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Party month saw Mumbai down more beer



MUMBAI: Figures show that the city is drinking more beer this winter as compared to last year. In December 2018, beer consumption was 18.4% up in south Mumbai over 2017 while wine and IMFL sales dipped by 1.2% and 0.6% respectively, show excise department statistics. This, bar owners say, indicates the demand for “healthier” beverages with less pure spirit content.

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In the suburbs too, beer consumption increased compared to IMFL and wine sale growth. Here, beer consumption was 27.4% up in December 2018 over last year, far ahead of 8.9% jump in IMFL consumption and 5.6% rise in wine sales.

President of Ahar, an association of hotels and restaurants, Santosh Shetty said people are opting for cheaper options like beer cans. However, former Ahar president Adarsh Shetty said the excise data for December may be reflecting consumption in the earlier days of the month when it is not winter yet and people still prefer beer.

Aretailer attached to the Association of Progressive Retail Liquor Vendors said as December 31 was a Monday, many celebrated outside. “Instead of making pegs, people preferred to buy beer cans off the counter and consume,” he said. Sukesh Shetty, another former secretary of Ahar, which has over around 8,000 bars and restaurants as its members, said for the youngsters prefer beer, a ready-to-drink beverage, as it’s alcohol content is less.

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