muscle, they
also provided invaluable expertise.
This really catapulted the brand
on a global scale. The group
subsequently acquired the brand
Missteps & obstacles
Like most entrepreneurs before
me, I had a couple of unfortunate
episodes with unsavoury
characters in the industry early on
in Bulldog’s evolution. However,
I was able to relatively easily
manoeuvre through those and it
didn’t hold the brand back.
Bulldog defies category
norms, with 12
botanicals toning down
the bitter flavour often
associated with gin.
One of the biggest challenges
is picking who you want to work
with, or have as an investor. I
was often solicited by so-called
industry experts who wanted
to partner; and I was often
seduced by the “sizzle” in their
sales pitch. So, make sure to
pick your partners
as wisely as
on their abilities
After all the work on the liquid and
branding, I thought the hardest
part was over. How wrong I was!
The spirits industry is complex
and as the “little guy”, it was a real
uphill struggle to success.
I tried to go at it alone for as long as
possible and build distribution by
knocking on doors and introducing
myself and my product. I soon
realised this was harder than trying
to ride a bike up Mount Everest. I
recognised the need for a stronger
distributor partner, which is where
Campari came in.
Brews & Spirits I Aug - Sep | 2019 I 15
FORMULA 1: MAKING A GLOBAL BRAND
I assumed that once Bulldog was
in the bar, everyone would love
it as much as I do… I quickly saw
that neglecting the influential
bartender was a mistake.
– Anshuman Vohra, maker of the premium
Bulldog London dry gin.
Another layer of complexity
peculiar to the drinks industry is
that, it’s not just about distribution
and consumer awareness – you
also need to win over the bartender.
I assumed that once Bulldog was
in the bar, everyone would love it
as much as I do, and so it would be
I quickly saw that neglecting
the influential bartender was a
mistake. I teamed up with a network
of influential, well-respected
brand ambassadors (bartenders
and mixologists) around the world,
who worked with the bartender
community, educating them on the
product and immersing them in
the brand experience.
What I can say about raising capital
is you will always need more
money than you anticipate. Being
well capitalised allows you to focus
on driving the business forward.
Being in a position where you’re
only focused on fund-raising can
really put a strain on the growth
of the business as it’s an allencompassing
raise funds as an entrepreneur.
I always suggest raising a larger
round than you anticipate, since
there are far too many unforeseen
challenges and it’s good to have
dry powder in the bank.
I was fortunate to have a
great group of investors –
including industry veterans
– and directors who helped
me navigate this unique
industry. They were mostly
always supportive, which
When you’ve built a
brand from scratch and
poured your heart into
it, there is no right time
to let go – it’s like losing
Is there a right time? I
would start by saying that
the appropriate time is when
there’s a buyer! Most people
assume that it’s automatic that a
start-up will succeed and be sold.
Statistically, that’s not true.
However, with hard work and a
little luck, it can happen. That
said, the opportunity with Campari
Group, who I knew well and trusted
a lot, was too hard to walk away
I knew my baby was going to a good
home and that I’d continue to see
Bulldog in more and more bars
around the world – 100 countries
as of now, and counting!
16 I Brews & Spirits I Aug - Sep I 2019
BRAND BAJA: HOPPER BEER
Hopper, a beer brand from Brindco, is produced in the
Belgian province of West Flanders. It’s brewed at the historic
Brouwerij De Brabandere in Bavikhove. Five successive
generations of brewers at the‘ Brabandere Family’ have
ensured to carefully preserve the sacred recipes, Belgian
brewing traditions, craftsmanship and most importantly the
invaluable yeast strains.
Inspired by the traditional
architecture of abbeys &
monasteries in Belgium
Creating the negative space
of the window with the
golden light through relating
to the beer being brewed
Pattern design inspiration
from sublime Gothic
ceiling of European sacred
Derived from hops and
the fact that that today’s
consumers are global
nomads, hopping from one
experience to the other
The typefaces evolved in
Western Europe from the
BEHIND THE BOTTLE
developed by OI glass ‘Owens-
Illinois Inc’ world’s largest
glass container production
company at their state-of-the-art
production facility at Leerdam,
Netherlands. Over the course of
17 months three sets of bottle
designs were prototyped and
rejected before signing off the
final bottle shape
MCC ‘Multi Colour Corporation’.
Main vertical and bottom stamp
at Cwnbran (UK) and cold glue –
neck label at their Cluj Nacopa
facility in Romania.
NECK CLOSURE/ CROWN
Pelliconi the largest privately
owned bottle cap company in
the world based out of Italy
Fabricated by Smurfit Kappa,
a world leader in paper based
packaging, from their Benelux
production facility in Ghlin,
Brews & Spirits I Aug - Sep | 2019 I 17
A dare-to-dream-big, all-women team is at
the helm of the new ‘Gin Renaissance’ in India,
steering ‘Stranger & Sons’ through the haze of
spirits, a maze of botanicals, and a rollercoaster
market. Brews & Spirits attempts to find out
what makes these ladies click!
There is little that is in common
between ‘Strangers & Sons’ and
most other gins launched in India
so far. Going beyond the customary
juniper, black pepper, nutmeg, mace,
coriander, angelica, citrus peels,
liquorice and cassia bark, the makers
of this brand compare its distilling
process to an Indian musical
jugalbandi, where each ingredient
fights for its rightful place in the final
Founded by Sakshi Saigal, her
husband Rahul Mehra, and her cousin
Vidur Gupta, Third Eye Distillery
in Goa is attempting to showcase
India’s diversity by boosting the craft
spirit culture in the country. Taking
the dream of the founders forward is
an all-women team: Sakshi herself,
Mitali Dandekar, Charnelle Martins
and Feruzan Bilimoria.
The co-founder, and now CEO, Sakshi
completed her MBA from Barcelona;
then shifted to the Netherlands with
18 I Brews & Spirits I Aug - Sep I 2019
her husband and cousin to complete
a distilling course, before returning
to India to start her own venture.
While living in Spain, she realised
it was time to create a truly Indian
gin for a local and global audience,
and launched ‘Stranger & Sons’ in
For Sakshi it was a conscious decision
to hire more women. “The women in
our team are there for their skills and
contributions. More than just having
a healthy gender diversity, we believe
that a balanced team is a more
powerful and productive one.”
Rather than exalting the virtues of any
particular gender, she feels it is more
important to cultivate a respectful
and encouraging environment. At
‘Stranger & Sons’ it goes beyond
the immediate team at the Third Eye
Distillery in Goa.
Says Sakshi: “We extend this to our
communities wherever possible.
We have a local self-help group of
The brand is built around creating intrigue,
a pun on Indian businesses and traditions,
and bringing out the diversity and wonderful
strangeness in India.
The women in our team are there
for their skills and contributions.
Rather than exalting the virtues of any
particular gender, it is important to
cultivate a respectful and encouraging
– Sakshi Saigal, CEO, Stranger & Sons
women who visit our distillery on the
day we’re distilling our gin. They help
us peel the citrus fruit. We usually
have no need for the fleshy part of the
citrus fruits, so they take them back
with them to make traditional jams
and pickles, which they sell at local
For Sakshi it is exciting to be
constantly more mindful about waste.
She wants to make the distillery
more responsible and sustainable
wherever possible. “We have already
noticed more women bartenders,
especially at bars across Mumbai –
The Bombay Canteen, O’Pedro and
Qualia,” she notes.
Many in the alcobev industry feel gin
is the most hyped category at the
moment… Sakshi reads our thoughts
and notes that all spirits go through
this pattern of cyclical consumption.
The current generation rarely drinks
what their parents drank in their
time, almost like a quiet rebellion,
The main reason for the trend
towards gin is because there is so
much one can do with it and how
approachable it is as a spirit. Even
though there is such a deep history
of its origins, gin provides enough
room for the distiller to experiment
and make a distinct flavour profile,
She agrees there is substance behind
the hype because there are many
interesting and fantastic gins being
produced which, apart from being
unique expressions, tell a story that
they believe in.
“Stranger & Sons’ also tells a story of
the provenance of Indian botanicals,
the deep-rooted ties between gin
and India, with a whimsical touch
that expresses the wonderful
strangeness in every corner of the
country,” says Sakshi, adding that
this allows consumers to connect
with the story and the brand in a very
The tiger may be perceived as a more
masculine device. We ask Mitali if it
works well with a category like gin,
where the appeal is more unisex.
“Our tiger is actually a tigress!” she
retorts. “The inclusion of our very
own mythical creature is a tribute
to those we have grown up hearing
stories about, while retaining a
‘Stranger & Sons’ mythical creature
is a two-tailed, three-eyed mythical
creature with three paws and one
hand. “It helps us tell our stories
in a whimsical and nostalgic
manner. We use story-telling as a
way of reinforcing our brand ethos,
and stories appeal to everyone,
regardless of gender,” Mitali adds.
She is a food and beverage
management graduate, a highranking
cocktail-maker with the
Oberoi chain of hotels, and a multitasking
leader with Bacardi India,
before joining ‘Stranger & Sons’
in early 2019. A lover of everything
“bad and boozy”, Mitali is excited
about giving India the experience of a
home-grown premium gin.
So, who does Mitali think sets
drinking trends in India? The ecosystem
of gin is fairly saturated but,
she believes, consumers choose the
gin they drink – firstly because they
prefer that expression of gin, and
secondly because of the story and the
values of the gin.
‘Stranger & Sons’, she says, is an
ode to contemporary India, proudly
celebrating the cultural diversity,
knowledge and traditions of India.
“Our drinks strategy also focuses
Brews & Spirits I Aug - Sep | 2019 I 19
on using seasonal fruits and Indian
elements to bring out the provenance
of India in our own (errr) Strange
As Brand Ambassador, Feruzan is
aware of the role she plays to support
the marketing and sales teams to
implement strategies for growth,
as well as build advocacy for the
distillery’s spirit and cocktails.
“Being an eccentric Parsi, I think I fit
in well with a brand like ‘Stranger &
Sons’, which focuses on our heritage
of story-telling and embracing the
wonderfully strange aspects of
India,” she beams.
Feruzan is an internationally
acknowledged mixologist who has
worked with the Marriot group of
hotels and London Taxi, before taking
on the mantle of Brand Ambassador
for ‘Stranger & Sons’.
And yes, it is definitely helpful
20 I Brews & Spirits I Aug - Sep I 2019
Mitali Dandekar (L) and Feruzan Bilimoria are
part of the four-woman team that leads the ‘Gin
Renaissance’ from the front.
to understand the economics of
handling both a brand as well as a
restaurant. “At the end of the day, it
is a business role. It would fall on me
to translate the ideology of a quirky
brand like ‘Stranger & Sons’ through
various media – cocktails, events,
social media, or even my dressing
style,” she adds.
For Charnelle, it was a journey of selfdiscovery.
