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Puducherry opens door to microbreweries



PUDUCHERRY : Beer enthusiasts will have good reason to hop over to Puducherry soon. Both draught and craft beer will soon be available in the Union Territory, with the excise department deciding to permit the non-pasteurised variants of beer. Besides, the concept of microbreweries will be promoted, with on-premise and off-premise sale of brews.In a bid to enhance revenue by targeting excise and tourism, the government has notified draft rules to change the excise policy and permit the setting up of microbreweries.

According to the draft rules, operators of small breweries, who manufacture draught or craft beer, will be permitted to serve it to customers for consumption within their premises. While the production capacity has been restricted to a maximum 1,000 litres per day, the alcohol content of the beer cannot exceed 8 per cent. The licensees have been permitted to sell beer in kegs or other receptacles to establishments with appropriate licenses, for up to 50 per cent of licensed capacity on any given day.

Though the licensees will be prohibited from manufacturing any variants other than draught and craft beers, they can obtain the required licence to serve other varieties of Indian-Made Foreign Liquor on payment of applicable license fee.

“People can view how the brew is made. It is already permitted in Bengaluru and Delhi,” said finance secretary and excise commissioner V Candavelou. With the excise duty and license fee lower than in other States, Puducherry hopes to attract investors to set up breweries and tourists to cash in on cheaper rates.

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