Kerala Excise department is all set to introduce micro-breweries in the state after 12 years of waiting. Apart from this, two hotels have already sought permission to start 24-hour pubs.
The state government has agreed to the excise department’s proposal in principle.
The officials will be conducting a study in the neighbouring state of Karnataka to know how microbreweries function.
They would also study about the licensing and product marketing of such breweries.
Micro-breweries offer fresh beer without preservatives at certain hotels or restaurants.
It is different from beer parlours, as the beer available at each outlet will be unique because it is brewed by different brewers.
This proposal was first mooted by the Excise department in 2005 but was not implemented all these years.
The proposal says that introduction of micro-breweries would boost tourism.
Apart from Karnataka, states like Haryana, Karnataka, Punjab and West Bengal have micro-breweries.
A report by KP Saikiran for The Times of India says that there were objections from the tax department regarding the policy.
Since the current government had renewed the earlier UDF government’s liquor policy, it was decided to implement this micro-brewery policy also.
“The government took a view that since there were no restrictions on beer sales, once licence was granted (based on prescribed rules and regulations), there was no point in denying permissions to microbreweries as they were the centres that brewed fresh beer,“ ToI report quoted sources from Excise department as saying.
According to a Deccan Chronicle report, two restaurants at a seven star hotel and a five star hotel respectively in Kochi, have sought licences to start micro-breweries and 24-hour pubs and appealed to excise minister TP Ramakrishnan.
Excise Commissioner Rishiraj Singh told DC that a team will be leaving soon to Bengaluru to do a feasibility study.
“A four member delegation comprising revenue, agriculture, excise and another government official will soon be leaving for Bengaluru. This proposal has been before the State Government for quite some time. But right now it is at the preliminary level”, he told DC.