Partnering with her husband in business, Sheetal Shah defines strength with a positive vision of success and innovation. Managing the BKC outlet of Drifters Breweries, she is a woman who is fascinated by the world of craft beers and the bubbles in each brew. The daily operations side of the brew bar is constant learning for Sheetal, who hopes to open other craft beer serving outlets in major cities in Maharashtra. Excitement and vigour are her cornerstones as she appreciates how locals today love to experiment with different types of craft beers.
In an interview with Restaurant India, Sheetal Shah, Managing Director at Drifters Tap Station, says Mumbai is a growing market for microbrewery business.
About Drifters Tap Station
Drifters Tap Station was founded by me and my husband Nayan Shah. Our company was born out of the need to bring Eastern European handcrafted beers to the city. Roaming in the streets of many western countries like Europe, the USA, Canada and Australia in search of the best beer led us to the doorsteps of Honza Kocka, our Brew Master, from Prague. Our journey led us to name the venture Drifters Tap Station which encapsulates everything the name stands for and more.
Role as the Managing Director
My role as the Managing Director of the company is to manage operations of retail outlets that come under the parent company - Drifters Breweries. Drifters Tap Station is the first venue opened recently in BKC and my role there involves managing all operations, maintaining the food and service quality and ensuring that all patrons who visit the venue leave with unique memories and come back for the quality product offered.
Secret Recipe to Success
Hard work and efforts in right directions at the right time.
Competition in the Industry Segment
Mumbai is a growing market for microbreweries. Beer is a drink preferred by everyone be it a weekday drink with colleagues, the weekend with friends or a lazy Sunday brunch. Microbreweries have a wider audience to cater to, which means more competition joining in to capture the market but we don’t think that will make a lot of difference. We are confident of the brews we are offering. Only the best will survive.
Marketing and Promotion Strategies by Drifters Tap Station to Counter the Competition
We are the first microbrewery in India to serve 24 handcrafted Eastern Europeans brews. We use all handcrafted malts and hops imported from the Czech Republic. Our brewmaster, Honza Kocka, is a Czech local and is a well-known Brewer globally who curates recipes that help us stay ahead in the competition. Even the processes used to create the beer are centuries old which have been passed down by the Czech through generations. There is lesser use of machinery and tasks, like picking barley husks manually amongst others. These are few things that go a long way in changing around the taste of the beers for the better.
The Growth Potential of Drifters Tap Station in the Indian Marketplace
When we were in the planning phase of our business we, along with our brewmaster, travelled across the country and visited all the major cities like Bengaluru, Pune, Mumbai, Gurugram to understand the palate of Indian consumers and the kind of unparalleled quality we were required to bring in. Honza then selected malt and hops from the Czech Republic as per our research and designed recipes in a way that Indian consumers would appreciate it. We wanted to have the potential to expand within all of Maharashtra and, eventually, across India which is why we have an extensive variety of brews that we serve.
Pricing the Products
Given the location, we kept the price points such that it offers value for money. Corporates come in through the day for lunch or meetings and post-work hours to unwind while the lunch and weekend crowd comes in to enjoy the brews and the experience. The brews are available in 2-litre and 5-litre jars as well and are reasonably priced. The extravagant food menu that pairs perfectly with each brew is priced well and there’s a variety of Indian, Thai, European cuisines and more.
Expansion Plans of Drifters Tap Station
We are planning to open few more retail outlets in Mumbai and Pune and another microbrewery in Goa, so we can bottle our product and distribute it all across India. Drifters Tap Station is just a couple of months old but with the feedback for the brews we have received we have a lot planned. It is too nascent to speak about expansions currently.