INDIA – Bangalore-based United Breweries Limited has ventured into the alternate beer category with the launch of the Kingfisher Ultra Witbier – the first non-lager beer from the house of Kingfisher.

Brewed with the authentic Belgian wheat beer recipe, the craft-styled beer comes as a rich blend of natural extracts of orange and coriander, spices sourced from Belgium and new world aromatic hops sourced from USA.

Kingfisher Ultra Witbier is available in 3SKUs, a 330ml bottle,a 500ml can and a 650ml bottle at an ABV of lower than 5%.

Commenting on the launch, Debabrata Mukherjee, Chief Marketing Officer, United Breweries said, “Every consumer need across categories is important to us, and it is our responsibility to provide choice in our portfolio.

“With our first offering in speciality beer segment, Kingfisher Ultra Witbier wideness our footprint and provides another innovative beverage option in the beer category.

“Consumers today expect more from their beers-they crave uniqueness in flavor, taste & experience. Ultra Witbier will retain the sense of style and authenticity of the parent brand ULTRA, and we are confident it will appeal to our consumers across the country”.

In addition, the new offering is packaged with a blend of old school and modern graphic design with a wheatish label inspired by the product’s key ingredient.

The brewer noted that the Kingfisher Ultra Witbier is geared up to capture markets with its authentic Belgian wheat beer recipe.

The beer is currently available across Karnataka and Goa and will soon be available in Maharashtra, Delhi and Haryana.

While India is predominantly a market for strong beer, which accounts for 85% of the overall segment, other varieties including craft and wheat beer are picking up

In November, Anheuser-Busch InBev (AB InBev) set up an Indian unit, 7 Rivers Brewing Co., to introduce two wheat beer variants – Machaa and Veere.

The new products are brewed at its Aurangabad brewery with ingredients procured from Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh and Haryana and available in 330-ml cans.

AB InBev is also planning to open 15 microbreweries over the next five years, in partnerinship with Tata owned Indian Hotels Company (IHCL). The investment will be conceptualised by AB InBev’s global innovation and investment group ZX Ventures.