‘There should be a legal age for drinking alcoholic beverage’
October 3, 2019 07:55 AM NPT
By: Aditi Baral
With the advent of festive season, which coincides with the Oktoberfest of Germany, Republica's Aditi Baral interviewed Sashin Joshi, the executive director of Jawlakhel Group of Industries, which produces premium German beer brand Warsteiner in Nepal. Excerpts:
When was Warsteiner beer first launched in Nepal? What was the objective of launching Warsteiner beer in Nepal?
Warsteiner beer was first launched in Nepal in March 2018. Our objective was to provide a real taste of beer in the Nepali market.
How is the demand of Warsteiner beer in Nepal?
Warsteiner is doing quite well. However, this is not a brand for the mass, but a premium one. We intend to make it available for beer connoisseurs and people who have taste for good beer. Roadside shops or street stores do not fall under our target. Our target is limited within fine dine, elite restaurants, travelers, beer connoisseurs and people who have taste for good beer and the demand is quite impressive.
In terms of beer strength, how would you categorize Warsteiner beer?
With only 4.8 percent of alcohol content, Warsteiner beer is categorized as a light beer.
How is Warsteiner beer different from any other beer?
Indisputably, Warsteiner beer is quite different than any other beer. The ingredients that we use and the process that we follow in making this beer make it different than any other beers available in Nepal. We truly follow German purity law using only four ingredients- barley, hops, yeast and water for the production of our beer. Almost all other beer producers use sugar and adjuncts like rice flakes. However, we do not use any other ingredients rather the four ingredients. Also, with all equipment brought directly from Germany, our beer factory is one of the best beer factories in South Asia.
How is the response of Nepali individuals toward Warsteiner beer? In your opinion do Nepalis prefer this beer over other beers?
Nepali peoplsed to having slightly mild beer but it's important for beers to have a bitter taste. I have found that a lot of Nepalis complain about bitterness when they try Warsteiner for the first time.
However, on trying for couple of times people tend to like the taste.
Like I mentioned above, Warsteiner might not be preferred by Nepalis when tried for a single time. But, for the ones who already have a real taste of beer and have tried it a couple of times, they definitely prefer Warsteiner beer over any other beers.
Has the demand of Warsteiner beer increased since when it was introduced in Nepal?
Yes, without any doubt the demand for this beer has increased since when it was first launched in Nepal. Nevertheless, we do not intend to have the largest market share in Nepal. In Nepal, the total consumption of beer is about 18 million cases annually. Out of that, our target is limited to 500-600 cases. Prioritizing quality over quantity, we're looking for market share of not more than five percent.
Are you planning to bring any other varieties of this beer in Nepal?
Yes. We are about to launch another brand of beer from Warsteiner. It is called Isenbeck and it is also another big brand in Germany.
How do you think we should promote responsible drinking?
I personally believe that every beverage, be it alcoholic or non alcoholic, has a fun element in it, but excessive drinking of anything will ruin the fun. We have put it in our labels too that JGI (Jawalakhel Group of Industries) believes in safe drinking. Also, anyone below 18 years of age cannot have excess to our website. With every promotional material we put up, we try to ensure that the message of 'responsible drinking' goes out clearly. Hence we fully discourage excessive drinking and promote safe drinking .
As one of the highest standard beers in Germany, is there the same standard in Nepal? And what are your expectations from the Nepali consumers?
Yes, we do have world-class standard here. Recently, we signed up with Budweiser which is an international brand. The members from the company came here and checked our factory. They also checked many other beer companies in Nepal and said “this is the only factory that can qualify in making our brand”. I think this speaks volumes in itself.
We want to be known as the company that sells the best beer in Nepal, not the most beer in Nepal. We do expect positive response from consumers but we expect limitation in excessive drinking.
Can you explain a little about German's purity law? Has it been followed in Nepal?
German purity law of 1516 is a simple law that abides all German beer companies with a rule of using only four different ingredients in making beer. German beers have been brewed following the purity law for more than 500 years. The four ingredients are barley, hops, yeast and water. If any other ingredients besides these four ingredients are used in manufacturing beer, they shall fail the purity test and will not be allowed to manufacture beer.
Yes, the purity law has rightfully been followed in Nepal as well. Without following this law, the company wouldn't have allowed us to manufacture Warsteiner beer in Nepal. Every time we manufacture new cans of beer we send some samples to Germany. These beers are sold in the market only after the new samples are approved by the company.
Where are the other Warsteiner beer factories in the world?
Warsteiner beer factories are primarily in Germany. There is a factory each in Eastern Europe, Argentina and there are a couple of factories in West Africa. The factory in Bhairahawa, Nepal is the only factory in Asia.
Lastly, do you agree that there should be a legal age for drinking beer?
Yes, I agree that there should be a legal age for drinking any kind of alcoholic beverage. One shouldn't consume beer until reaching an age when you can control your own behavior and are aware about the consequences of your own actions.
Warsteiner brand is one of the flagship brands of Germany's Warsteiner Brewery, which was founded in 1753. Today, it is one of the largest privately held breweries in Germany.
Warsteiner claims that the brand is equally successful around the globe with the premium beer brand served in more than 60 countries worldwide.
According to the official website of Warsteiner, the export business is supported by its own sales organizations abroad as well as through cooperation agreements with international partner breweries. In several countries, Warsteiner is produced under license agreements.
The Warsteiner Brewery is a family-owned company with its headquarters in the Sauerland region in the German state of Westphalia. Today, the company is managed by the 9th generation of the Cramer family, Catharina Cramer, who visited Nepal recently to launch the brand here.
Its history of unparalleled rise from a mere regional beer to an international premium brand is rooted in the concepts of tradition and innovation—values which still today define the company as well as the brand, the website further wrote.
With continuous investments in logistics and technology, the Warsteiner Brewery says it has succeeded in reducing its consumption of energy, water and resources year after year and lowered its CO2 emissions in the long-run.
“A private railway siding with container terminal, a block heating power plant with an output of 2.3 Megawatts and the Warsteiner Brew Academy for Research and Development are testaments to the multiple efforts to increase efficiency while reducing the environmental footprint of the company,” reads an introduction of the brewery on the website.