The UP government has approved setting up of micro-breweries in hotels, restaurants and pubs in the state to start serving fresh beer to customers. Getting fresh beer would be a welcome change from bottled and sealed beer that is widely available.
Under the new arrangement, the license fee for installing a micro-brewery in a hotel or restaurant serve freshly made beer has been fixed to Rs 2.5 lakh annually, which is ten times the current annual bottled liquor license fee. Till now, the annual fees for serving bottled liquor was Rs 25,000. The micro-brewery license can be renewed by paying Rs 2 lakh.
According to the cabinet note, a restaurant or hotel can serve upto 600 litres of freshly made beer per day. Annually, they can go up to 2.10 lakh litre. Flouting norms would invite a fine of Rs 5,000 per day. The move will help the government to mop up revenue with the annual liquor sale estimated at Rs 17,000 crore.
The revenue-spinner will help plough in funds into the cow corpus set up by the government for protection of stray cattle through a 0.5 per cent levy on liquor and beer sale.
According to a government spokesman, the idea to serve unbottled beer in bars and restaurants is modelled on the liquor policy in southern states, particularly Karnataka and Telangana.
The spokesperson said that the decision was taken to cater to the rising demand of pure and fresh beer from restaurants and hotels, mainly in metropolitan towns like Noida and Ghaziabad.
States like Punjab, Haryana, Maharashtra, Goa, and Chandigarh, already have microbrewery setup and the citizens enjoy cheap beer already. Lucknow has really been waiting to get the sip of freshly brewed beer which will be a more lucrative option than bottled beer and now this seems to be reality!