Read the original article in The New Indian Express
Call it an effort to incentivise sorghum (jowar) farmers or popularise the nutrient-rich crop, the city-based ICAR-Indian Institute of Millets Research (IIMR) has come up with an initiative to promote sorghum for brewing beer, which, experts say, could revolutionise the beer market in the country.
In a first, a pilot plant, or a brewery, is being set up at the IIMR campus in Rajendranagar to showcase the techno-economic feasibility of the drought-resistant crop as the most suitable grain for brewing beer. The aim is to attract more entrepreneurs to take up beer production using sorghum crop, while establishing a continuous supply chain of the raw material by taking farmer groups into confidence.
“We have also worked with industries like Rahul Malts of Jaipur and Hindustan Breweries Ltd. We are looking at reworking and piloting beer production for taking it up on a commercial scale. Sixty-to-seventy per cent of the state is dryland area and sorghum is the most drought-resistant crop and is suitable for the region. It is rich in nutrients and the beer brewed out of sorghum will be gluten-free,” said Dr. B Dayakar Rao, principal scientist, IIMR and CEO- NIELAN-Technology Business Incubator, adding that its use by the industry would create a market for struggling farmers.
“Imported malts cost anywhere between Rs 80 and Rs 120 per kg. Cereals like sorghum as an ingredient for brewing will make beer cost-effective because it could be available at `20-40 per kg. Its availability locally would also help us choose the quality of the raw material,” said Mr. Sham Sundar, a brew master with the Prost microbrewery in Bengaluru