Whiskey’s out, Beer is in: In Adilabad, beer sales up by 30% in 2022–23

About a couple of years ago, cheap liquor had constituted nearly 60 per cent of the total liquor sale in Telangana, including combined Adilabad

By S. Harpal Singh  Published on  9 April 2023 7:18 AM GMT
Beer sales in Adilabad

Representational Image 

Adilabad: In what could turn out to be a curious change in alcohol preferences of people in the northern parts of Telangana, tipplers are taking to beer while shunning hard liquor like whiskey. In the erstwhile undivided Adilabad district, there is a more than notable increase in the sale of beer during the last two financial years and a somewhat corresponding decrease in the sale of Indian Made Liquor (IML) which includes whiskey, brandy, rum, gin, etc.

The sale value of all liquor, through the 192 retail vendors and 39 bars and restaurants, across the united Adilabad district during the previous financial year stood at Rs. 1,716 crores—four per cent more than the value recorded in 2021–22. Some 18.72 lakh cases of IML and 22.8 lakh cases of beer were consumed during the period.

The increase in sales of beer between April 2021 and March 2022 was a passable seven per cent than its sale in its previous year, but a ‘phenomenal’ 30 per cent jump was recorded during the last financial year, 2022-23, over the preceding year. This phenomenon has nothing to do with harsh summer months, according to observers.

About a couple of years ago, cheap liquor had constituted nearly 60 per cent of the total liquor sale in Telangana, including combined Adilabad. The scenario began changing in 2021–22 when a four per cent decrease in sales of IML over its preceding year was recorded, which was inclusive of more than noticeable 72 per cent dip in the sale of ordinary liquor, popularly known as cheap liquor.

In the last financial year, the sale of IML dipped by 14 per cent over the sale recorded in 2021-22 and it includes a 49 per cent plunge in the sale of cheap liquor. “Yes, there is an increase in the sale of beer but it could be because of the higher quantities of beer that were lifted by liquor outlet owners,” an official from the Prohibition and Excise department said.

Among the major reasons for this change seems to be the quality and price of liquor in the ordinary liquor category. According to a retailer, a nip of the cheap liquor variety costs Rs. 120 (it was Rs. 90 a few months ago) while a strong beer costs Rs. 160.

“In order to quantify the ‘kick’ factor you have to take into account the composition of the liquor and beer. A 180 ml nip of cheap liquor contains about 80 ml of alcohol and a strong 650 ml beer has over 50 ml of alcohol,” a retail shop manager calculated. “Though technically the ‘kick’ factor is lower in beer, it is comparatively easy to consume. It can be consumed straight from the bottle,” he said.

…But not all prefer beer

But not all ordinary liquor drinkers have shifted to beer as pointed out by some other retailers. If what they say is true, it could be a disturbing trend in the coming days. According to one vendor, more and more youngsters are taking to alcohol consumption. “It is because of them that a large part of the increase in the sale of beer is being registered,” he revealed. “Even junior college students do not seem to be in short supply of money these days. An individual easily spends Rs. 350 to drink a couple of beers,” he added.

The Excise department expects the sale of beer to see a sharp rise in the coming months. “It is already summer and a cold beer keeps the high temperature at bay,” an official quipped.

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