Bira 91

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Bira 91
TypeCraft beer
ManufacturerB9 Beverages
Country of originIndia
Alcohol by volume4.9% to 7%
VariantsBira 91 White, Bira 91 Blonde, Bira 91 Light, Bira 91 Strong, Bira 91 The IPA
Related productsBira 91 Hot Sauce[1]

Bira 91 is the flagship Indian craft beer brand manufactured by B9 Beverages Pvt. Ltd. It was launched in 2015. The company’s first brewery unit was located in Flanders region of Belgium where a craft distillery was used to contract manufacture the beer with ingredients from France, Belgium, Himalayas and Bavarian Farms and the beer was exported to India. After initial success, the company thereafter began manufacturing the beer in India with the same ingredients. Made from Wheat, Barley and Hops, the beer is available in draft, 330ml, 650ml bottles and 500ml cans. [2][3]


B9 Beverages Pvt Ltd was founded by Ankur Jain, an entrepreneur who moved to the United States in 1998. Jain completed his degree in Computer Science from Illinois Institute of Technology, Chicago. He briefly worked with Motorola before starting his first venture in Healthcare Revenue Management in New York which was later sold to an undisclosed healthcare provider network in 2007.[4]

Jain moved back to India and started his first beer venture in 2008; which was importing traditional craft beers from Europe and US to India. B9 Beverages launched Bira 91 beer in early 2015.[5]


The company has five beers in its portfolio - Bira 91 White (a low bitterness wheat beer with alcohol content of 4%)[5], Bira 91 Blonde (an extra hoppy craft lager)[5], Bira 91 Light (a low calorie lunchtime lager))[6], Bira 91 Strong (a high intensity wheat beer with a higher percentage of alcohol content at 7%)[6], and The Bira 91 Indian Pale Ale (the first IPA brewed and bottled in India).[7]

Light and Strong were introduced in June 2017 and IPA was introduced in October 2017.[6][7]

Bira 91 White is a cloudy wheat beer with low bitterness and high aromas like citrus and coriander; while Bira 91 Blonde is a clear lager made from barley and saaz hops; Bira 91 White measures 13 while Bira 91 Blonde comes 21 on the IBU scale (International Bitterness Unit). Both the variants have strength of 4.9% Alcohol by Volume. [8]


Bira 91 garnered unprecedented success amongst Indians due to its distinct taste that is low on the expected bitterness of beer.[9][10] Indian restaurant and bar owners saw a rise in Bira 91’s demand soon upon its launch as the beer brand captured sizeable market share basis word of mouth publicity, without leveraging traditional marketing campaigns initially.[11]

Bira 91 offered a distinct taste to beer drinkers in India and witnessed unexpected demand upon its launch. However, due to beer being made in Belgium and it being imported to India, Bira 91 had erratic supplies and due to a major supply crunch in 2016, it went off shelves for a while.[2]

Bira 91 made its International debut in New York City at the Tribeca Film Festival 2016 where it was the chief sponsor of beer. It claims to be the first craft beer from India to be sold in New York.[12]

In 2017, Bira 91 produced Bira 91 Hot Stuff, an eight-episode travelogue that covers the hottest chillis and cuisines across India. The company has also collaborated with Saavn to launch a Bira 91 Hip Hop Channel on Saavn.[13]

Apart from the Tribeca Film Festival in 2016, Bira 91 sponsored the Global Citizen Festival in 2017. In India there was also Bira 91 FreeFlow, a 3 city tour with hip hop artist Lady Leshurr.[14] In 2018, the brand organized its first owned on-ground event - Bira 91 April Fools’ Fest in New Delhi (April 1 being the 91st day of the year).[1]

In May 2018, Bira 91 was the beer for the month of May at the United Nations global headquarters in New York.[15]

As of June 2018, Bira 91 is available in India, USA, UK, and Singapore, Hong Kong, Thailand, and UAE. [16]

In November 2018, Bira 91 announced its global sponsorship for the Cricket World Cup and various other ICC events.[17]


The name Bira does not stand for anything literally, however colloquially it is how a Punjabi would call his brother and 91 represents India’s Country Code. The reverse B in the logo represents a spirit of irreverence. The monkey mascot was designed considering the urban millennial as the key consumer of Bira 91 and with the idea of presenting the brand with a playful identity.[10]

