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Budweiser vs Kingfisher: The Battle of Brews in India

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In recent years, the ‘soft’ alcoholic drink sector, inclusive of the craft beer market, has been thriving in India with the rapid growth of numerous microbreweries nationwide. Amidst this, Budweiser and Kingfisher emerge as key players in the Indian beer scene, capturing the admiration of beer lovers with their distinct characteristics.

India’s burgeoning craft beer industry has produced numerous outstanding brews rich in tropical fruit and citrus notes, culminating in a dry, spicy conclusion from generous, noble hops. That’s right. the credit goes to the role of lovely hop aroma that goes the extra mile in specifically cultivating aromatic qualities in beer brewing. In this blog, we will dive deeper into the detailed comparison between Budweiser and Kingfisher, along with taking a sneak peek into the top 15 beer brands in India. So let’s dive in:

Budweiser vs Kingfisher: Comparing India’s Favourite Brews

In India’s beer gamut, Budweiser and Kingfisher are prominent choices that have gained widespread popularity among beer lovers. Budweiser is recognized for its craft beer range and premium image, while Kingfisher is famous for its robust lagers, such as Kingfisher Strong and Kingfisher Ultra.

Both brands have different ways of brewing and flavours that fit various consumer preferences. Here, let’s explore these two top beer brands in India and understand what makes them unique and popular among Indian beer lovers.

1. Brand Market Share in India

Budweiser and Kingfisher are key players in the Indian beer market. United Breweries, Kingfisher’s parent company, has a strong presence. Budweiser, known for its premium positioning and effective marketing, has built a loyal following. While Kingfisher faces competition from Budweiser Magnum and other modern variants, it remains dominant in India’s beer market.

2. Brewing Styles and Traditions

Craft beer enthusiasts in India enjoy a diverse range of brewing styles and traditions that influence their favourite brews. From robust wheat beers to crisp pale lagers, the Indian beer market has evolved. Breweries like United Breweries offer unique variants like Kingfisher Ultra and Kingfisher Strong to cater to various preferences. Traditional malty brews and hoppy craft beers reflect the changing beer landscape in India, with brewing styles defining each brand’s essence.

3. Consumer Preferences Across Regions

In India’s diverse landscape, beer preferences vary widely by region. Some prefer the classic lager taste, while others favour bold craft beer flavours or refreshing wheat beers. Karnataka embraces unique craft brews, while Maharashtra leans towards stronger options like Kingfisher Strong. Recognising these regional preferences is vital for breweries targeting beer enthusiasts nationwide.

4. Taste Test: A Side-by-Side Comparison

In India’s beer enthusiast community, the Budweiser vs. Kingfisher taste showdown is a popular topic. These titans offer unique flavours and brewing styles. Budweiser Magnum is smooth and malty, appealing to premium seekers, while Kingfisher Strong caters to those craving a stronger kick with a spicy finish. With loyal followings on both sides, declaring a winner in this brewing battle is tough. Exploring these flavours side by side can be a delightful journey for any beer connoisseur.

5. Regional Popularity and Availability

In India, regional preferences influence the popularity of beers like Budweiser and Kingfisher. Kingfisher is more common in the south, originating from Bangalore, while Budweiser is widely available in urban areas as a global brand. In tourist hotspots like Goa and Maharashtra, both beers are popular due to their appeal to locals and visitors, enriching the beer scene across different regions of India.

Most Popular 15 Beer Brands in India.

Besides Budweiser and Kingfisher, there is a diverse range of well-known beer brands, including both domestic and international options boasting specific variants and offerings within these brands. They include Tuborg, Carlsberg, Haywards, Foster’s, Heineken, Carlsberg Elephant, Carlsberg Smooth, Miller High Life, Stella Artois, and beyond. Here, let’s explore the 15 most popular beer brands in India.

1. Tuborg

Tuborg by Tuborg Breweries

Tuborg by Tuborg Breweries

A Danish lager exuding the spirit of adventure and exploration, Tuborg is a must-try beer at every party. Having entered the Indian market a bit late, in early 2007, the Tuborg beer brand has caught up quickly to become one of the most popular and high-selling ones across the country.

Available in Tuborg Green and Tuborg strong variants, the beer is loved for its crisp, light, and refreshing taste. Crafted with a traditional brewing process and premium ingredients, Tuborg Strong beer offers a rich taste and smooth finish. Its slightly higher alcohol content makes it ideal for those seeking an extra kick. Whether you’re out with friends or enjoying a quiet night in, Tuborg Strong is sure to elevate any occasion.

2. Carlsberg

Carlsberg by Carlsberg India Private Limited

Carlsberg by Carlsberg India Private Limited

This could easily be one of the best beers in the world. With its bitterness and malty notes, this beer is a product of Carlsberg India Private Limited. It is available in varieties like Carlsberg Lager and Carlsberg Pilsner. A less-known fact about this light-tasting beer is that the ‘clean yeast’ used in the making of all beers, which prevents beers from turning sour when kept for long, was first discovered in the Carlsberg laboratory itself.

