German brewer plans Bombay Oktoberfest, beer gardens

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NEW DELHI -- German brewer Hofbrau hopes to generate pre-launch publicity by holding Bavarian-style beer festivals in parts of India later this month. There are also plans to introduce the concept of beer gardens where the drink is served under trees and a chain of Hofbrauhaus pubs in Bombay and Bangalore.

The Indian government's Foreign Investment Promotion Board has approved Hofbrau's plan to invest $1.25m for a 25% interest in a joint venture to produce beer in India.

Hofbrau will launch its light and strong beer in 330ml and 650ml bottle in conjunction with New Delhi-based Kool Breweries.

Though India's fast-growing $850m beer market has attracted a slew of multinational liquor marketers, product launches are few and far between. So far, U.S.-based Stroh Brewery Co. is the only foreign brewer to licence and launch its canned beer variants in the market currently dominated by Bangalore, Karnataka-based UB Group's Kingfisher brand.

Copyright October 1996, Crain Communications Inc.

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