With the Haryana government relaxing excise norms with regard to sale of low-alcoholic drinks in selected cities in the state, Gurgaon is all set to have a number of 'beer bars' selling drought beer.
The government has fixed a licence fee of Rs 4 lakh a year for low-alcoholic drinks and restaurants can apply for the licence. For opening a regular bar (serving both soft and hard liquor), the fee is R6 lakh a year.
With this, the number of drinking places in Gurgaon would go up from the existing 406 that includes 180 regular bars, 164 liquor vends, 60 ahatas (authorised drinking places attached to liquor vends). Besides, the city has two micro breweries that supply fresh beer to customers.The state government, following the German example, had given the permission to set up micro breweries in 2008. To ensure quality, putting up of holograms has been made mandatory on Indian made foreign liquor bottles. There has been no increase either in the number of vends or the liquor quota this year following public outrage. Deputy excise and taxation commissioner (Gurgaon) HB Sharma said the government decided to issue 'pub licences' only in Gurgaon, Panchkula and Faridabad.
"These pubs, also called beer bars, can sell beer in glasses from kegs. The idea is to promote low-alcoholic drinking in the city," the official added.
In 2008, the state excise policy, for the first time, had allowed bars to pay Rs 2.5 lakh extra as annual licence fee and set up micro breweries.
Gurgaon now has two micro breweries - in Ambience Mall and at Galaxy Hotel.