She always loved science
and was curious about flavours
and food, tasting her way through
everything in the kitchen. She often
brewed wine and made liqueurs at
home, but wasn’t sure how to make
a career of it.
Charnelle is an alcobev scientist
who heads distillery operations
for ‘Stranger & Sons’. She has a
Master’s degree in Food and Alcohol
Bio-technology, and a diploma in
distillery operations from the UK.
What’s more, she is a certified (water)
diver and instructor.
“What drew me to distilling is the
creativity and ability to express new
ideas through spirits. I excelled at
my degree and got the opportunity
to intern with the Scotch Whisky
Research Institute (SWRI) in
Edinburgh,” she says, adding, “It’s
definitely not a 9-to-5 cookie cutter
career path; but I wouldn’t want to do
it any other way.”
How does this flock of entrepreneur,
bio-engineer and mixologists crack
it in a male dominated industry
in India? For Mitali working in the
alcohol industry has often worked
to the advantage of the brand she
represents – but she agrees that the
industry still needs to work to make
all commercial roles more accepting
“A lot more women are consuming
alcohol due to rising social
acceptance in developed markets.
It makes sense to have women in
representation for new age brands
as they make up a large number of
the consumers being targeted,” she
Feruzan has worked in kitchens and
bars that are male dominated. Work
in both these fields is very stressful.
“I feel work is much better when
there is a balance of both genders,
because they cancel out each other’s
differences and add to each other’s
benefits,” she says.
When a woman is introduced to the
bar, she says, the personality of the
team changes for the better. The
men will often take on a brotherly
role in order to make the woman
comfortable because they know
how stressful it can get. The woman
will offer the men a chance to get
in touch with the softer side of their
“This is beneficial to the customer
as well as the management since it
empowers both genders to work side
by side and be more understanding
of the other person’s emotions and
abilities,” says Feruzan.
Distilleries in India have for the
longest time been a male dominated
space because of the social taboo
associated with alcohol. However, the
spirits industry looks quite different
today, with women bartenders, brand
ambassadors, brewers, distillers and
even distillery owners.
Charnelle says, “In a technical role
it’s more about your talent and skills.
There have been times when I have
faced a bit of sexism; but you work
harder and better to prove them
Women have 50% larger olfactory
centres in their brains and statistically
tend to detect more flavours than
men. “So, trust me when I say the
lady nose best!” she remarks.
This band of women has had their
own mentors in the industry. Mitali
took the industry seriously only after
qualifying as the only woman and
competing in the national finals of
the Bacardi Legacy Cocktail contest.
“Interestingly, I work today with one
of the judges of the competition, Dimi
Lezinska,” she says.
Working with Sakshi also is very
inspiring. As women it is incredibly
important to support and cheer each
other on, she says, adding, “I also
credit my parents, who were not only
incredibly supportive of my interest
and career in this industry, but have
actively cheered me on.”
Feruzan has been inspired by people
such as Anthony Bourdain, Marco
Pierre White and Ada Coleman (first
woman head bartender of the Savoy),
who have all made tremendous
marks in their respective fields.
“But I’ve always looked up to myself
to keep improving with every step I
make in my career,” she says.
Charnelle’s university professor,
Dr Graeme Walker, saw the hidden
talents in her. His knowledge and
research in the field continues to
inspire the bio-technologist.
“My dad always let me sample his
liquor cabinet because he said it’s
important to know what good alcohol
tastes like! Unknowingly at that time
he made me appreciate the finer
nuances of good alcohol and set me
on the path of becoming a distiller,”
Charnelle says women have 50%
larger olfactory centres in their
brains and statistically tend to
detect more flavours than men.
Sakshi is probably the only woman
entrepreneur in the craft beer and
spirits space. Why did she choose
gin? “When I was living in Barcelona
literally every gin bottle I would come
across had sourced botanicals from
India. I came back to Mumbai with
the idea of setting up a gin brand,”
After dabbling with the idea for
a couple of months – and tasting
more than 300 gins! – Sakshi, Rahul
(husband and co-founder of Gateway
Brewing and Svami Drinks) and
cousin Vidur immediately jumped on
to the idea.
“We went to the Netherlands to
attend a 10-day course on distilling
and ended up purchasing a still that
we imported to India. I would say it’s
our love for gin and all other spirits
that brought us together to start
Third Eye Distillery,” says Sakshi.
But why ‘Stranger & Sons’? “A
lot of people have asked me this
question. Our brand is built around
creating some intrigue, a pun on
Indian businesses and traditions
and bringing out the diversity and
wonderful strangeness in India. We
went with a name that, at first would
not sound like a conventional Indian
brand, but is an inherently Indian
What, we asked the ladies, are their
desert island drinks? For Sakshi, it
is a simple Stranger G&T with light
tonic water – such as Svami – and a
slice of ginger. Feruzan insists that
for her it will always be a Stranger
“But I’m very sure that being stranded
on a deserted island, I’d have access
to various ingredients to keep making
different drinks for myself. What’s
the point of all my experience and
knowledge then?” she remarks.
For Mitali it would be a Gibson, with
lots of interesting pickles that she
may find and make from around the
island! Charnelle goes with an Old
Ffashioned and all of its variations.
“It’s simple to make, but complex in
flavour. Swapping the spirit allows
for me to never get bored!” she signs
Brews & Spirits I Aug - Sep | 2019 I 21
MASTERCLASS: WHEAT BEER
Participants (L-R) Vidya Khuber of Geist,
Ashtavinayak Paradh (PhD) of Goa Brewing,
Aditya Challa of Susegado (Moderator), Oliver
Schauf from Doolaly Craft Beers, Jan Biering from
VLB-Berlin, and Amit Mishra of IG Brewtech.
Excerpts from a Panel Discussion
on ‘Creating the Best Wheat Beer’,
organised by the Craft Brewers’
Association of India, during Craft Drinks
India (3 July, 2019) in Bengaluru.
Why is wheat beer so popular
in India? Where else is it in such
• Vidya: We are predisposed to
wheat and there is an inherent
liking to wheat.
• Jan: Not only India, it is popular
in China and South-East Asia as
• Amit: In India most people drink
lager as it is a tropical country,
and lager goes well with the
The German-style beer, Hefeweizen,
has flavours of clove and
banana, which are extracted by
a traditional style called ‘step
mash’. Why is it not possible in
• Oliver: A Hefeweizen is the most
challenging to brew because
the flavours are all derived from
the yeast. To get the perfect
beer everything has to match:
grain consistency, grain ratios,
temperature, fermentation vessel,
the yeast, aeration – and good luck!
• Aditya Challa, Founder,
• Jan Biering, Scientific
• Ashtavinayak Paradh (PhD),
Co-founder and Chief
Brewer, Goa Brewing Co.
• Vidya Khuber, Head Brewer,
• Oliver Schauf, Co-Founder,
Doolaly Craft Beers
• Amit Mishra, Co-Founder, IG
22 I Brews & Spirits I Aug - Sep I 2019
MASTERCLASS: WHEAT BEER
• Jan: The yeast and aeration are
the major factors. It used to
be done in open fermentation
earlier. Temperatures of
between 6 and 18 degrees
Celsius are ideal for this.
Is open fermentation process a
difficult one to follow in India?
• Oliver: No, we have reused the
yeast 20 to 30 times without any
There is a Belgian style of wheat
beer where spices are added.
What are the challenges with
regard to brewing of orange and
• Vidya: Since we at Geist love to
be traditional, we go with orange
and coriander. The colour has to
be as pale as possible by using
local unmalted wheat and the
traditional coriander and orange
• Amit: Though the recipe looks
simple, controlling the flavour
is difficult. Outside India there
are breweries exclusively for
brewing wheat with the open
• Ashtavinayak: For production
of Hefeweizen there is a
compulsion to have the yeast as
positive; only then it gives out the
clove aroma. For Belgian wheat
beer a positive or a negative
strain of yeast can be used.
Studies show that wheat beer has
to be bottled. The tropical climate
does not allow this in India; so how
can this be overcome?
• Jan: In Germany and Belgium
this is easier because open
and closed fermentation
can be done simultaneously.
This is not recommended in
India because the filling line
needs to be perfectly clean
and no contamination will be
acceptable. It is always better
to do normal tank fermentation
and send the product to the
Has there been an analysis done
on sourcing of wheat? Is there any
economic comparison on wheat
versus barley and the margins
associated with it?
• Aditya: The easy availability
of wheat puts India in an
advantageous position. The
market will go more in a demand
pull rather than supply of malt
• Ashtavinayak: Research on
wheat in India has been focused
on food, not for malt. Going
forward, this should be the area
Brews & Spirits I Aug - Sep | 2019 I 23
The 2nd edition of Craft Drinks India
(CDI), the country’s only dedicated
trade show for alco-bev production
technologies, concluded on 4 July,
2019, after two days of energetic
networking by industry professionals
The flourishing Indian alcobev
industry witnessed the
second edition of India’s only
comprehensive international trade
fair and conference, Craft Drinks
India 2019, at Manpho Convention
Centre in Bengaluru.
It was inaugurated by Mr Matthias
van der Straeten, Deputy Head
(Economic Affairs) at the German
Consulate in Bengaluru.
Mr Narayan Manepally, the
Chairman of CDI Advisory
Committee and co-founder of Geist
Beer; Mr Michael Vachon, Cofounder
of Maverick Drinks (UK), Ms
Sonia Prashar, Chairperson of the
24 I Brews & Spirits I Aug - Sep I 2019
Board and MD of NürnbergMesse
India; along with Pradeep Deviah,
Chairman & CEO of PDA Trade
Fairs Pvt. Ltd. were present at the
It was followed by the CDI Annual
International Conference, ‘Grain
to Glass 2.0’, where a wealth of
experience and expertise was
shared on most relevant topics,
as well as current trends in the
Speakers at the conference
included some of the prime movers
of the alco-bev segment in India and
overseas, drawn from across the
beer, wine and spirits sectors.
Being the only comprehensive
platform positioned to convert the
sector’s potential to commerce,
the 2nd edition saw more than 100
exhibitors displaying cutting edge
technologies and expertise for the
There was a mix of new exhibitors,
as well as returning high-profile
brands, offering an array of
products and services. On the
brewing and distilling side, CDI-
2019 hosted Thermax, Lehui,
Spectraa Technologies, Prodeb
Brewing Equipment and Taurus
Engineering, among others.
EVENT UPDATE: CRAFT DRINKS INDIA 2019
The testing, lab equipment’s and
instrumentation section was
represented by AV Measurement
and Control, Mettler Toledo,
Anderson Negele, Alfa Laval and
Endress Hauser among others.
CDI-2019 expanded its canvas
by attracting newer brands like
Krones Packaging, USP Packaging,
SSP Packaging, Worldpack, Ningbo
HGM Food Machinery, Cask Global,
Kitten, Techpac and Kegwerks
Brands like DVKSP, Zytex,
Hambleton Bard, PMV Malting,
Fermentis and others represented
the raw materials and products for
brewing and distilling.
