Last week Anheuser-Busch InBev announced that the new Budweiser Magnum will become the highest priced super-premium beer in India, Economic Times reports. The strong, American-style lager will debut in a 650 ml bottle (22 oz. bomber) for 150 rupees. Is that a wildly high price? While 150 Rs comes in at around $2.70, it may not seem costly to American eyes; but it actually doubles the price of most comparable selections in India.
The beer is reportedly full-bodied and dark golden in color, resulting from Budweiser's "exclusive beechwood aging process," which we're pretty sure means they're building fermentation vessels out of Ikea furniture. Bud Magnum weighs in at 8% abv and hits the Indian market about a year after Carlsberg's popular Elephant (7.2% abv) reached the public, edging out Elephant's 135 Rs price point.
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India has a vastly different drinking culture than America. The beer market is dominated by strong beers of 5-8% abv., and anything lighter is considered "mild." The ubiquitous style of India, strong lager, was rewarded at last year's UK-based World Beer Awards when Australia Max (a strong lager brewed by International Breweries Ltd., in India) won for World's Best Strong Lager and Asia's Best strong Lager. While there is a tiny but growing community of craft beer-seekers and microbreweries (made more prominent by the incoming flow of beer-loving American expats), India's beer scene today most closely resembles that of America 40 years ago.
We'd be genuinely curious to taste the difference between a Budweiser Strong Lager (Budweiser Magnum) and a Strong Bud Light Lager (Bud Lite Platinum.) Until that trip to Mumbai gets booked, let us be grateful that one of the best lagers in California, Craftsman 1903, comes from our very own Craftsman Brewing, in Pasadena. Crisp, balanced, and smooth, you can often find it at either Father's Office locations, where we're sure the economic growth patterns of beer in newly industrialized countries will be the first thing on your mind.
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