“The Great Bear” Microbrewery of Chandigarh
Mr. Amritanshu started his venture with the seed capital of Rs. 2.5 crores. With an annual turnover of Rs 4cr of just one brewpub, the business is growing at a scale of 20% under the successful leadership of Mr Amritanshu. The company plans to open 7-10 new microbreweries by the end of 2017 and aims to increase the turnover to 100cr.
Persistence and hard work when combined with passion and ability to take a risk; makes for a perfect cocktail to be a successful entrepreneur. Adding a twist to this cocktail, is a new age ingredient “Do What You Love”. This new ingredient is what came in Chandigarh based businessmen Mr. Amritanshu’s mind, when he came up with his first Microbrewery ‘Hops n Grains’ in Panchkula 5 years back (which was incidentally the regions first and in all the fifth microbrewery of the country).
Today, with the opening of his second Microbrewery ‘The Great Bear’ in Chandigarh, Mr Amritanshu says, “Good food and great beer has always been a passion of sorts.” It was his dream to open a pub and thus, he bought this European concept of Microbrewery in execution.
Academically, an MBA from Australia, Mr. Amritanshu is a first generation entrepreneur. Along with his wife, Priyanka (a medical practitioner by profession); he set his own brand Peitho Foods Pvt Ltd (Greek goddess of food) under which both the Brewpubs operate.
Mr. Amritanshu believes that Microbrewery is a well known concept. Now days, people love to travel and keep on exploring new places, be it in India or abroad. Indians are known for their love for food and the taste buds. So, it is really important for a microbrewery like us to produce a quality that can supersede their expectations. Also, beer drinkers in India are turning away from mass-produced liquor brands and are opting for the freshly produced and rich flavored in-house brewed beers, he further added.
Views on the concept of Microbrewery:
Says the CEO cum promoter Mr Amritanshu, “Most of the expansion of microbreweries has happened in the metro cities like Bangalore, Gurgaon and Pune. But, a shift in the trend is being seen with the concept of microbrewery getting popular in cities like Chandigarh, Panchkula and Mohali as the craze for fresh beer is galloping.”
He further adds “Only a handful of states give allowance to the concept of microbreweries in their excise policy. But cities like Delhi, Chandigarh and Mumbai have opened their policy in the year 2015-16. Hence, there is a whole lot of scope in other cities.”
About their latest Brew Pub- The Great Bear:
Their unique selling proposition lies in their menu, where they have selectively come up with fresh new flavors of beer which are original in texture, body and smoothness. The microbrewery produces its own Golden Ale, Weiss (wheat), German Bock, Pilsner, Green Apple Beer and a brewer’s special with each having a distinct taste of its own.
It is not just the beer lovers, who have been taken care of; but there is plenty on offer for those who love hard drinks. Wide choices in the form of domestic and foreign liquor, single malts, all time favorite cocktails and smoothies like Twix and Oreo shakes along with imported wines too are available.
With such wide range of drinks, the food really needs to compliment. The pub serves an interesting mélange of cuisines ranging from Continental to Mediterranean, Italian to British and lastly the exotic Indian fare. To elaborate a bit, there are succulent tikkas and kebabs, and for the people who are health conscious, variety of salads like fattoush, shrimp salad and not to forget; flaxseed grilled chicken salad are on platter.
Challenges and Future Prospects
Mr. Amritanshu started his venture with the seed capital of Rs. 2.5 crores. He took a loan of Rs. 1 crore 5 years back, which he repaid in 3 years. He says, “The biggest challenge back then was to train brewers from basics, and look into the functioning of plant without much support. I had to figure out the technicalities of beer brewing to machinery and equipment, kitchen layout and functioning as well about the chilling plant and stuff; on my own.”
He further adds, “It was also very difficult to educate people about the concept of Microbrewery. People would always confuse it to a distillery or bottled beer outlet. But once they had tasted the beers, they were converted.”
With an annual turnover of Rs 4cr of just one brewpub, the business is growing at a scale of 20% under the successful leadership of Mr Amritanshu.
The company plans to open 7-10 new microbreweries by the end of 2017 and aims to increase the turnover to 100cr. The focus will majorly be on tier 2 cities which have a penchant for a good life.