Chemicals and dispensing are
other notable categories CDI-
2019 offered with brands like Ace
Technologies, Sanky Consulting,
Fosroc, Chembond Calvatis Hygiene
and Chemline Global demonstrating
the best of what the industry has to
The trade show included products
from technologies offering
production and process plants,
pipework, pumps, valves and
associated fittings, cleaning
equipment, materials and systems,
environmental, effluent and
pollution control, and fermentation
and ageing containers.
Exhibitors at the event also provided
scope to customise practical and
affordable solutions as per the client
requirements. The market reaction
was reflected upon the significantly
higher visitor registration and the
organisers are quite kicked with the
traction the event is gaining.
Riding on the overwhelming
Brews & Spirits I Aug - Sep | 2019 I 25
EVENT UPDATE: CRAFT DRINKS INDIA 2019
response from the community,
CDI organised yet another vibrant
workshop conducted by Versuchsund
Lehranstalt Für Brauerei
(VLB) from Berlin. The technical
workshop on ‘Microbial Quality
Assurance Plan and Beer Spoilage
Bacteria’ consisted of presentations
on how to tackle beer spoilage by
The session elaborated on how
to set up a quality-assurance
plan in relation to microbiology
in a brewery. Likewise, enabled
breweries to effectively address
quality questions and uncover
potential problems thus incurred.
Returning for the 2nd edition of CDI
from Berlin was Mr Jan Biering, who
conducted the technical workshop
with Ms Gayatri Mehta. Jan is a
scientific worker and consultant
at VLB- Berlin, a post he has held
26 I Brews & Spirits I Aug - Sep I 2019
EVENT UPDATE: CRAFT DRINKS INDIA 2019
‘To drink safe,
As Chair of the Craft Drinks India
Advisory Committee, Mr Narayan
Manepally, Co-founder of Geist
Beer, welcomed the guests and
gathering. “Just like organic food
is making big waves in India,
even though it is a bit expensive,
consumption of craft drinks is on
similar lines, because people feel
they should drink safe and better
stuff,” he noted.
Craft Drinks India is one such forum
dedicated completely to craft,
dedicated to not only beer but also
spirits, from cane to cashew, agave
to junipers, and Mahua to grains.
“There is an explosion of craft
beverages, and CDI wants to provide
an opportunity for this category to
showcase and decide how to grow
this business,” he said.
In India the craft drinks category is
growing 70% year-on-year. “So CDI
is becoming more and bigger and
relevant. I hope it will be a platform
for people in the craft space to mix,
mingle, network and grow their
business,” he added.
Mr Matthias van der Straten,
from the German Consulate in
Bengaluru, said he could compare
Bengaluru to any city in Germany
because of the former’s craft beer
One of the reasons for Germans
loving their beer is because of the
purity law that regulates content of
water, hops, malts and yeast. He
attributed the 500-year-old brewing
traditions to Germans loving their
Mr Venkata Raja (IAS), Additional
Excise Commissioner, commended
CDI for offering a glimpse of what
was going on in the industry, and
for creating a platform for players
to collaborate and grow.
Presenting an overview of the intent
with which governments working in
relation to excise laws, he said that
as a regulatory body, his department
had to maintain a balance between
government revenues, implement
rules and regulations, and ensure
safety of consumers.
“All three come together and we
come to regulate, facilitate and help.
All businesses are not for revenue
alone. It becomes the responsibility
of the (excise) department to give a
clean environment for the business
to thrive,” he said.
Assuring the gathering that the
government wished to assist the
industry, he said all legal and
has been made available online.
Nevertheless, he added, the
industry was free to approach the
department with better ideas for
a healthy and regulated business
Brews & Spirits I Aug - Sep | 2019 I 27
EVENT UPDATE: CRAFT DRINKS INDIA 2019
Top Flair Bartenders
The Indian Flair Bartenders
Association organised the IFBA
Flair Challenge 2019 for the first
time in Bengaluru, on 4 July. There
were a total of 27 bartenders who
had been selected in preliminary
rounds across the country.
The title sponsor was Mumbaibased
VBev, through its Stoli
premium Russian vodka. The
French syrups company, Monin,
was the beverage sponsor.
IFBA is a non-profit organisation
formed by a group of professional
bartenders with a background in
flair bartending and enormous
years of experience in the bar and
The winners were (1st to 3rd) Piyush
Bora from Doon Bar Academy in
Dehradun, Kiran Panchal from
Drinq Bar Academy in Mumbai, and
Hemraj Shettigar from Mangaluru’s
Martiny. The Best Cocktail award
went to Govind Thapa from the
School of Bartenders in Pokhra
Clockwise from Left: • Nishant and Manjit (R), students from a bartending academy, are rewarded by Bhavana and Kantappa Sahukar of
Kalpatharu Breweries and Distilleries for winning the Brews & Spirits quiz at CDI 2019.
• S. Subramanya from Shridhan Automation (R) with D.R. Vijendra of Brew & Barbeque.
• Praveen (C) from Agave India with Umang Nair (R) of S. Brewing.
• Rajesh Krishnan from Carx (L) gets his hamper from Tony Doulton of PDA Trade Media.
28 I Brews & Spirits I Aug - Sep I 2019
EVENT UPDATE: CRAFT DRINKS INDIA 2019
Craft drinks are
– Michael Vachon
What is ‘craft’?
How to stay there?
Excerpts from the keynote address by
Mr Michael Vachon, Co-founder of Maverick
Drinks (UK), at CDI 2019
Maverick Drinks is the trading
name of Atom Supplies Ltd. with
a bouquet of 28 curated brands of
award-winning gin, rum, vodka
and whisky sourced from across
the world. It recently entered into
a partnership with ZX Ventures,
a division of AB InBev, to focus on
global growth and innovation.
It is a craft spirits distributor
that believes in drinking the best
quality spirits. The company works
closely with its partners in retail,
wholesale and the online trade,
to help reduce their reliance on
mainstream brands and introduce
them to higher quality alternatives,
according to Michael.
Craft drinks in India, which could be
the leading market in the world in
the next decade or so, will largely
benefit from the platform offered by
CDI at the very inception of the craft
movement, he feels.
Maverick Drinks employs just 38
staff, but they feel they are driving
something important, rather than
just selling another bottle. So what
does it mean to be “craft”? The
best definition of craft drinks was
given by the American Craft Spirits
Association which says:
A distillery that values the
importance of transparency in
distilling and remains forthcoming
regarding its use of ingredients,
distilling location and process and
However, Michael disagrees with
the other half of the definition, which
states: A distillery that produces
less than 7,50,000 gallons annually;
for brewers it is 6,00,000 gallons
annually; the distillery must be
independently owned and operated
with more than a 75% equity stake –
which means no more than 25% can
be owned by a non-craft brewer.
Michael agrees with the qualitative
side, but not the quantitative
one. After a lot of thought, the
“Mavericks” came up with a
definition for craft drinks 2 years
ago, a consolidation of the following
points: Craftsmanship, Authenticity,
Quality, Provenance, Founder and
He added that it is important that
the business is rooted in values, and
the products continue to represent
good value for customers. That is
the way forward to stay craft and
preserve the ethos and scale up.
Finally, the three main factors
needed to be considered while
staying craft: Innovation,
Collaboration and Community.
Brews & Spirits I Aug - Sep | 2019 I 29
‘30 Best Bars India 2019’
awards in October
Tulleeho and Man’s World magazine (www.
mansworldindia.com) have announced the
launch of India’s first independent annual bar
ranking and awards: ‘30 Best Bars India 2019’.
The ranking will be based on a nationwide poll of
bar enthusiasts, industry experts, connoisseurs
The announcement of the ranking will culminate
in an awards ceremony in late October in New
Delhi that will showcase, recognise and celebrate
the best of the Indian bar and cocktail industry –
from the best bars to the best mixologists and bar
teams that have made meaningful contributions
through their craft.
‘30 Best Bars India 2019’ ranking and awards will
recognise excellence in Best Bar, Best Hotel Bar,
Best Independent Bar, Best Microbrewery, Best
Cocktail Menu, Best Bar Design, Best Bar Team
and Best Bartender. Apart from the national
ranking, the contest will also rank bars across
The first stage of the ‘30 Best Bars India 2019’
poll, which is already underway, will lead to the
creation of a long list of more than a 100 bars
based on the recommendations of more than 50
bar enthusiasts and experts across the country.
In the second stage, a jury of more than 200 bar
enthusiasts, industry experts, connoisseurs and
writers will vote for the best bars in the long list
in each of the categories. The voting process will
be confidential, and via a secure website.
Since it is likely that many of the bar enthusiasts
are unfamiliar with the work of individual
bartenders, the ranking of the Best Bartender
and the Best Bar Team will be based on the poll
of a specially curated Technical Jury consisting of
two dozen experts from across the country who
have intimate knowledge of the bar industry.
Four more important awards will be presented at
the ceremony, based on a national online poll – the
People’s Choice Award for the Best Bar and Best
Microbrewery; Best Vintage Bar will recognise
the best from among thise that have existed for
a minimum of 30 years; and the Industry Legend
Award for long-term contribution by an industry
30 I Brews & Spirits I Aug - Sep I 2019
Announcing the contest, Vikram Achanta, Co-founder
and CEO of Tulleeho said, “Having worked in the Indian
beverage and hospitality industry for the last 19 years,
Tulleeho has seen the advances made in the Indian
hospitality industry, especially the emergence of
passionate bar owners, capacity-building by the alcobev
industry, and a pool of talented bartenders and
He added, “We think the time is opportune to create
a platform that we hope will, over a few years, help
propel the growth of the industry, and put India’s bars
and bartending talent on the Asian and world maps.”
Radhakrishnan Nair, Publisher & Editor of Man’s
World said, “Having written about the Indian bar
scene almost every month since our inception nearly
20 years ago, Man’s World has had a ringside view of
the evolution of the industry. We felt the bar industry
in India had reached a stage of maturity that requires
national and international recognition.”
For queries, write to firstname.lastname@example.org.
India Wine Awards
2019 judging begins
The India Wine Awards, the
country’s most authoritative wine
competition, will return for its third
edition on October 5, 2019 at The
Leela, Mumbai. Since its inaugural
edition in 2017, India Wine Awards
has firmly established itself as the
ultimate guide to the best Indian
and international wines available
in the country.
