india. call it the country with a billion surprises and then some. a country where in the not too recent past, a beer was a kingfisher or a kingfisher strong. or a london pilsner if you were lucky enough to lay your hands on it, has today evolved into one that loves it’s beer with spice and all things crafty.
and it’s not just the indian beer palate that has evolved but the complete experience that goes with it.
starting with the humble label. gone are the birds and the flat, boring designs. enter a new wave of graphic design that pulls you right in and makes you want to take a gulp.
here are a few of india’s upcoming craft beer brands that caught our eye with their funky and artistic craft beer labels.
1. bira 91 beer
a playful monkey armed with technology who hosts creative types in india, new york and singapore with 5 specially brewed and handcrafted beers that range from low calorie lagers to strong wheat beers and indian pale ales. this brand uses the monkey as the core design element and changes the background colours according to the colour of the brews.
2. simba beer
this tongue in cheek craft beer brand that gets its name from a lion king seems to love minimalism when it comes to their beer labels. simba has 4 types of beers in it’s ice bucket right from a wit to a stout to a light and a strong. and each of them use the graphic of a lion against a flat colour background. we love it.
3. mad king beer
an indian craft beer brand that calls itself mad king beer and names it’s beer variants after the mad king’s daughters – kólga and dúfa. the design style of the labels takes a cue from the fairy tales we’ve read as children.
4. white rhino beer
what would a craft beer brewery, set right in the heart of india (malanpur in the chambal region to be precise) use as design inspiration for it’s labels? if you guessed india – you guessed right. it captures a very indian graphic motif and uses it as the base design in its label art. variations of which are used in its indian and international beers.
5. white owl beer
diablo, ace, spark and spike (which is incidentally india’s first strong craft beer) are the names of the beer variants in the white owl beer nest. each label has the white owl beer ‘owl eyes’ graphic element against a flat, bright colour and big, bold fonts. perfect. as it complements the distinctive favours that go inside each of their bottles.
6. siqera ciders
a type of beer that we are particularly fond of. sigera ciders is the first craft cidery in the north of india. brewed in apple and mango flavours, the label uses transparency to the best. the graphic white lines showcase the ingredients in an elegant, modernistic approach to beer labeling.
7. goa brewing co beer
a brewery based in goa that brews batches so small, you could actually turn around and say good things do come in small batches. that’s what we said, when we saw the labels and the quirky names that went with them. eight finger eddie is a hazy oat cream ipa, a saint and sinner trappist style ale, a breakfast cereal stout and a farmhouse saison. each design is different from the other with no connection to a central design. and that’s exactly what we love about it. unique and quirky in it’s own lil way.
8. kati patang beer
what if faces went mad? we’re guessing that’s what the designer who created the kati patang craft beer label was thinking when he or she came up with the design. and it’s so much fun. that it looks right out of a modern day graphic novel. we love it. also as a side note, kati patang is not technically an indian craft beer as their distillery is perched up at 10,334 ft in the happiest country in the world – bhutan. but the founders are indian. so why not.