Bira91 has had a rough year, its loyal fans would know—the few bars that sell its beer were ‘out of stock’ more often than not. But the difficulties weren’t entirely its making; it came with the territory. “One of our setbacks this year,” says Ankur Jain, “was that our Nagpur brewery was delayed because of permits.” But there has been good news too. In 2016, Bira crossed borders, launching its two beers, White and Blonde, at the TriBeCa Film Festival, New York. Jain says they are now available in 200 outlets in the city.
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He appears to have sorted the issues at home, too. “With the Nagpur brewery now functional” he says, fans wouldn’t leave empty handed. Sales have grown to 200,000 cases per month, from 50,000 a year ago. Jain is also adding a second brewery in Nagpur, besides planning to set up one in Jaipur and four in the U.S.—in New Jersey, Boston, Washington, and Philadelphia. In 2016, Bira also raised an undisclosed amount from its existing investors, which includes Sequoia Capital.