3. Heineken

Heineken by Heineken International

Heineken by Heineken International

Crisp and refreshing, Heineken boasts a balanced blend of malt and hops with a clean finish that satisfies every palate. Manufactured as a brand of Heineken International, Heineken beer enjoys great popularity in India. Heineken has been a part of the global beer market since 1873, and the parent company owns over 250 brands of beer sold across 70 countries.

This mild beer has just 5% alcohol and is best known for its fruity and pleasant grainy malt flavours and distinct pale golden colour. Whether at a bustling bar or a cosy pub, Heineken is the go-to choice for those seeking a premium beer experience. Raise a glass to Heineken—a symbol of quality and excellence in the world of beer.

4. Corona

Corona by Constellation Brands

Corona by Constellation Brands

Transport yourself to a beach paradise with every sip of Corona Extra. This beer is very popular worldwide, including India. Enjoyed best with a lemon wedge, this goes back to Mexico, its country of origin, where the practice of including lime began as a way to ward off the flies.

The blend of malted barley, corn, and yeast gives this beer its most favoured bitter-sweet taste. If you are someone who is tired of tasting regular commercial beers, then this might be the perfect alternative.

5. Kingfisher

Kingfisher by United Breweries Group

Kingfisher by United Breweries Group

Kingfisher beer is known for its traditional taste that suits all occasions. With its iconic logo and smooth finish, it is no wonder it’s the king of beers in India. This must make it to every beer list, right?

This home-grown brand, launched in 1978, is India’s most exported beer brand. The Kingfisher Ultra variety enjoys a significant market share in the North American beer market as well, thanks to its smoother and crispier taste that makes it an excellent choice in a warm and humid climate.

6. Budweiser

Budweiser by AB InBev India

Budweiser by AB InBev India

A global icon, Budweiser continues to win hearts with its classic American lager profile. Crisp and clean, it is the go-to choice for beer enthusiasts who appreciate timeless quality.

Made with a rich flavour lent by a combination of rice and barley malt, this beer boasts a surprisingly fresh smoothness that transforms you. Some people even call it a ‘vegan beer’ since it is devoid of any animal products. But then, we say, is that not true for many of the other beer brands, and is not genetically engineered rice unnatural? Well, vegan or not, Budweiser is something every beer lover would love to drink.

7. Fosters

Fosters by Carlton & United Breweries

Fosters by Carlton & United Breweries

The Aussies’ favourite beer has won Indians’ hearts, too. Launched in the country in the mid-90s, Fosters is widely available in pubs and restaurants. It is particularly loved for its laid-back vibe and is perfect for a chill-out, putting your feet up once in a while. It offers a fresh, robust taste and is available in two variants.

8. Bira 91

Bira 91 by Bira 91

Bira 91 by Bira 91

Bursting with bold flavours and a modern twist, Bira 91 is the country’s most popular craft beer brand. Its eclectic range offers something for everyone, from the fruity tang of its wheat beer to the hoppy goodness of its IPA.

This drink’s uniqueness is that it uses coffee beans sourced from the Malabar hills and combines them with rye and melon malt to result in this robust tropical concoction. It is a well-balanced beer with hints of chocolaty bitterness that is bound to become a favourite.

9. Hoegaarden

Hoegaarden by AB InBev India

Hoegaarden by AB InBev India

It is a little difficult to source in India, but every sip is worth the hunt. Originally brewed in 1445, this is one of the oldest beers. The notes of banana and cloves become quickly evident with the crisp freshness this adds. Brewed with a unique blend of wheat, coriander, and orange peel, this beer delights the senses with its complex flavour profile.

Notes of spice and fruit dance on the palate, creating a harmonious balance that is both satisfying and refreshing. Whether enjoyed on a sunny afternoon or as a companion to a hearty meal, Hoegaarden never fails to impress. Embrace the spirit of Belgian brewing tradition with each sip of this iconic witbier.

10. Simba

Simba by Simba Beer

Simba by Simba Beer

A wheat beer with fruity, spicy, and citrus notes, Simba Wit Belgian is yet another homegrown beer, this is crafted to suit any taste with its availability in four variants. It is a refreshing drink with a mix of caramel, chocolate, Indian spices and grains like barley, wheat, and special yeast.

Cloudy yet crisp, this beer is great for those who like flavorful drinks. With a strong, lasting aroma, this drink can be enjoyed with a light snack on a hot summer day.

11. White Owl Spark

White Owl Spark by White Owl Brewery

White Owl Spark by White Owl Brewery

A refreshing and crisp craft beer, White Owl Spark offers a delightful blend of flavours. Brewed with high-quality ingredients and infused with a hint of citrus, it delivers a unique taste experience that appeals to both seasoned beer enthusiasts and newcomers alike.

