Nepal | July 05, 2020

IPB decides to allow operation of microbreweries in country

Himalayan News Service
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Kathmandu, September 23

For those who love craft beer and are eyeing investment in microbreweries, there is good news. The government has decided to issue permits to operate restaurants with microbreweries, allowing
production of a maximum of 2,500 hectolitres (2.5 lakh litres) of beer annually.

A meeting of the Industrial Promotion Board (IPB), held recently, took a decision to allow operation of microbreweries in the country.

A microbrewery, also known as craft brewery, is a brewery that produces a small amount of beer. Such breweries are much smaller than large-scale breweries that produce beer in huge quantity for sales in and out of the country.

In a bid to categorise restaurants with microbreweries under tourism industry, the Board has also decided to recommend government to publish a notice in Nepal Gazette, as per Maheshwor Neupane, director general of the Department of Industry (DoI).  Once the government publishes the notice in the Gazette, interested companies will be able to get a licence to run microbreweries.

Any restaurant with a seating capacity of at least 20 people can apply for the licence of a microbrewery. “A fee of Rs two lakh has been fixed for each licence,” said Neupane. He said that the microbreweries would be registered under DoI for operation after needful Initial Environmental Examination (IEE).

The meeting of the IPB has decided to request the Ministry of Science, Technology and Environment to
make the necessary provision to conduct IEE.

The Board, which is headed by Minister for Industry Mahesh Basnet, has also set criteria to establish the microbreweries.

For issuing a permit to restaurants or companies that want to run microbreweries, the Board has fixed certain parameters, which state that the beer to be produced should not have alcohol content of more than seven per cent, proper area for production must be maintained, and raw materials and produced beer should be stored in a concrete building.

It also states that the entities must have clean in process (CIP) facility and laboratory.

Similarly, the tanks and pipelines to be used in the microbreweries must be made of stainless steel and the source of fuel for production must be either electricity or liquefied petroleum gas.

In case plastic pipes have to be used, such pipes can be used only in ‘food grade’. That is not all — microbreweries are required to produce beer in the presence of at least one Alcohol Technologist or Food Technologist.

As per the existing rules of the government, fermentation (beer) industries are prohibited from being established and operated in Kathmandu Metropolitan City and other municipalities.

However, as per Neupane, this provision will not be applicable for microbreweries that are expected to help in tourism, agriculture and employment generation.

A version of this article appears in print on September 24, 2015 of The Himalayan Times.

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