An initiative powered by Sonal
Holland, India’s only Master of
Wine and Chairperson of India
Wine Awards, this year once again
the panel includes a formidable
team of India’s most eminent wine
palates, leaders of hospitality, and key wine and food
Sonal Holland MW will be joined by eminent General
Managers of luxury hotels, including Parveen
Chander (Taj Lands’ End), Taljinder Singh (Taj Mahal
Palace, Mumbai), Sanjay Sethi (Chalet Hotels),
Dietmar Kielnhofer (JW Marriott, Sahar), Abhishek
Basu (Leela, Mumbai); noteworthy restauranteurs
like Ashish Dev Kapur (Wine Rack) and celebrity
chef Rahul Akerkar (Qualia); talented sommeliers
like Harish Achrekar, Abhas Saxena, Lalit Rane and
Prateek Angre; senior wine writers such as Ruma
Singh, Subhash Arora, Alok Chandra.
India Wine Awards is the only competition in the
country that features a unique food and wine pairing
section, where nominated wines are paired with food
to judge their compatibility. This year, the organisers
have identified six dishes from across Indian, Asian
and European cuisine, that are considered the most
popular amongst diners in India.
The categories for pairing are: Best wine pairing with
Sushi (veg/ non-veg), best wine pairing with Kung
Pao Chicken; best wine pairing with pizza; best wine
pairing with Haleem (lamb mince delicacy); best wine
pairing with Thai Green Curry; and best wine pairing
with chocolate (dark and milk).
All wines entered in the
competition will be tasted blind
and scored by a panel of 18
distinguished wine experts and
heads of hospitality. Medals and
awards will be bestowed based on
the following ranking process:
86-90: Silver (well-made,
straightforward, enjoyable wine)
91-95: Gold (accomplished wine
with impressive complexity)
96-100: Diamond (excellent wine
with incredible complexity and
96-100: Trophy Wine (Best in Show).
A special category of awards across hotels and
premium stand-alone restaurants located in the
three major consumption centres of Mumbai,
Delhi-NCR and Bengaluru will recognise the Best
Restaurants for their world-class wine list.
An independent panel of three International Master
of Wines – Sonal Holland from India, Andrea Pritzker
from Australia and Sarah Heller from Hong Kong –
is being formed to bring their global experience and
unmatched expertise to the judging process.
Sonal said, “We are delighted that India Wine Awards
is in its third year… We pride ourselves on being
an authoritative and ultimate guide to wine in India
and take pride in being a world-class competition
that holds integrity and authenticity, credibility and
relevance as the four cornerstones of our actions.”
India Wine Awards 2019 will kick off with the wine
tasting and wine and food pairing competition on
September 12 and 13. The results will be announced
at the Winners’ Night Award Ceremony at The Leela,
Mumbai, on October 5, 2019. (www.indiawineawards.
Brews & Spirits I Aug - Sep | 2019 I 31
The panelists (L-R) were Charnelle Martins from Third Eye Distillery,
Anand Virmani of Nao Spirits, Pratekk Chturvedi of Ministry of Beer,
Aditya Challa of Susegado and Regan Henriques from Rhea Distilleries.
‘desi’ or ‘phoren’?
Excerpts of the Panel Discussion on ‘Technology
Solutions: Make in India or Global sourcing?’ It was held
during Craft Drinks India (3 July, 2019) in Bengaluru
In the years preceding 2008, people
in India had never heard of microbreweries,
and importing them from
abroad was prohibitively expensive.
“Today, however, there are people
selling it from China, the US, Europe
– and India has one of the finest
machinery manufacturers too,”
according to Pratekk Chturvedi,
Co-Founder of the Ministry of Beer,
who acted as the moderator.
Anand Virmani, Co-Founder and
CEO of Nao Spirits remembered
that when his started its venture,
they never had an idea that their
equipment could be sourced from
India. The company had to source
equipment from Hungary.
Charnelle Martins, Head of
Distillery Operations at Third Eye
Distillery in Goa, said her company
was looking for equipment that was
technologically advanced, versatile
and easy to use for manufacturing
of their gin, Stranger & Sons. Such
equipment was not available in
India, she said.
Aditya Challa, Founder of Susegado
(Goa), recalled that the first brewery
his company bought was a hybrid
system. The tanks were made in
China and other equipment was
ordered from in San Diego, US. The
design and the quality were good.
The second brewery was from a
while Susegado’s third brewery
equipment is again a hybrid of US
and Chinese machinery.
“The key aspects are design,
quality and value for money,” Aditya
insisted. “In India the manufacturers
have good quality, but the design
aspect is not so good. The choices
of design in brewery are more in
the US. Most of the small breweries
available in India are scaled-down
models of large breweries.”
Regan Henriques, Managing
Partner at Goa-based Rhea
Distilleries, sided with locally
sourced equipment. “Our pumps
32 I Brews & Spirits I Aug - Sep I 2019
One needs to understand
technology and anticipate
problems ahead of time.
– Regan Henriques, Rhea Distilleries.
and decanters have been sourced
from Alfa Laval, which imported
What are the parameters to be kept
in mind while going in for purchase
of equipment, Pratekk wanted to
Anand admitted that since his
partners did not have a technical
background, they had a lot of
consultants advising them. Feelers
were sent to more than five
equipment suppliers, and it took
more than a year to narrow down
their options. Finally we went with
a company that was supportive and
assured good after-sales service.
Charnelle noted that in India all
brewery manufacturers cater
mainly to big breweries, with little
expertise in the mid and small
segments. “By going abroad the
options available were aplenty.
Suppliers there understand the craft
drinks industry. Approaching them
became easier as they understood
the requirements and had solutions
and expertise,” she added.
Noting that Aditya was a first
generation entrepreneur, Pratekk
wanted to know how he made up
his mind. “Foremost, you must hire
an experienced brewer before you
commence your business. S/he will
be on your side for getting the right
equipment at the right price,” Aditya
The reputation of the utility supplier
for after-sales service should
always be looked into before any
purchase is made. That said, Aditya
cautioned: “Suppliers from abroad
need to be made aware of the
frequent power fluctuations and
difference in water quality across
India; only then will they be able
to fine-tune their equipment for
On the state of the regulatory
framework in India to source
technology and brewing/ distilling
machinery, Regan said, “The first
thing to look into is the build quality
of the equipment. Equally important
is the quality of the end product that
emerges from the plant.”
The operational cost of running the
equipment and its scalability and
future upgradation are the next
important aspects that one needs to
look into. “One must also look into
the ground realities – such as the
climate of the country, availability
and quality of raw materials –
before finalizing on the machinery.”
Pratekk spoke about investing in the
right manpower at the right time is
very important. The other thing is
you get what you pay for concept.
Noting that the cost of setting up a
brewery also has a wide range, one
must also bear in mind investing
in the right manpower at the right
time. What else needs to be done?
Anand had this to share: “We
spoke to as many people (in the
industry) as possible and visited a
lot of distilleries. The equipment
offered in Hungary was very userfriendly.
Our supplier charged
us the installation cost; but the
final payment was done only after
the equipment was found in good
Charnelle of Third Eye Distillery
added, “Even though our equipment
was sourced from abroad, the aftersales
service was excellent. In terms
of sourcing additional equipment
also there was no hassle.”
Aditya said his first brewery had to
be moved from Singapore to Goa
and the US vendor helped a lot in
getting it done. “The Indian vendor
based in Bengaluru was also
equally supportive and good to us,”
The experienced Regan of Rhea
Distilleries had the last word:
“Whether it is a local product or an
imported one, problems related to
usage of the machinery are many.
One needs to be up-to-date with
technology and be ready for troubleshooting
at any given point in time.”
Brews & Spirits I Aug - Sep | 2019 I 33
SPIRITUAL SWEAT: SHATBHI BASU
Observe, observe, observe!
It gives you the power to
change the course of an
evening on the bar.
We drink different things at different times,
with different people…
Picture yourself walking into a bar.
You look around, getting a brief feel
of the people already in. You glance
at the bar to see if it’s lively enough,
But you never ever think that
someone out there may be observing
you too. Wondering what they might
offer you to drink. Debating whether
you would stick to your usual, or
was there an opportunity of swaying
As I treaded on uncertain territory
behind the bar early in my career,
I quickly understood the key to my
future: observe, observe, observe! It
would tell you everything; show you
the way forward; give you the power
to change the course of an evening
on the bar.
I noticed the little things. How a
quiet guy on the counter mulled
over his rum and cola. I learned to
leave him alone for a bit, letting him
ponder over his thoughts. At the
smallest opening, I’d go chat with
him a bit, allowing him to open up
and drop his guard.
I now knew that the worst was
over and he was ready to be a mite
social. Every once in a while one
of our regular young professionals
would come to the bar with a group
that definitely shouted “upper
management”. He’d glance at me
but with the serious “with the boss”
This was my cue to smile and be
polite, but not be my usual cheery
self with a “Hey!” thrown at him.
Instead, I would focus my attention
on the rest of his group, getting to
his drink last. It’s very simple:
• If I had gone all gung-ho on him,
the boss just may have wondered
how much of his free time was
spent at my bar, drinking.
• In his enthusiasm to impress
upon his boss that he too was
in the know when it came to
the spirits that cheer, he might
get it all wrong. Imagine his
embarrassment if he ordered
a single malt and the big guy
decided on a basic beer!
• As the last one ordering, he
could get it right, whichever way
the boss man went.
But say he came in with a group of
his peers, tie undone, shirt sleeves
half-rolled. My calling out to him in
recognition would be a power move.
This would announce that he is
someone to reckon with and holds
a certain sway.
A very “Wah, kya baat hai” scene.
And if the communication begins
with “Will you have your usual, or
are you all celebrating this evening”,
he has made an impression.
You may have turned the tables
in your favour, and a chance to
suggest a few drinks is now on the
table. Or not.
34 I Brews & Spirits I Aug - Sep I 2019
SPIRITUAL SWEAT: SHATBHI BASU
It’s not about you as a “bar
star”; it’s about them.
Let’s now switch to a scenario
where our young friend from above
has a lady friend with him this
evening. If you have been practicing
the observing game for a while now,
you would quite easily be able to
figure out if the damsel in question
is a buddy, a girlfriend who’s been
around a bit, or someone he needs
With the buddy he’ll drink his usual:
beer, straight. With the established
girl he would go with a slightly more
premium dink. If it’s a new girl, this
is when you can pull out all the
A single malt for himself? A really
nice gin and tonic for her? Maybe a
Negroni, or an Old Fashioned with a
twist? A nice bottle of wine?
And so, jeans and T-shirt may say
one thing, but jeans and a shirt
totally another. A little black dress
and cleavage will demand attention;
an easy top will say “I know what I’m
drinking, so stop giving me ideas!”
Playing that game on the bar is what
makes every evening interesting.
And if that wasn’t enough, it’s those
that love the bar counter that make
your job worthwhile.
Just a few questions to the
adventurous and you can offer them
drinks that make them smile, and
suddenly you are the hero. You are
the one that brightens their evening.
You are that amazing wizard who
sees all and knows all.
It’s then that you become someone
from being just another bartender.
And this is what I try to impress
upon everyone who wants to be
a “bar star”. Realise that it’s not
about you, but about them.
