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INDIA: InBev readies brewing deal in India

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InBev has confirmed that it is to up its presence in India, with the securing of a brewing deal in the south-western state of Karnataka.

Speaking to just-drinks today (23 April), a spokesperson for InBev said that the brewer has entered into a "long-term contract" with Dasappa & Sons in the state. Dasappa will produce InBev brands exclusively, the spokesperson added.

"To ensure that the brewery meets the exacting quality standards of InBev, we are upgrading facilities and expect commercial production by the third quarter."

News reports out of India this week have claimed that InBev will use the deal with Dasappa to produce its Tennents and Lowenbrau beer brands. "We are not able to share any further information at this point in time," the spokesperson said.

InBev finally entered the Indian beer market last year, when it set up a joint venture with the RKJ Group. The global brewer took an initial 49% stake in the venture with the option to increase its participation at a later date.

Earlier this year, InBev was moved to play down reports that it was having quality issues over the Indian brewing of its Lowenbrau beer brand. The brewer had been reportedly forced to delay the market entry of Lowenbrau due to its global quality team failing to approve local production of the brand. "When you start local production, you have to run many tests," a spokesperson said. "We're still in that process. We never wanted to commit to a time schedule (for the release of locally-produced Lowenbrau in the country)," the spokesperson said, adding only that the launch can be expected "within the coming months".

"It's quality over time, we will take as long as we need to get the quality of our products perfect."


Sectors: Beer & cider

Companies: Anheuser-Busch InBev

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