The company aspired Bira 91 to be a brand that is an integral part of a tech immersed, creative, urban, diverse and modern world of the 21st century.[6]

Bira 91 has recently launched its brand merchandise that includes T-shirts, growlers, bags, ice bucket and beer mugs.[6]


Ankur Jain raised $1.5 million from a group of friends when he had initially started B9 Beverages Pvt. Ltd. In January 2016, B9 Beverages Pvt Ltd received its first round of funding with $6 million (INR. 40 Crore) from Sequoia Capital (which was Sequoia’s first investment in the Alcohol Beverage segment). This Series A funding also saw participation from Angel investors of India like Kunal Bahl and Rohit Bansal (Co-founders - Snapdeal), Deepinder Goyal (Zomato), Ashish Dhawan (ChrysCapital) and Mayank Singhal.[18]

In 2018, the company raised a further amount of $50 million from Sofina, a Belgian family owned fund and its existing investors.[19]


  1. ^ a b "Season of cheer: 5 things to look forward to this Fools' Day". Hindustan Times. 26 March 2018. Retrieved 24 August 2018.
  2. ^ a b Dhamija, Anshul (23 September 2016). "India's craft beer Bira 91 is frothing over". Forbes India. Retrieved 13 June 2018.
  3. ^ "Lounge loves: Bira 91 in the can". Live Mint. 20 January 2017. Retrieved 13 January 2018.
  4. ^ Sarkar, John (13 August 2017). "Our labels say 'Imagined in India', that's quite exciting: Ankur Jain - Times of India". The Times of India. Retrieved 20 June 2018.
  5. ^ a b c Mitra, Sounak (1 July 2015). "How a new beer went viral offline". Live Mint. Retrieved 20 June 2018.
  6. ^ a b c d e Mitra, Sounak (25 May 2017). "Bira 91 expands beer portfolio, launches two new variants". Live Mint. Retrieved 20 June 2018.
  7. ^ a b "Good news, Bira lovers! Fifth beer, IPA, launched in India". The Economic Times. 3 October 2017. Retrieved 20 June 2018.
  8. ^ Parks, Andrew (5 August 2015). "These Microbreweries Are Revolutionizing India's Beer Scene". Condé Nast Traveler. Retrieved 20 June 2018.
  9. ^ "Indian Craft Beer 'Bira 91' Gets Venture Backing After Viral Success". International Business Times. 19 January 2016. Retrieved 20 June 2018.
  10. ^ a b Rai, Joel (16 May 2015). "Come froth, India". Business Standard India. Retrieved 20 June 2018.
  11. ^ Arora, Medhavi (28 February 2018). "The craft beer firm with a thirst for global growth". BBC News. Retrieved 20 June 2018.
  12. ^ Mitra, Sounak (13 October 2017). "Inside Bira 91's plan to become a global craft beer brand". Live Mint. Retrieved 15 September 2018.
  13. ^ Krishnan, Jisha (7 October 2017). "Hot on chilli's trail". Deccan Herald. Retrieved 15 September 2018.
  14. ^ "Lady Leshurr's free-flow tour of Indian cities - The Sunday Guardian Live". The Sunday Guardian Live. 4 November 2017. Retrieved 15 September 2018.
  15. ^ "Bira 91 goes to UN as the beer of the month!". The Economic Times. 20 May 2017. Retrieved 15 September 2018.
  16. ^ Mitra, Sounak (30 March 2018). "Beer maker Bira 91's loss widened to Rs55 crore in FY17". Live Mint. Retrieved 20 June 2018.
  17. ^ Tewari, Saumya (28 November 2018). "Bira beer clinches ICC sponsorship deal for five years". Livemint.
  18. ^ Mitra, Sounak (25 December 2017). "Bira eyeing $30 million funding from private equity firms". Live Mint. Retrieved 15 September 2018.
  19. ^ Sharma, Samidha. "Bira 91 raises Rs 335 crore from Belgian fund Sofina - Times of India". The Times of India. Retrieved 15 September 2018.