You may know how to make great
drinks. But they are only great if the
person drinking them thinks they
are. And that will only happen if you
have listened while they talked and
told you about themselves.
And you picked enough to tweak
your drink to make it perfect for
them. When you see that smile, that
look of incredulous joy on they face,
you know that what you made is
singing in their mouth. That is when
you have arrived!
I have applied this rule through all
my endeavours. Talking to a roomful
of high net worth individuals for a
bank on the ‘hows’ and ‘whys’ of the
single malt. Enthusing a group of
cardiac surgeons on the niceties of
wine while they in turn offered me
advice on the health benefits, if any,
in a glass of wine.
To impetuous young undergrads on
the wisdom of staying away from
“let’s do shots guys!”
Observe, observe, observe. That is
why I could give everyone I touched
what they were truly looking
for. Which is why they said I was
awesome. Never realising that it
was always the audience that found
the genius in me!
Brews & Spirits I Aug - Sep | 2019 I 35
SINGLETON MAKES THE
WORLD GO ROUND
Singleton of Glendullan 12, 15 and 18 YO.
The range of Singleton of Glendullan 12, 15 & 18
YO from Speyside, the malt whisky capital of the
world, was recently launched in India.
Ervin Trykowski, Global Scotch Ambassador
at Diageo and First Global Scotch Whisky
Ambassador for The Singleton, spoke to Brews &
Spirits about this extraordinary single malt and
his role that he is playing in promoting the brand.
Could you tell us a bit more about
your role, considering you are
the Global Ambassador for The
I have the best job in the world!
Being Scottish and being able to
travel the world, talking about my
national spirit, is amazing. During
my time working on The Singleton
I’ve been lucky enough to visit
almost 40 countries, including India.
One of my favourite experiences was
visiting Delhi for the International
Scotch Day in February last year. It’s
36 I Brews & Spirits I Aug - Sep I 2019
always incredible being so far away
from home, and learning how other
people interact with Scotch whisky
never stops amazing me.
Ervin Trykowski, first Global
Scotch Whisky Ambassador for
What do you see as the main
challenges to Scotch whisky?
The main challenges are people’s
out-dated opinions of Scotch,
particularly single malts. It’s always
negative – you don’t add ice; you
shouldn’t add water; you don’t put it
in a cocktail.
Due to these opinions, we miss out
on some great Scotch experiences.
Single malt whisky is the most
flavour diverse spirit in the world
and fits in so many great occasions.
However, opinions are now changing
and I’m sure Scotch has a bright
future in India.
Are there any signature cocktails
created for the brand?
Due to The Singleton’s incredible
fruity nature, it lends itself to several
classic and contemporary cocktails.
I tend to enjoy it most as part of a
highball with apple soda that brings
to the front those key fresh and
That being said, it works perfectly in
a number of cocktails – the ‘Blood
& Sand’ to the ‘Old Fashioned’ and
right through to the ‘Whisky Sour’
and you’ll be in for a treat.
What would be your advice to
hoteliers to capture the cocktail
Quite a few of the world’s best bars
are located in hotels, so there is
already a pattern there that they can
follow. The same applies to hotel
bars and independents alike.
Treat your bartenders like you treat
your chefs: invest in them, train
them and pay them well. When
you have great happy staff you will
create world-class environments
for people to enjoy cocktails.
Brews & Spirits I Aug - Sep | 2019 I 37
THESE ARE A FEW OF
MY FAVOURITE THINGS!
Devi Singh Bhati is Head Mixologist of Firefly, at Pedritos, Goa. He
is Diageo World Class (India) 2019 winner; was named Inca Best
Mixologist (Goa) winner in 2017 and 2018; and was finalist at some
prestigious national mixology competitions.
What’s your favourite bar
I was fascinated by the movie
Cocktail, with Tom Cruise shaking
a drink with a cocktail shaker. I
always wanted to do that; and that
perhaps attracted me to shaking
cocktails. That is why my favourite
tool is the cocktail shaker.
After I became a bartender I
realised how important a cocktail
shaker is. I love the Koriko
shakers from Cocktail Kingdom
because of their quality and
design. It’s very comfortable also
to do craft flair and attract your
guests toward this art.
Why do you like it?
I like its design because it is very
smooth to work with, easy to open
and has a good grip.
How do you attract customers to
the bar using it?
I try to attract my guests while
using some art flair as the
shakers are awesome to work
with, and we can develop some
amazing flair styles with them.
Any superstitions connected to
Hmmm. No superstitions.
How many cocktails do you make
I make around 50 drinks per day
using those shakers.
What excites you the most about
The sound of the liquid within
is so peaceful to the soul of a
Do you carry this while you’re
not in the bar? Why?
Yes, I always carry it. As a
bartender we never know when
we might need – it can be useful
at any time.
Rohan Matmary, aka ‘Rogue
Rohan’, is Head of Beverages at
Byg Brewski Brewing Company,
Bengaluru. Starting as a Bar
Manager, he was promoted
to Senior Beverage Manager
before taking up his current
role of steering the beverage
experiences into exciting new
He is a leading mixologists in the
country with a big tally of awards
that include the North American
Whiskey Legacy Challenge 2019,
The Glenfiddich World’s Most
Experimental Bartender (India)
2018 and The Monkey Shoulder
Flash Competition 2019.
What’s your favourite bar
Erik Lorincz’s Birdy Cobbler
38 I Brews & Spirits I Aug - Sep I 2019
What does bar equipment mean to mixologists? How does it help
bartenders whip up their magical concoctions? Brews & Spirits spoke to
some behind-the-bar experts about their pet pieces…
Why do you like it?
The shaker uses their signature
vertical grain polishing which is
a 10-step technique to reduce
stress on the ingredients. Each
Birdy Shaker has exactly the same
weight and shape, which has helped
me standardise my cocktails and
How do you attract customers to
the bar using it?
Cobblers have always been a sign
of a well experienced bar. Cobblers
are traditionally used by a lot of
Japanese bartenders. I had always
faced a challenge to shake two sets
of Boston Shakers together. The
Birdy solved this for me. It has been
my +1 in bar tools for more than 2
Any superstitions connected to it?
I have always believed that you only
need to shake a cocktail once in a
Birdy. It has never demanded a dry
shake from me.
How many cocktails do you make?
At least 10 per day.
What excites you the most about it?
The art and science that has gone
into creating the perfect shaker
excites me. To think there is so
much more to bartending than we
really know motivates me to do
much more every day.
Do you carry this while you’re not
in the bar? Why?
Gylt (the bar next to Big Brewski)
stocks 12 Birdy Shakers, so I don’t
carry them when I am at work. But
yes, I carry my couple of Birdy’s
always with me.
Subham Gupta currently heads
R&D at ‘Together@12th’ in
Gurugram. In his decade-long
stint he has flipped bottles at
night clubs and worked in the best
cocktail bars – Ek Bar, PDA and
PCO among them. They have each
been great experiences in terms
of learning about cocktails and the
differentiation in audiences.
What’s your favourite piece of bar
It is the first one I owned: a pair
of cocktail shakers. Tin-on-tin,
two-piece shakers. I’ve been
blessed in my career to work in
a few celebrated bars, where
I was able to play around with
modern bar equipment like Sous-
Vide or Vacuum Press. But the
effectiveness and sheer necessity
of a pair of good shakers has never
At PDA I got the opportunity to use
copper Parisian shakers, which
were excellent for reducing the
temperature of the drink fast. But
I got hooked to Koriko shakers,
the perfect Japanese tin-on-tin
equipment. I have been accused of
being biased against three-piece
Cobbler shakers. I completely blame
it on Koriko spoiling me!
Why do you like it?
Mostly because of its simplicity –
they are just two different sized
tins that can form a perfect airlock
vacuum when closed. It sounds
very easy, but any bartender with
experience can tell you what kind of
nightmare it is to work with a pair of
shaker with that single flaw.
You have 10 orders to pick up and
the airlock breaks, spilling the
cocktail all over you – that’s a scary
Stainless steel will be my favourite
because it’s super easy to clean,
doesn’t retain any odour from the
previous drink if washed properly,
and doesn’t react adversely to any of
the ingredients used.
That said, I distinctly remember a
Bacardi master class where there
was a silver two-piece shaker with
a Daiquiri made in it. Silver being a
very good conductor, the crushed
ice inside frosted the shaker within a
matter of minutes. It was glorious!
How do you attract customers to
the bar using it?
Every bartender has his/her own
shake and style of grip. If you pay
attention, no one shakes the same.
I personally have always been a fan
boy of Japanese bartending. So,
Brews & Spirits I Aug - Sep | 2019 I 39
when I got my hands on my first
pair of Koriko, I wanted to imitate
the Japanese Hard Shake.
It’s a shaking technique invented by
Kazuo Uyeda, almost like a dance
form but with shakers. Once I tried
it for a few nights, I humbly learned
two things: there’s a reason it’s
called the ‘Hard Shake’, and it’s
designed for much smaller threepiece
shakers. So I modified my
shaking style, which is somewhere
between a bird flapping its wings
and a Japanese ‘Hard Shake’ with
Shaking styles have attracted
customers to the bar in a variety of
different ways. At Ek Bar we had
this concept of ‘no lone shaker’.
So you suddenly saw all of the
bartenders shaking two shakers
together in their own styles.
Any superstitions connected to it?
I’m not a very superstitious person;
but I’ve always had this fear of
using Boston Shakers. They are
the predecessor to the tin-on-tin
shakers with one key difference:
the top part in a Boston is made of
It allows the guest to see what goes
in the shaker, but it also tends to
break every now and then while
opening. I always think I’m going to
break it whenever I use a Boston.
How many cocktails do you make?
It’s very difficult to put a number on
this. But I would say about 70% of the
drinks I make would be shaken.
What excites you the most about it?
There is a common sound to cocktail
bars across the world, and that’s the
sound of ice being thrown around
with liquid inside a shaker. As a
friend used to say, “We shake it to
wake it”. Not just the cocktails but
the guests also. I think it’s the most
exciting piece of equipment we have.
Do you carry this while you’re not in
the bar? Why?
When I’m not working inside the bar,
I prefer someone else making the
drinks. So no, I don’t carry a shaker. I
own my favourite one, but that’s just
for special occasions.
40 I Brews & Spirits I Aug - Sep I 2019
The wine made from pure chikoo extracts offers an outburst of tropical flavours.
India now has its own organic wine
– a first for the country – made from
kiwi fruit – another first! ‘Naara-
Aaba’ became the first pure kiwi
wine in India after its launch in
2017. Unlike most wines that come
from vineyards in western India, it
hails from Hong village in Subansiri
district of Arunachal Pradesh.
The Apatani, a major tribe in the
north-eastern state, cultivate and
produce nearly a quarter of India’s
kiwi output; so it was but natural
that they hit upon the idea of a wine
– this time free of any chemicals.
