SALE OF beer has increased nearly three-folds in the State in the last five years and it is maintaining this trend. This is mainly due to the availability of popular brands in the State and an increase in beer consumption among youth.
According to Excise Department figures, from 114.63 lakh bulk litres of consumption of beer in 2001-02, people in the State consumed 313.78 lakh bulk litres in 2005-06, registering an increase of 275 per cent.
During the current year, growth is sizable as 240.20-lakh bulk litre beer was sold untll November 2006. Mandarins of the Excise Department feel that by the end of the current fiscal, consumption will reach 350-lakh bulk litres.
Principal Secretary, Commercial Tax, G P Singhal while speaking to Hindustan Times attributed the rise in beer sales to increasing consumption among youths and middle-aged people and also the availability of various brands with less alcohol content.
Revenue from the trade has also swelled significantly. Trade sources attribute this to not only easy availability of branded liquors like beer, whisky and rum but also to the paying capacity of the people that had shown a marked rise.
“Let’s not forget that there is a safety angle to it as well. Hooch tragedies are synonymous with country liquor,” said a source.
People seem to consider beer safer than country liquor. “There is a strong likelihood that the new consumers prefer to have beer even if they come from the low income group,” a liquor trader said.