India's craft beer boom has been making news (and the right noise) since half a decade now. Maybe, more. Now, India's craft beer revolution got a leg up (and  the right leap) with the Japanese beer maker group Kirin Holdings, all set to buy a stake in Indian craft beer maker Bira 91.

As per the first set of reports, the Japanese brewer will invest about $30 billion for a single digit percentage stake (less than 10 per cent) in the craft beer maker Bira. 

Bira, launched in 2015, is one of the smallest players in India, but its craft beer offerings have become increasingly popular.Reuters

What the deal means

In August last year it was reported that parent company of Bira, B9 Beverages had been in talks with international brewers and investors, including Kirin, to sell a stake of upto 20 per cent in the company. "The investment will allow Bira which has posted losses due to Covid-pandemic to break even in the fiscal year 2021-22. The investment will also allow Bira to accelerate its expansion plans and enter the Japanese market later this year," Bira CEO Ankur Jain told Reuters.

More about Kirin 

 The deal will be Japanese group's first big bet on premium craft beer in India.  So far, Kerin Holdings has struggled in international acquisitions, even though it has ventured into Myanmar and Philippines market, apart from others. With the current stake, the Japanese beer maker looks to improve upon its record of overseas deals and hopes to leverage out of $90 billion global craft beer industry.  Kerin has a chequered history of overseas deals, especially in Brazil and Australia, the markets its eventually exited.


A bit about Bira

It was only as recently as in the summer of 2015 that Bira 91 was established by B9 Beverages. Headquartered in New Delhi, in 2017 the beer company leaped across to New York City and in 2018, the brand got even more ambitious with the expansion plans and entered Singapore market. By the end of 2017, Bira secured $35 million of external investment, including funds from US venture capital firm Sequoia Capital.

Indian craft beer industry, in nutshell  

As per one of the data and analytics company Global Data, the India craft beer market has had a staggering compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 304% during the period 2014 and 2018. That is also the period when a significant number of microbreweries popped up, especially in Tier I and Tier II cities across the country. Hands down, beer is the second most popular alcoholic beverage in the country, after whiskey.