The ISO-certified wine has 13%
alcohol by volume. It contains
vitamins C, B1 and B2; along with
calcium, iron, sodium, magnesium,
phosphorous and potassium.
“The wine is an indigenous innovation
of a man who could foresee a
beautiful end of his imagination in
a divine fruit called kiwi. For the
hardworking and fun loving people
of Ziro valley, it is a gentle wake up
call to learn new and modern ways
to utilise their vast lands,” says the
official website of ‘Naara-Aaba’.
Owing to lack of road-rail-air
connectivity, however, it is available
only in Arunachal and neighbouring
Assam. The fruity wine is priced at
Rs. 1,200 in Arunachal Pradesh and
Rs. 1,500 in Assam. Smaller bottles
are priced at Rs. 600 and Rs. 800
An enterprising group of farmers
in Bordi, in Palghar district of
Maharashtra (bordering Gujarat),
have managed to come out with
the first-ever wine made from pure
chikoo extracts, offering an outburst
of tropical flavours. The renowned
Dahanu-Gholvad chikoo holds a
Geographical Indication since 2016.
There were several problems with
chikoo: its high pH, short shelf life
and uneven nature of ripening.
But since chikoo juice retained
the major flavour of the fruit, the
farmers employed its very strong
ambient yeast for fermentation after
juice extraction. Hence was born the
chikoo wine in 2011.
The manufacturer, Hill Zill Wines,
now offers the 2016-vintage
Fruzzanté chikoo wine in 330-ml
bottles at Rs. 255. It has similar
offerings in pineapple, garden spice
and mango (all Rs 255), along with a
desert wine (375 ml), called
Arka Honey, at Rs. 1,050. These
are available in select retail and
restaurants in Mumbai and Thane
districts of Maharashtra.
According to its website (www.
hillzillwines.com), an award-winning
commercial wine maker and author,
Dominic Rivard of Canada, is the
father of these wines.
Tribals from Arunachal Pradesh hit upon the
idea of a wine free of any chemicals.
Brews & Spirits I Aug - Sep | 2019 I 41
ON THE BLOCK
0% alcohol, 100% Budweiser
The world’s leading brewer,
Anheuser-Busch InBev, recently
launched its first non-alcoholic beer,
Budweiser 0.0. It is a high quality
“anyone, anywhere” beverage that
aims to foster inclusivity by catering
to people who do not consume
The new variant is brewed using
the iconic Budweiser recipe, with
barley malt, choice hops, yeast, pure
filtered water and the distinctive
beech wood aging process; during
the final stage of which the alcohol is
removed through a special process
to retain the taste that’s true to the
standards of Budweiser.
Budweiser 0.0 is available across
modern retail channels and leading
departmental stores in Mumbai,
Delhi, Bengaluru, Pune, Chennai,
Hyderabad, Kolkata and the state
of Gujarat. It is priced at Rs. 80 for a
330-ml can and Rs. 90 for a 330-ml
Cheers, to your health!
Earlier this year United
Breweries launched Kingfisher
Radler, a no-alcohol, 100%
natural drink that contains 30%
less sugar than carbonated soft
drinks. A blend of fresh barley
malts and natural lemon juice,
the drink caters to a segment of
health-conscious young adults
who are on the lookout for new
Radler is available in three
flavours (Lemon, Ginger-Lime
and Mint-Lime) and is packed in
300-ml cans and 300-ml glass
bottles, with a convenient ringpull
cap and a striking packaging
design. After being testmarketed
across Gujarat and
Karnataka, the brand has now
rolled out nationally to enter the
non-alcoholic beverage space
that is growing at a rapid pace
42 I Brews & Spirits I Aug - Sep I 2019
ON THE BLOCK
Tonic for the soul
Sepoy & Co. is India’s first mixer
company, with recipes that are
crafted in England and expertly
brewed in India. It currently has
three tonic variants in its portfolio
that include low calorie (less than 5
gm sugar per 100 ml) Indian and Mint
tonic waters and spiced Grapefruit
All three are made with 100%
natural ingredients and do not
contain artificial preservatives.
They have won awards from the
prestigious International Taste
Institute, Brussels. All the tonics use
the purest form of natural quinine
imported from Africa.
Indian tonic water has a citric profile,
while Mint tonic water has a fresh
mint aroma and taste paired with
citric and the bitterness of natural
quinine. Spiced Grapefruit tonic
water is a unique blend of Indian
spices like cardamom, cloves and
nutmeg paired beautifully with the
citric of pink grapefruit. They are
available in star hotels, fine dining
restaurants and retail outlets in
Delhi. The company also sells its
premium mixers online (www.
DeVans launches ‘Six Fields’
DeVans Modern Breweries, winner of an international
Gold Category star award for quality, recently
launched ‘Six Fields’, a premium Belgian style
blanche wheat beer, named after the six ingredients
used in the process. Its hops are hand-picked from
the rich plains of the Ganga and are brewed with a
special blend of barley malt, water and wheat.
‘Six Fields’ is light in colour, smooth, spiced with
orange and coriander to provide extra refreshment
and a delicious taste. It carries a signature citrusy
taste, aroma and texture that have been poured into
an appealing classic pint, a lustrous can and a mighty
DeVans has also been brewing and selling quality
beers worldwide from its state-of-the-art breweries
in Jammu and Kotputli, Rajasthan. ‘Six Fields’ beer is
now available in Delhi, Haryana, Jammu & Kashmir,
Uttarakhand and Uttar Pradesh. The 5-litre keg (can
be kept for 90 days) is priced at Rs 3,200, the pint at
Rs 120, and the can at Rs 150.
Brews & Spirits I Aug - Sep | 2019 I 43
at weekend fest
By Rohan Jelkie
Over the past few years, my choice
of places to travel to have been
largely decided by what goes into
my glass or onto my plate. It could
be to discover Hong Kong’s exciting
bar scene and connecting with the
Diaspora from the sub-continent
that helms the city’s cocktail
Or bar-hopping in Taiwan while
gorging on Xiao Long Bao’s at the
original Din Tai Fung, and at the
same time discovering the country’s
stupendous whisky industry. Or
to grab a meal at Nadodi, the new
progressive Indian restaurant in
Kuala Lumpur, which is touted to be
the next big Indian restaurant in the
food world after Gaggan.
You get the drift. If not for anything
else, I’ll surely land in hell for having
indulged in gluttony as a virtue.
The month of May, in my travel
calendar, is reserved for a
pilgrimage of sorts to the most
hedonistic week of the year in this
part of the world. Bartenders,
bar owners, brand ambassadors,
drinks experts and consumers from
Asia and the world descend upon
Singapore to celebrate and indulge
at the Singapore Cocktail Festival.
The week-long extravaganza kicks
off with the announcement of the
region’s best bars at the Asia’s 50
Best Bars awards ceremony and
what immediately follows is a week
of guest shifts by bartending greats
at the city’s best cocktail spots,
master classes by drinks gurus,
industry talks and seminars by
bar owners, bartenders and brand
Toast to taste
This year saw the first all-woman
edition of the 50 Best Talks kicking
off the industry seminar list. And to
top it all there is a three-day cocktail
festival village, where you’ll get
to meet and greet the continent’s
finest bartenders as they fix you
a drink at one of the many pop-up
bars hosted by booze brands at the
Over 8,500 people walked into the
village over the three-day festival
this year. Set at the Empress Lawns
in the heart of the city, the cocktail
village is the place to be for the
weekend that it gets the city to raise
a toast to fine drinks, good food and
great party vibes.
The cocktail week is supported by
the Singapore Tourism Board and
the city takes great pride in hosting
it. Karl Too, who runs the iconic
Omakase+Appreciate in Kuala
Lumpur, was manning the bar for
Mr. Black, the delicious new coffee
44 I Brews & Spirits I Aug - Sep I 2019
liqueur brand that has left industry
insiders on a caffeine-like high.
And then there was Roman Foltan,
of ex-Atlas fame, serving delicious
Jameson cocktails under the
same roof. The one bar that drew
my attention was the Perrier bar,
manned by ‘Din’ aka Dinesh. An
investment banker by day and a
cocktail aficionado by night, Dinesh
is a regular at bars across the
Almost every bar owner knew
him and he knew what to tell you
to order at a bar that you were
visiting. ‘Din’ spent the weekend
running the Perrier bar at the
cocktail village and later helping at
guest shifts where his friends (read
Asia’s top bartenders) were working
that weekend. I have never felt so
humbled seeing a consumer evolve
to being a part of us.
For the rest of the week there
are guest shifts by bartending
heavyweights at all the cool cocktail
spots in the city. And with all bar
take-overs that happen across
town, you’ll be spoilt for choice.
Guest shifts or bar take-overs are a
great way to sample a slice of the
drinks experience you would have if
you were at the particular bar doing
the guest shift without actually
This year saw record guest shifts
happen as a part of the festival. The
one that stood out for me (and also
had my heart go “Jai ho!”) was the
shift by Santosh Kukreti of Thirsty
City 127 (Mumbai), Krishna Kumar
(Byg Brewski, Bengaluru) and Sahil
Negi (Perch Wine & Coffee Bar,
These boys were a part of the skill
development programme called
‘House of Change’ by Grey Goose
vodka earlier in the year and were
the top performers. As a reward for
their hard work they were sponsored
by Grey Goose to visit the Singapore
festival and also work a night at
IBHQ, the bar run by Kamil Foltan.
For Sahil, this was his first trip
abroad and the opportunity to rub
shoulders with his peers and seniors
opened up a whole new perspective
of the business to him. There were
many such stories that took place
throughout the festival. That, to
me, is the beauty of this amazing
industry event that provides a
perfect platform for people to bond
over drinks, experiences and tales
of merry revelry.
Now, perhaps, you’ll agree why
Lucifer and I are going to be very
Brews & Spirits I Aug - Sep | 2019 I 45
PHOTO-OP: CAZULO FENI
Going nuts over
cashew in Goa
If you want to make good
cashew Feni, you have to first
begin with picking the right
cashew fruits. The local variety,
the ‘Balli’, is coloured in gentle
yellows, oranges and vibrant
reds. It is best suited for Feni
production, as opposed to
the emaciated, monochrome
‘hybrids’ these days.
By Hansel Vaz
The afternoon sun is blazing on the
back of my neck, and the dry red
lateritic soil crunches as I climb
through the cashew orchard on the hill.
It’s two in the afternoon, siesta time
for most in this erstwhile Portuguese
colony of Goa.
A gentle breeze caresses the hanging
luscious juicy red cashew, beckoning
it to fall. The magic is about to happen.
We were lucky – just like chilly, tomato,
potato and a few more exotics, cashew
too was not native to Goa. This ‘alien’
hopped across continents and sailed
across oceans to finally land on the
western shores of India.
