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NEW DELHI : Devans Modern Breweries, maker of Godfather beer and other malt spirits, has now expanded its presence to the North East. The Jammu-based company, operating in the Indian alcoholic beverage market for about 60 years, has added 10,000 KL manufacturing and bottling capacity of beer by tying up with a brewery at Namsai in Arunachal Pradesh.

"Arunachal Pradesh has always been a very good market for us. We have tied up with a brewery in Arunachal Pradesh to boost our production and bottling capacity and in the near future we intend to replicate the same in other states. The outreach to Arunachal would further help us get a better hold on the markets in the north-east," said Prem Dewan, managing director of the firm.

The company hopes to sell over 800,000 cases of beer in the state in the first year and hopes to gross a revenue of about 60 crore. Pre-covid, they were supplying about 400,000 cases to the region from its J&K brewery. Subsequently, the company will extend to other states nearby.

The company said this will be a contract manufacturing agreement. While currently it only sells its super strong beer variant in the state, it would also expand its range once business stabilises.

Dewan said liquor consumption received a body blow during the pandemic owing to shutdowns and lockdowns.

"Substantial liquor, especially beer, is consumed in bars and hotels, which remained under extended lockdowns last year due to travel and operation restrictions. The pandemic was at its peak during the summer of 2021 and even thereafter which is the main period for beer consumption so it fell drastically. Our sales during FY plummeted by about 40%," he said.

Currently, Devans owns two breweries and a distillery in Jammu & Kashmir and Rajasthan. While the plant in the Rajasthan brewery is spread over 30 acres and has a production capacity of 75,000 KL of beer, the Samba brewery in Jammu & Kashmir has a capacity of 39,600 KL. It also runs a distillery at Jammu which was set up in 1961. The company also plans to commission a new distillery at Samba with an installed capacity of 4500 KL of malt spirit and 35280 KL of Indian Made Foreign Liquor.

The company also manufactures a Belgian-style beer Six Fields.

India is one of the fastest growing alcoholic beverages markets globally, with an estimated market size of $52.5 billion in 2020 and the market is expected to grow at a CAGR of 6.8% between 2020 and 2023. According to the Ministry of Food Processing Industries, production of alcoholic beverages in the country increased by about 23.8% during the period between 2015-16 and 2018-19.

The alcoholic beverages industry contributes to around 1.5 million jobs in India and generated around USD48.8 billion in sales revenue in 2019, added an ICRIER report titled Developing Principles for Regulation and Pricing of Alcohol Beverages Sector in India, from July 2021.

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