India expansion: Arbor Brewing Co. owners push back opening of first international location
Beer lovers in Bangalore, India, will have to wait a few more months to see the first international Arbor Brewing Co. location open, the owners say.
Photo courtesy of Matt Greff
The Greffs are opening the India location in a partnership with University of Michigan graduate Gaurav Sikka, who’s from Bangalore.
Under the deal with Sikka, the Greffs retain a 5 percent ownership stake in Arbor Brewing Co., India Ltd. They are also serving as consultants on the project.
Rene said they have hired a chef and have the first draft of the menu nailed down. The brewery equipment, which they designed, is about 90 percent completed.
Although Rene doesn’t have a timeline for the opening of India’s Arbor Brewing Co., she said they plan to return to Bangalore once the following conditions are met: construction is completed, a general manager is hired, and the brewery equipment and raw materials for the beer are on-site.
At that point, the Greffs will return with an engineer, who will oversee the installation of the brewery, and the head brewer from Ann Arbor’s Arbor Brewing Co. The goal would then be to open in six to eight weeks.
Rene said the Arbor Brewing Co. in India will be strikingly similar to the Ann Arbor location, with a comparable menu and feel.
The recipes will just be altered a little with different spices and locally available products. For instance, Arbor Brewing Co.’s “Strawberry Blonde” beer in Ann Arbor will be a “Mango Blonde” in India.
Although there are far fewer brewpubs in India when compared to the United States, Rene said the interest is quickly growing.
“Up until a couple years ago, microbreweries were not legal in India,” she said. “So basically, India is in the same place the U.S. was in the late '70s.”
She added: “The ones that have already opened are doing incredibly well and there has been this amazing explosion in the industry.”
Once the location opens, the Greffs will monitor the brewpub’s finances each month and make a trip back to India at least once a year to audit the operation and attend a board meeting.
Rene said Sikka’s plan is to open this location, and then eventually franchise the concept.