Top Beer Brands in India

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The top beer brands in India are primarily international entities that have performed well in the country for a substantial period. India's per capita consumption for beer stands at 2 litres in regards to the worldwide average of 30 litres per annum. However, there are plenty of leading companies like SABMiller, Carlsberg and Anheuser-Busch InBev that are eager to make it big in this market.

The top brewers of the world are going into partnerships and coming up with newer products to woo the consumers. They are also selling more expensive and softer products to the young generation in India.

However, they are facing a lot of regulations as well as the might of United Breweries Limited that owns Kingfisher, which is one of the top beer brands in India. Euromonitor International expects the market for beers in India to increase to 9 billion dollars from 2016.

At present, the market is valued around 4.5 billion dollars. So far United Breweries have been able to defeat all newcomers. From 2011, they have also started to market Heineken beer so that they have more options against their international competitors. The alterations in state rules have meant that SABMiller, based out of London, has seen its market share go down.

The brewers are also facing some problems regarding the issues Indians have with the consumption of alcohol. Trevor Stirling, who works as an analyst with the London based Sanford C Bernstein Limited, states that the ideal situation would be a billion Indians consuming 50 litres of beer on a per capita basis. As per him, such a situation will take several decades to come true.

Emerging markets like India are very important for the top brands as the opportunities for further growth in the developed countries are rather limited and companies like Budweiser have to deal with stiff competition from craft beer made in the US.

Similarly, the experiences of international companies are testimony to the fact that tough competition and rules are creating problems for some of the leading beer companies of the world in India.

Retailers such as Wal-Mart Stores faced a huge delay in December 2011 when the Indian government stepped away from providing them permission to enter a market that is largely dominated by the local stores.

In India, advertisements featuring alcoholic beverages are banned and this makes it hard for companies to market their new products properly. In India, the state governments control the distribution and sale of alcohol. The state governments generally impose taxes on the import and export of alcohol.

This forces the companies to start breweries and distilleries in each state and cuts short their hopes of operating cost-effectively. Joergen Buhl Rasmussen, working in an important post with Carlsberg, based in Copenhagen, says that the major challenge in India is the presence of different labour necessities and taxation rules in the various states of India.

The beer market saw a growth of 8.12% from 2010 to 2014 in the past five years. From the aggregate industry consumption of about 100 million cases in 2005, it went beyond 300 million cases per annum in 2019 before the beginning of COVID, said the United Breweries Ltd (UBL). It added, "With the onset of a second COVID wave at the start of financial year 21/22, the beer industry is again negatively impacted, and the outlook is volatile."

Carlsberg entered the Indian market in 2007. Rasmussen also stated that all these factors make it very tough for companies to operate properly in India. United Breweries has approximately 28 breweries in the different states in India, Carlsberg has 5, and SABMiller has 13.

According to a Goldstein Market Intelligence analyst, pub and bar culture in India is rising at a considerable pace and is becoming prominent in the age group of 20-45. Further, the market is expected to reach a CAGR of 10.9% over the predicted period as alcohol consumption is thriving in urban areas of the country.

Top Beer Brands in India


Heineken is one of the best beer brands in the world. It can be regarded as a pale lager variety that has 5% alcohol. It has been in existence since 1873 and is manufactured by a Dutch company named Heineken International. It is made from barley malts, purified water, yeast, and hops. The beer is also pretty famous in the US, Middle East, and Australia and is processed in 71 countries around the world.


Budweiser too has 5% alcohol content. It is an American type of lager that is produced by Anheuser-Busch InBev, which is a major Brazilian-Belgian beer organization. The brand was introduced by Adolphus Busch in 1876. It comprises 30% rice along with barley malt, and hops and is one of the top sellers in the US. It is produced globally and available as both packaged and draught. It is rather light and less bitter, which is why it is regarded as refreshing by users.


Guinness is a well known Irish dry stout that was made for the first time at Arthur Guinness’ brewery in Dublin. It is one of the leading global beer brands, is manufactured in approximately 60 countries and can be bought in more than 100 countries. It has 4.2% alcohol content and sells 850 million litres every year. A special aspect of this beverage is the burnt taste that comes from using unmalted and roasted barley but this is a fairly new thing. For many years Guinness had a sharp lactic taste thanks to a combination of old and fresh products.


Jacobsen set up Carlsberg in 1847. In addition to Carlsberg beer, Carlsberg manufactures Tuborg. The company is based out of Denmark.

Coors Lite

Coors Lite is a light beer made by Coors Brewing Company and its first-ever production was done in 1978. The beer comes with a cold certification label whereby the white mountains on the label turn to blue whenever the temperature goes down to 4 degrees Celsius or lesser. It has 4.2% alcohol. It tastes like water and its main ingredient is rice along with hops and barley. All around the world, beer’s sales are at least 20 million barrels every year.

Miller Lite

Miller Lite was created in 1967 and is one of the first light beers. Some of the additional ingredients used to make this beer are papain enzyme, potassium metabisulfite, liquid sugar, and Emka malt. Its marketing is done by the Chicago based MillerCoors. The beverage looks pale and has 4.2% alcohol.


Corona, which is made and sold by Cerveceria Modelo that is a Mexican brewery, is a pale lager. This is sold in at least 170 countries. It has 4.6% alcohol content.

Labatt Blue

Labatt Blue is based in Canada. It was established in 1847 by John Kinder Labatt. Labatt is right now the leading beer in Canada. It is a pale lager and has a 5% alcohol content.

Crown Lager

Crown Lager is a premium Australian beer and has 4.9% alcohol. It was earlier made for export purposes. It is instantly recognizable thanks to the specially shaped bottles and its logo that was trademarked during 1954.

Foster Lager

Foster Lager is one of the leading global beer brands and is manufactured in Australia. It is a pale lager and has a 5.2% alcohol content. It is a Foster’s Group product and manufactured with a proper license in several countries like Russia and the US.

Following are the other beer brands available in India:

  • Stella Artois
  • London Pride
  • Hoegaarden
  • San Miguel Pale Pilsen
  • Asahi
  • Haywards
  • Leffe Blond
  • Kalyani Black Label
  • Peroni
  • Kings
  • Schneider Weisse

Last Updated on August 10, 2021