Hunter Beer – A Surprisingly Enjoyable Strong Beer

Hunter - Strong Beer

To be honest, until it arrived in my mail, I hadn’t even heard of Hunter Beer. A little googling revealed that SOM Group has been brewing and bottling this beer near Bhopal, Madhya Pradesh since 1994. The group derives its name from the mythological ‘Som Ras’ – the potion of choice for the gods. Hunter is a ‘premium strong beer’ that’s sold in several parts of the country as well as internationally.

Hunter Strong Beer - Can

Hunter Strong Beer – Can

I received the Hunter beer in two variants – a can and a bottle. I began with the can as it’s usually more resistant to storage challenges and retains flavour better. However, the bottle also tasted identical. Hunter beer has a clear, straw gold appearance and pours with a fluffy head that disappears quite quickly. It’s a light bodied beer strong beer that aspires to have a flavour profile akin to Pilsners. I’m not a fan of the strong beer genre owing to the terrible taste and smell. Surprisingly, Hunter doesn’t suffer from either of those caveats. The aroma is muted but pleasant — primarily malts and just a touch of floral notes. The same theme continues to the flavour. It tastes far better than any other strong beer. It has a malty sweetness and the clean and crisp flavour profile you’d expect from a decent lager. SOM told me that Hersbrucker hops, a hop commonly used in traditional German lagers, is being used for Hunter. Hunter is a low IBU beer where the hop is perceivable briefly only in the aftertaste before being taken over by the alcohol.

Hunter Strong Beer - Bottle

Hunter Strong Beer – Bottle

Hunter, whose tagline is ‘Honestly smooth, Refreshingly Strong’, delivers on its promise. This is one of those beers that’s best enjoyed super chilled (or in a frosted glass). It’s easy to drink, refreshing, and enjoyable; however, a full bottle packs enough punch to make you feel tipsy. It’s a pity that Hunter isn’t available more widely as it definitely beats most of the Indian beers available in a typical bar. The good news is that SOM is planning to strengthen its presence in the Southern and Eastern parts of the country. Last year, SOM began production at a new brewery in Karnataka and earlier this year they acquired a brewery in Orissa. It’s currently available in parts of Karnataka, Madhya Pradesh, Kerala, Maharashtra, Odisha, Chhattisgarh, and West Begal. Hunter Beer should make its way into Hyderabad by early 2019.

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