Cashew took to our red soil and
tropical climate so beautifully that
today we call it our own. By the year
1740, Portuguese spies were already
secretly documenting how Goans
enjoyed an alcohol distilled from this
exotic fruit, unlike anywhere else in
the world. Our ancestors were already
Early afternoon is when the cazkars
(workers) organise themselves to
methodically comb the orchards
for naturally fallen cashew apples.
Dressed like Ninjas (1) – covered
from head to toe, to avoid insect
bites and scratches – they arm
themselves with a canto to spear
fallen fruit into a basket (2).
Tree-ripened fruits are full of sugars
and low in the astringent sap, so
make the best Feni. Cashew apples
are dropped into the colmbi, stone
basins carved into solid rock (3),
where another set of workers (4)
de-seed the nuts from the cashew
apples, to prepare for the stomp.
46 I Brews & Spirits I Aug - Sep I 2019
PHOTO-OP: CAZULO FENI
Stomping the pulpy fruit (1) to
gently express the juices may
look like fun, but it is serious
work. The pulp is then made
into in a mound and trussed
together with a vine. Heavy
rocks are left overnight on the
top (2) to press the remaining
juice out of the pulp. The
juice is strained and allowed
to naturally ferment in
earthen pots (3). No nutrients,
catalysts or artificial yeasts
are added. Nature takes over
from where man left off,
converting natural sugars into
After fermentation, when the wash
stops bubbling, it is ready for distillation.
This crude cashew wine is transferred
into the pot still. Traditionally Feni was
distilled in purposefully crafted earthen
pots, now replaced by more practical
copper pots. The vapours cool in copper
coils and are collected in an earthen pot
called a launi.
Traditionally the alcohol vapours
were condensed in an earthen pot, by
constantly pouring water over the launi
with a coconut shell ladle. Now a copper
coil is immersed in a water tank to do it.
The vapour phase of the alcohol is most
crucial, while the copper coil removes
unwanted sulphates, the earthen pot
imparts earthy notes to the spirit.
Urrack (14-16% v/v) is a
lovely cooling drink, and
is velvety smooth. Unlike
other alcohols, Feni is
directly distilled into 42.8%
alcohol, says Cazulo Feni
owner, Hansel Vaz.
Fine Feni is stored in glass, and not oak,
as wood has nothing more to provide to
an already robust and flavourful spirit.
Carboys and Demi-Johns round off and
chip any rough edges if there were as
the Feni is allowed recuperate from the
tumultuous distillation process for at
least a year.
Finally, the Feni is tasted,
graded and bottled into
Cazulo Premium Cashew
Feni bottles, that would
grace bar shelves or a
table of lively conversation.
As they say in (Portuguesespeaking)
Brews & Spirits I Aug - Sep | 2019 I 47
NEWS FROM HERE & THERE
Dram Club takes off in Mumbai
Another platform that endeavours
to bring whisky enthusiasts together
was recently launched by Vinayak
Singh and Swati Sharma in Mumbai.
The motivation behind the Dram
Club was very simple: Indians love
their whiskies, and almost half of the
whisky in the world is consumed by
Indians by volume.
Yet, the choice of whiskies available
in the country is very limited. During
their travels, the duo avidly collects
unique and rare expressions to try
among themselves. Their biggest
discovery this year was the Balblair
Distillery, home to some of the best
vintage single malts.
Swati and Vinayak have so far
curated more than 10 tasting session
where whisky manufacturers and
enthusiasts have shared their
passion. The Club also participated
in the 20th edition of the Speyside
Whisky Festival, and the founders
are now actively working with the
festival organisers to get the event to
Hold your tongue!
Ever felt short-changed when
your rather expensive single malt
whiskey doesn’t taste right? In a rare
whiskey market flooded with fakes,
this isn’t a one-off happening; but
it’s going to be a thing of the past.
Scientists from the University
of Glasgow have developed an
“artificial tongue” to detect fake
whiskies, and the device can be
used to tell apart a host of single
malts. The Guardian reports that
the artificial tongue is based on
a glass wafer featuring three
separate arrays, each composed of
Whisky rules change shape
The Scotch Whisky Association
recently announced a broadening of
allowable cask types, and there is now
a list of casks that distilleries cannot
use. Until now, whisky-makers could
only use casks types that came with
evidence of “traditional use” in the
industry – a pretty vague definition.
The rules now state that the spirit
must be matured in new oak casks
and/or in oak casks which have only
been used to mature wine (still or
fortified) and/or beer/ale and/or
spirits with the exception of wine,
beer/ale or spirits produced from, or
48 I Brews & Spirits I Aug - Sep I 2019
2 million tiny “artificial taste buds”
– squares about 500 times smaller
than a human taste bud, with sides
just 100nm long.
There are six different types of these
squares in the device. The upshot
is that each liquid gives rise to its
own “fingerprint” of measurements.
That means the device can be used
to tell apart different liquids – and
even identify them if they have been
recorded before – without revealing
their makeup, much like our own
made with, stone fruits; beer/ale to
which fruit, flavouring or sweetening
has been added after fermentation;
spirits to which fruit, flavouring or
sweetening has been added after
distillation; and where such previous
maturation is part of the traditional
processes for those wines, beers/
ales or spirits.
This development comes with a note
of caution. Regardless of the type
of cask used, the resulting product
must have the traditional colour,
taste and aroma characteristics of
Tonique for all
Tonique is a liquor store spread over
25,000 square feet in the very heart
of Bengaluru that allows leisurely
browsing of its racks for rare
whiskies and vintage wines. Anith
Reddy, the Hyderabad-based owner,
says several outlets will follow,
including one on Mumbai’s Linking
Road and at Hyderabad airport.
Bengaluru is slated to get six smaller
format stores, ‘Q by Tonique’ (up to
5,000 square feet) this year. While
Tonique’s strength is its large
inventory, the cherry on the cake
will be its wine license to serve
wines in-store. Dedicated WSETtrained
staff, including sommeliers
and brew masters will be on hand
to chat, discuss provenance, food
pairings and serving suggestions.
NEWS FROM HERE & THERE
Teacher’s honours arts,
Teacher’s will be on television
after nearly 5 years with a contentbased
campaign to connect better
with consumers. An eight-episode
programme called ‘Teacher’s
Genuine Stories’ will air on Times
In line with the new positioning of
Teacher’s – Genuine is Rare – the
programme celebrates unique and
genuine storytellers in the field
of music, art, dance and poetry.
Teacher’s has roped in actor Rahul
Bose, a stylish and sophisticated
personality, to narrate these genuine
Aimed at consumers to look
at Teacher’s as a premium,
aspirational and international brand,
the programme will be supported
by outdoors at airports, shopping
malls and commercial hotspots. The
episodes air on 17 August (7.30 pm)
on Times Now, and every Saturday
(same time) for seven weeks.
No.3 London Dry Gin from Berry
Bros & Rudd was recently hailed
as this year’s International Spirits
Challenge ‘Supreme Spirit’, as
chosen blind by ISC judges in London
from the Challenge’s trophy winners.
No.3 is the first gin ever, in 24 years
of the Challenge, to win the ISC’s
prestigious award. It is made by
reputed Dutch distiller and liqueur
producer, De Kuyper.
Founded on a rigorous and
independent judging process, the
ISC receives more than 1,700 entries
from nearly 80 countries worldwide,
making it a truly global competition.
Diageo buys majority stake
Diageo has acquired majority stake
in Seedlip, its first non-alcoholic
brand, through Distill Ventures.
Seedlip owner Ben Branson will
remain involved as a shareholder
and director, and will continue to
support Seedlip’s future success,
Seedlip is said to have grown to have
a presence in more than 25 countries
in the last 3 years. Its three variants
(Spice 94, Garden 108 and Grove 42)
are stocked in more than 7,500 of the
world’s bars, restaurants, hotels and
retailers, including the majority of
the world’s 50 best cocktail bars and
over 300 Michelin-star restaurants.
opens in Bengaluru
With the city teeming with breweries,
each one has to make itself stand
out from the crowd. The new Uru
Brewpark in J.P. Nagar does this
with an expansive space that has
a brewery, a cafe, a bistro and the
city’s first gin garden, each with a
vibe of its own.
The 40,000 square feet of greenery
has been designed as an ode to
the garden city that Bengaluru is,
featuring almond, peepal and fig
trees. Its signature cocktails and
infused gins are already a hit.
Brews & Spirits I Aug - Sep | 2019 I 49
NEWS FROM HERE & THERE
IWSR’s data shows spirits up;
beer and wine down
The IWSR’s 2018 global beverage
alcohol data shows growth in spirits,
but beer and wine volumes were
down. Beverage alcohol drinkers
across the globe consumed a total
of 27.6 billion 9-litre cases of alcohol
Top global markets
Market 2018 % share 2020 % share 2023 % share
India 2.4% 2.7% 3.3%
Mexico 3.7% 4.0% 4.5%
Vietnam 1.7% 1.7% 1.9%
Philippines 1.1% 1.2% 1.4%
Total 12.6% 13.5% 15.1%
Units: In thousand 9-litre cases. Source: IWSR 2019
in 2018, representing a decrease of
1.6% from the year prior.
In terms of retail value, the global
market for beverage alcohol in 2018
was just over $1 trillion, a number
which the IWSR expects to grow 7%
Royal Salute releases two
by 2023. Gin was the leading global
growth category in 2018, with pink
gin emerging as a key growth driver.
Spurred by innovation in whisky
cocktails and highballs, the global
whisky category increased by 7%
last year, driven in large part by
a strong Indian economy (whisky
grew by 10.5%), whereas the US and
Japan posted 5% and 8% growth
Global beer declined 2.2% in 2018,
impacted greatly from volume
decreases in China (down 13%).
Wine, which had posted strong
global growth in 2017, lost 1.6% in
volume in 2018 as wine consumption
declined in major markets such
as China, Italy, France, Germany
and Spain. However, though
consumers are drinking less wine,
they’re increasingly drinking better
– pushing wine value to increase.
In one of the biggest moves in its
history, Royal Salute has launched
two new expressions and rebranded
its signature 21-YO Scotch whisky.
For the first time since the brand’s
inception in 1953, two new whiskies
– The Malts Blend and The Lost
Blend – have been added to the 21-
The Malts Blend is the first blended
malt from Royal Salute and has
been made with more than 21 single
malts, while The Lost Blend uses
rare whiskies from distilleries no
longer in production. The whiskies
are bottled in coloured porcelain
flagons with sapphire representing
the signature blend, an emerald
flagon for the Malts Blend and an
obsidian flagon for the Lost Blend.
Americano opens in Mumbai
Americano, a new-age Italian
restaurant by chefs Alex Sanchez
and Mallyeka Watsa, opened in
Mumbai recently, offering inventive
dishes and uncomplicated potent
cocktails at accessible price points.
