Tihar is a great occasion to spend time with family and friends, singing and celebrating--perhaps over a beer. Depending on your social plans for the festival, here are a few beer suggestions. Some are new in the market, some are worth a second look, and some are old favorites. Find the one that fits your plans and taste.
I want to keep it simple
If your focus is more on the gathering, here are some suggestions to enjoy a tasty adult beverage that will go with almost any food, and won’t get you too drunk.
- Arna Light - Yeti Brewing - Nepal
Light beers are some of the best selling beers in the West, and Arna is the only light beer available here. If you want to enjoy a beer with friends and family, but don’t want to overload on calories or alcohol, then a light beer is your best choice. You will get all of the flavor and enjoyment of a good beer, leave room for snacks, and stay clear for the entire even
- Budweiser - IN-BEV - USA
Recommending Budweiser may seem like suggesting someone try Coca-Cola for the first time… again. Budweiser may be the most recognized beer brand around the world, but it’s worth another tasting. After all, Bud became so popular because it is flavorful easy drinking. In years past Budweiser in Nepal came from factories in India, but now the Budweiser is produced and imported from the USA.
- Kingfisher (now made in Nepal) - Yeti Brewing - Nepal
If you want a more regional flavor, but are tired of the same brands, Kingfisher beer is now made here in Nepal. Give it a try to see if the most popular beer in India quenches your beer thirst.
I want to try the latest beer
If you want to keep up the the trends in beer, here are some of the very latest beers to hit the Kathmandu market. Try any of these beers to find your favorite.
- Magna Wheat - Nepal Ice (CG) - Nepal
This is one of the newest beers to enter the market. Wheat beers have a distinctive flavor, yet are still light and refreshing. If you want to expand your palate for beer, try this to see if you are ready to transition away from the traditional light lager.
- White Rhino Lager - White Rhino - India
Whit Rhino beers have been in the market for a while, and the Wit beer is widely available. But they also produce a lager. This craft lager is more flavorful than the traditional light lagers currently available. If you prefer an easy drinking beer, but more flavor than the existing brands, the White Rhino Lager might just be for you.
- Bira Wheat - Bira 91 - India
Bira is the newest craft import from India. Inspired by the movement in the USA and other Western countries, Bira is putting their own stamp on craft beer.
I want something flavorful
If you are looking for something other than the traditional light lager, here are beers that will satisfy. Whether you want something domestic or imported, there more choices than ever for the beer drinker.
- Himalayan Red - Sherpa Brewing - Nepal
This is the latest offering from Sherpa Brewing. This is a rich flavorful beer, along the lines of an Irish Red. A strong malt profile is balanced by a pronounced addition of hops. If you are looking for robust flavor, this beer will leave you satisfied.
- 150 Lashes Pale Ale - James Squire - Australia
This popular Australian beer is one of the most refreshing and flavorful beers on the market. For those who demand something more tasty than the traditional light lager, this is a great choice. This beer gives you a hop flavor without the strong bitterness of the American style IPA.
I want something completely different (and delicious)
- Rumble Oak Aged IPA - Great Divide - USA
Great Divide is known for their strong hoppy beers, full of flavor. This IPA is the closest to the traditional IPAs sent to India from Britain in the 1800s. Back then beer was put in oak barrels for shipping. This traditional American style IPA is aged on oak barrels, and is unlike any other beer you’ve tried. It will leave you wanting more.
- Seek out a draft beer
This recommendation is not specific to a brand or beer style, but rather to suggest you take part in another change in the Nepali beer market. Several local and international brands have begun distributing beer in kegs (Kathmandu, Everest, Sherpa, Great Divide, Carlsberg). Draft beer tends to be fresher, and there’s something about a frothy, freshly poured beer that makes the experience just a little more enjoyable. If you are staying in the Valley for this year’s festival, seek out a local watering hole that is serving draft beer.
Jim Jones is an American craft beer, wine and spirits importer/exporter operating in Kathmandu. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org).