Whether enjoyed on a sunny afternoon with friends or paired with your favourite meal, White Owl Spark is the perfect choice for those seeking a light and flavorful beer.

12. Kati Patang Belgian Wit

Kati Patang Belgian Wit by Kati Patang Brewery

Kati Patang Belgian Wit by Kati Patang Brewery

A refreshing and aromatic wheat beer, Kati Patang Belgian Wit combines traditional Belgian brewing techniques with exotic Indian flavours. Brewed with a careful selection of spices and botanicals, this unique beer offers a tantalising blend of citrus and spice, balanced by a smooth and creamy texture.

Whether enjoyed on its own or paired with your favourite Indian cuisine, Kati Patang Belgian Wit is sure to transport your taste buds on a journey of discovery and delight.

13. Haywards 5000

Haywards 5000 by Shaw Wallace & Company

Haywards 5000 by Shaw Wallace & Company

With its bold flavour and unmistakable character, Haywards 5000 is a testament to India’s love affair with beer. Brewed to perfection, this strong lager packs a punch with its robust maltiness and smooth finish.

Whether enjoyed during festive celebrations or casual gatherings, Haywards 5000 is always the life of the party. Its golden hue and lingering sweetness make it a favourite choice for those seeking an authentic beer experience. Crack open a bottle of Haywards 5000 and savour the taste of tradition in every sip.

14. Royal Challenge

Royal Challenge by Shaw Wallace & Company

Royal Challenge by Shaw Wallace & Company

Royal Challenge stands out as one of the top beer choices in India, with its memorable tagline proclaiming its strength and quality. This renowned beer brand has garnered significant popularity, particularly in northern regions like Uttar Pradesh, Odisha, and Andhra Pradesh. It takes pride in its meticulous brewing process, which enhances its flavour profile.

Made from a blend of six premium barley malts, Royal Challenge is admired for its gentle yet refreshing taste, appealing to discerning beer connoisseurs. Originally introduced in the 1980s and later reimagined in 2000 with refreshed packaging and marketing efforts, Royal Challenge maintains its status as a favoured option, offering a lively and rich beer experience for aficionados.

15. Indus Pride

Indus Pride by SABMiller

Indus Pride by SABMiller

A big name in Indian beer, Indus Pride, comes from SABMiller. It was launched in 2008 and was relaunched later. It is known as India’s first beer made with real Indian spices. This exceptional brand offers a diverse flavour palette with zesty coriander, fragrant cardamom, subtle fennel, and warming cinnamon—capturing the essence of India in every sip.

Indus Pride showcases innovation in brewing, providing enthusiasts with a uniquely spiced brew from the renowned SABMiller. It is a testament to the ingenuity within the beer industry, delivering enthusiasts a uniquely flavorful and spiced brew from one of the leading names in global brewing.


The beer industry in India showcases a blend of tradition and innovation, offering a wide array of choices for beer lovers. From well-loved brands like Kingfisher and Haywards to the emerging craft beer scene with Bira 91 and Simba, the market caters to diverse preferences. International brands such as Tuborg and Carlsberg contribute significantly to satisfying consumer needs.

In cities spanning from the European capitals of Belgium and Germany to the bustling metropolis of London and across Asian hubs like Delhi and China, the trend of beer festivals is catching up big time. A variety of beer delights with their balanced blend of small-batch craftsmanship and moderate bitterness suffices to trigger excitement among beer lovers. With distinctive malty flavour and satisfying ABV, these beer varieties embody the essence of quality brewing, captivating beer enthusiasts worldwide.

Frequently Asked Questions

Which is more popular in India, Budweiser or Kingfisher?

Budweiser and Kingfisher are both highly popular in India, with each brand having a loyal following. While Budweiser appeals to a more global audience, Kingfisher holds a special place as a beloved local favourite among Indian consumers.

How do brewing techniques differ between Budweiser and Kingfisher?

Budweiser focuses on a crisp, smooth taste using beechwood ageing for flavour, while Kingfisher emphasises a balance of hops and malt with a fruity aroma. Budweiser’s lager is known for its consistency, while Kingfisher offers a slightly bolder profile.

What beer is considered the best for taste in India?

Craft beer enthusiasts in India often rave about Bira 91 for its unique flavours and innovative brews. With a growing fan base, Bira 91 stands out for its refreshing taste profiles, making it a top choice among beer connoisseurs in the country.

What are some popular snacks that go best with beer?

A few popular snacks that go best with beer include Pretzels, popcorn, cheese, chicken wings, nachos, fish and chips, and bruschetta are some examples. Pairing these snacks with beer can make drinking beer even more enjoyable, whether you are hanging out with friends or relaxing at home.

1 comment

Avatar of Turkish Cottage Mcleodganj
Turkish Cottage Mcleodganj April 22, 2022 - 1:01 pm

Amazing Blog Post. Really best post.


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