The 1,750-square-foot space offers
50 I Brews & Spirits I Aug - Sep I 2019
house-made liqueurs and tinctures,
infused gins and cocktails. For
teetotalers, a selection of dry
cocktails is available, along with a
well-curated selection of beer and
NEWS FROM HERE & THERE
Jim Beam loses 45,000
whiskey barrels in blaze
Jim Beam suffered a major
warehouse fire in Kentucky in July
that needed multiple fire service
crews to bring it under control. The
fire totally destroyed one of Jim
Beam’s warehouses, estimated to
hold around 9 million litres of ageing
whiskey. A second warehouse also
caught fire, but that fire was quickly
More than 45,000 barrels of bourbon,
costing the brand millions of dollars
in lost stock, were destroyed. The
parent company, Beam Suntory,
has not specified the exact financial
loss and stated that the spirit that
went up in flames was “relatively
young whisky”. The company added
that “this fire will not impact the
availability of Jim Beam”.
When it comes to recordbreaking
bottle prices, Burgundy
usually leads the way, both in
France and around the world.
But one Bordeaux producer is
set to make even Domaine de
la Romanée Conti seem like
a bargain when it releases its
next vintage for a stratospheric
$34,110 per bottle.
Located in Graves, Liber
Pater already boasts the most
expensive average bottle prices
in Bordeaux, according to Wine
Searcher data. However, the
$4,120 you can normally expect
to pay for one of its bottles is less
than an eighth of the price Liber
Pater will charge for the 2015
vintage. When it goes on sale,
it will become the world’s
most expensive release.
According to the Drinks
Business, just 550 bottles of the
vintage have been produced.
Only 240 will be released this
year, in September, and each
export market will receive
a maximum allocation of 18
The wine is made using
varieties, including Castets,
Tarney-Coulant, and Pardotte,
all grown on ungrafted vines.
The vintage was also vinified
in amphorae and the wine did
not see any oak.
Masseto unveils new winery
Masseto, Italy’s most collectible estate
wine, earlier this year unveiled a
brand-new winery that brings together
stunning design and uncompromised
functionality devoted to producing the
estate’s highly-acclaimed, singlevineyard
Designed by architects Hikaru Mori and
Maurizio Zito of the ZitoMori Studio, the
building incorporates a gravity flow
winemaking process, and benefiting
from the blue clay’s natural insulation,
the structure is symbiotic with the hills
and vineyard that surround it.
Cast-in-place concrete was used for
the winery’s architectural framework.
Inside, clean lines of glass and steel
predominate, balanced by rows of oak
barrels. Textured and scored surfaces
throughout is a reminder of the
extractive construction process, while
openings in the walls frame vertical
profiles of the vineyard’s inimitable
blue clay terroir.
India climbs up
India became Bacardi’s second-largest rum
market by volume, grossing Rs 3,215 crore in
2018, according to IWSR. The US continues to
remain its largest market. However, whisky
still remains the most popular drink in India’s
overall spirits market, accounting for 70% of
Overall sales volumes for Bacardi India
increased two-fold over the past 3 years after
it introduced aged rums, Scotch whisky, gin
and sparkling wines, making it the third largest
international spirits company in India, after
Diageo and Pernod Ricard.
The Economic Times recently quoted Sanjit
Randhawa, Managing Director of Bacardi India,
as saying: “We saw a lot of consumers upgrade
to higher-priced rums last year… Rum as a
category is shifting to premium, aged products
globally, and we see a similar trend in India.”
Brews & Spirits I Aug - Sep | 2019 I 51
sunsets in the
My home bar with T20 Dhoni bottle visible.
Favourite drink memory:
Sipping a Pina Colada, watching
the perfect sunset in Barbados!
My bar at home; the Crown
Casino Bar in Melbourne
(Australia); and Hard Rock Bar in
Favourite wine/ spirit:
Jack Daniels Honey.
Best city to drink in:
Anywhere in the Caribbean,
because every drink is
accompanied by the right vibes
and the right music, giving it extra
potency and relevance.
52 I Brews & Spirits I Aug - Sep I 2019
Best bottle I’ve been given:
The Champagne bottle the
Indian team sipped from after
winning the T20 World Cup in
Johannesburg. I finished half the
bottle; then took the empty one
home for my bar!
We need more women behind
the bar because…
They challenge what sadly is a
Plastic straws are…
My favourite bartender:
Someone who can mix me the
perfect cocktail by just having a
chat with me and figuring out my
likes are, rather than pulling it off
Whisky is for…
My favourite bar accessory:
A flashing neon light that
indicates it’s time for a tipple.
Favourite drinking game:
Never have I ever...
CELEBRATION: INTERNATIONAL RUM DAY
and a bottle of rum!
If, after the Independence Day
celebrations (August 15th), you still
feel like continuing having a good
time you could, perhaps, take the
extended weekend off and celebrate
International Rum Day, which falls
on Friday, 16 August.
In doing so, you would be joining
the myriads of hard-core rum
aficionados who will be letting their
hair down and quaffing their rum
at bars and other watering holes
across the globe.
The picturesque island of Barbados,
in the southern Caribbean, proudly
proclaims itself as the birthplace
of this distilled alcoholic beverage.
It is said to have been discovered
in the 1600s by African slaves on
Caribbean sugarcane plantations,
who learned that molasses, a byproduct
of sugar refining, can be
fermented into alcohol.
In 1703, the oldest active rum
distillery, Mount Gay Rum, was
founded. The British subsequently
catapulted rum to distant shores
and, by the turn of the century, it
had become an increasingly popular
drink with a following around the
world. Today, it is the third most
popular drink in the US after vodka
Rum connoisseurs often prefer to
drink rum straight — on ice with,
perhaps, a twist of lime; but there
are several rum cocktails that are
extremely interesting and would
be worth a look-see. Have a great,
A Great Rum
• 2 ounces light rum • 2 teaspoons sugar • 6-8 fresh mint leaves
• Splash club soda • 1 lime (cut into two halves) • Garnish: mint sprig
Place the sugar, mint leaves, and a splash of club soda into a highball glass. Muddle
well to dissolve the sugar and to release the flavour of the mint.
Squeeze the juice from both halves of a lime into the glass, dropping one-half into
the glass. Add the rum and stir well.
Fill the glass with ice cubes and top up with club soda. Garnish with the mint sprig.
54 I Brews & Spirits I Aug - Sep I 2019
Roar for the Tiger
The founder of the largely
successful Wild Tiger
rum, Gautom Menon, is
displaying his true stripes
for his other passion: tiger
conservation in India.
Gautom and his wildlife
enthusiast friend, Paul
George Vedanayagam, are
undertaking an incredible
25,000-km awareness drive
from Kerala to Cannes
(France) in a made-in-India
The duo will traverse 25
countries, with pit-stops
in wildlife reserves, dutyfree
shops and Indian
diplomatic enclaves across
Asia and Europe and raise
funds through donations
Prosecco Hills are Unesco heritage site
The Conegliano and
Valdobbiadene hills in
north-eastern Italy, famous
for the Preosecco sparkling
wines, were recently
recognised by UNESCO as a
World Heritage Site.
“The landscape is
characterised by ‘hogback’
and sales of ‘Roar Trip’
merchandise. All donations
will be directed towards onground
projects in tiger reserves in
Parambikulam (Kerala) and
Gautom’s Wild Tiger
Foundation is a registered
charity trust and is
supported by the Wildlife
Protection Society of India.
To make a donation, visit
com/donation. You can get
journey updates on www.
roartrip.in; or Facebook.
“roartripwtf” on Instagram,
or “roartripWTF” on Twitter.
hills, ciglioni (small plots
of vines on narrow grassy
terraces), forests, small
villages and farmland,”
Unesco said. “For centuries,
this rugged terrain has
been shaped and adapted
by man… and created a
Cuny heads Pernod Ricard
Pernod Ricard India recently
announced the appointment of
Thibault Cuny as Chief Executive
Officer and Managing Director, taking
over the responsibility from Guillaume
Girard-Reydet. Thibault was CEO and
President of Pernod Ricard Brazil
Thibault graduated from EDHEC
Business School in France, started
his career in 1999 with Ernst &
Young, before joining Pernod Ricard
headquarters in 2003. He has
significant leadership experience and
deep knowledge across international
markets and various businesses.
Youngest Indian with WSET
Pritish Matai of Mumbai’s
Aspri Spirits became the
youngest ever recipient of
Indian origin to complete
the WSET Level-4 Diploma,
one of the most prestigious
as well as difficult to
achieve in the world of
wine. The UK-based Wine
and Spirits Education Trust
is considered as one of the
most prestigious providers
of high-quality education in
the field of wines and spirits
around the world and also
the linked certification.
It was a chance suggestion
by his father to attend the
WSET Level-1 wine course
that got Pritish hooked
to the world of wine. He
Only 15 towns in the region
make Prosecco Superiore
DOCG, where complex
geology is thought to make
for a more diverse, flavourful
taste. As well as its ancient
tradition of wine-making,
the territory is known for
its well-preserved early
pursued his interest along
with a degree in business
from Duke’s Fuqua School
of Business. “The minor
intricacies, rich history,
culture and the everchanging
wine had me captivated and
intrigued,” he says.
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BULK SCOTCH WHISKY SUPPLY.
WORLD LEADING EXPERTISE.
The Loch Lomond Group is one of the world’s most trusted suppliers of bulk Scotch whisky.
And for good reason. As a fully integrated independent Scotch Whisky distiller, blender and bottler,
we know what is truly important for our bulk Scotch Whisky customers. Quality of spirit combined with
absolute consistency and sustainability across all ranges - at a price that is always competitive.
From coopers and maltsters to stillmen and blenders, our men and women
share a deep love and knowledge of their craft. The same is true of our
suppliers - whether we’re sourcing American oak bourbon casks or buying
malted barley from Scottish farmers, we work with experts we know and trust.
Our heritage is amongst the oldest in our industry. We have two malt distilleries
and one grain distillery, each settled in locations steeped in history, from
the banks of Loch Lomond to our single malt distillery in Campbeltown on
Scotland’s west coast. With our resources, you can rely on us to take care of
your needs now - and well into the future.
OUR OWN MASTER BLENDER HAS THE
EXPERTISE AND ABILITY TO MEET TASTE,
NOSING AND TECHNICAL REQUIREMENTS
FOR OUR CUSTOMERS AROUND THE WORLD.
WE SUPPLY A VARIETY OF BULK SCOTCH
WHISKY AND STYLES: FROM 3 YEARS OLD
GRAIN, MALT AND BLEND TO A VARIETY
OF AGED SPIRITS.
If you are looking to import Scotch whisky or explore bottling opportunities, we know we will make a lasting impression.
Contact: Rukn Luthra, 229, DLF South Court, Saket, New Delhi - 110 017, India. Contact Nos: +91 9810345453.
Email Id: email@example.com
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