By Yudhvir Rana
AMRITSAR: Pakistan's known liquor company Murree Brewery has given a franchise to a Bangalore-based entrepreneur to bottle and sell its Murree brand beer in the Indian market. CEO of Murree Brewery, Isphanyar Bhandara, told TOI on Friday, "It was not permissible to export beer to India through Wagah-Attari border so we decided to offer our company's franchise to an entrepreneur in Bangalore to brew, bottle and market Murree beer in India. This will also strengthen trading ties between India and Pakistan. The product will hit the market soon."

Bhandara said Murree Brewery produces beer, single malt whisky, scotch whisky, vodka and brandy. He said under the Pakistani law, Muslims are prohibited from consuming alcoholic drinks whereas non-Muslims and foreigners required consumption permits. "We sell our alcoholic products in five-star hotels only. Pakistan also prohibits export of alcoholic products. For now we are interested in finding distributors for our beer in India," said Bhandara about the company's business plans.

Bhandara, a Parsi, said Murree beer will be made in India in the brewery of an Indian actor under their brand (Murree) and formulation.
"Murree Brewery was established in Ghora Galli (a tourist mountain resort town in Galyat area of northern Pakistan) in 1860 in response to demand for beer by the British officers. It is the oldest running enterprise in Pakistan," he claimed proudly.

"Indians may import onions and tomatoes from us but they are sceptical about buying beer from Pakistan since there is no dearth of fizzy drinks in India," said Bhandara. He said they were keen on finding distributors for Murree beer in India, especially in Punjab.