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White Owl Brewery launches country's first strong craft beer Spike

In October, the Mumbai-based brewer had raised Rs 40 crore in its second round of funding led by existing investors IIFL India Private Equity Fund to expand geographic footprint to cash in on the rising popularity of craft beer. Javed Murad, founder of White Owl, had told ET that the funds will be used to widen its product portfolio and newer formats.

, ET Bureau|
Dec 05, 2019, 01.23 PM IST
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White Owl Brewery launches country's first strong craft beer Spike
India still favours strong beer, a segment where White Owl had no presence at all until now.
BENGALURU: White Owl Brewery that sells the eponymous beer brand has launched a strong craft beer called Spike, a first in the craft beer segment in the country. At a higher ABV (alcoholic by volume) of 7.9% as against the mild 5% in traditional craft beer, Spike is a handcrafted German Weizenbock (strong wheat beer) with banana and clove flavour. This variant has been launched in Mumbai, Pune, Bengaluru, Goa and Delhi in bottle and can formats.

“Spike is a much-needed addition to our local beer space where strong beer holds 85% market share with no craft beer participant, until now. This variant brings together craft beer and strong beer into the same bottle,” said Javed Murad, founder of White Owl.

Strong craft beer is a common phenomenon in developed craft beer markets across Western Europe and North America. A 500 ml can will cost about Rs 170. Murad added that the new variant will contribute to White Owl’s distribution network expansion three-fold in the coming 6-10 months.

In October, the Mumbai-based brewer had raised Rs 40 crore in its second round of funding led by existing investors IIFL India Private Equity Fund to expand geographic footprint to cash in on the rising popularity of craft beer. Murad had told ET that the funds will be used to widen its product portfolio and newer formats, including the launch of a strong craft beer under the brand name Spike.

The six-year old start-up has raised Rs 70 crore so far and the latest equity financing round was believed to have valued the firm at a little over Rs 200 crore, sources briefed on the matter had said.

Going ahead, White Owl will enter five new markets across North and South India as well as two international markets by the end of FY 20. The brewery will also add Spike’s kegs to its existing offering of bottles and cans to cater to the increasing demand for craft beer on tap.

India still favours strong beer with more than 80% share, and beer giants such as United Breweries, Anheuser-Busch Inbev and Carlsberg have been producing stronger variants of their flagship beer brands, a segment where White Owl had no presence at all until now.

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