From Beer Pints to Prominence: The Bubbly Beginnings of United Breweries Limited

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Most of us have heard the name of Kingfisher beer. Have you ever thought as to why it is the most loved beer in India? How did a humble brewery in South India become a global leader in the beverage industry? How did Kingfisher soar to the heights of popularity? In this blog, we will take you on a nostalgic journey through the history of United Breweries Limited.

History of United Breweries Limited

United Breweries Limited has a fascinating history. It intertwines with the very roots of beer culture in India. 

Let’s take a journey down the memory lane to 1915.

The Early Years (1915-1947)

In South India, five breweries started the journey, with Castle Breweries leading the way since 1857. They teamed up in 1915, forming United Breweries.

Bullock carts carrying huge beer barrels, known as ‘Hog’s heads’, soon appeared.

These carts delivered beer to customers, including British troops stationed in Madras, Bangalore, and the Nilgiris. 

United Breweries’ brew quickly became popular, especially among the British soldiers. 

Thus, the story of beer in India and the history of United Breweries began!

As early as 1944, UB introduced its first bottled beer under the label “Exports Beer,” marking its entry into the packaged beer market.

The Vittal Mallya Era (1947-1983)

In 1947, the late Mr. Vittal Mallya acquired the company, driving it toward lasting success. 

Today, United Breweries’ brands are available at a whopping 89,763 outlets across India.

By 1950, Bangalore was designated as the company’s headquarters, firming its presence in the heart of South India.

Throughout the 1960s and 1970s, UB expanded its footprint. It settled breweries in Kalyani (West Bengal), Goa, Cherthala (Kerala), Ludhiana (Punjab), and beyond. 

The iconic Kingfisher brand made its debut in 1978.

Expansion and Diversification (1983-2010)

In the early 1980s, United Breweries Limited set its sights on the world stage, launching Kingfisher Lager in the UK and USA.

This all happened under the leadership of Dr. Vijay Mallya, who took the helm as Chairman in 1983.

UB kept pushing forward with its growth, buying other companies and forming partnerships. 

Important moments included acquiring Bombay Breweries in 1996 and bringing out Kingfisher Strong in 1999.

As the new millennium began, UB kept on growing and getting stronger. 

It added Associated Breweries, Mangalore Breweries, and Inertia Industries (later called Millennium Beer) to its portfolio. 

Working together with Scottish & Newcastle UK, UB found new opportunities.

The Heineken Era and Beyond (2010-Present)

Back in 2009, it was like a big shake-up when Heineken NV took the reins from Scottish & Newcastle.

It was like a whole new era for the company, teaming up with this global brewing giant.

Then, fast forward to the 2010s, UB was on fire! 

They kept beefing up their game in the market by rolling out fresh brands like Kingfisher Ultra and Kingfisher Ultra Max. 

And get this: they were planting new breweries left and right in Rajasthan, Odisha, Andhra Pradesh, Bihar, and Karnataka.

This was aimed at showing they were all in for trying new things and spreading their reach.

And today? 

Well, United Breweries Limited is like the poster child for creativity and a deep-rooted brewing tradition. 

UB’s got its sights set on shaping the future of brewing, not just in India, but all over the world.

United Breweries Limited: Company At Glance

United Breweries Limited: Company At Glance
United Breweries Limited: Company At Glance
United Breweries Limited Establishment1915
United Breweries Limited MD & CEOMr Vivek Gupta
United Breweries Limited Share Price₹ 1,729
United Breweries BrandsKingfisher, Heineken, Amstel, Kalyani Black Label, Kingfisher Storm, Kingfisher Blue, Kingfisher Premium Packaged Drinking Water, Kingfisher Ultra Non-Alcoholic, etc.
United Breweries Limited Market Cap₹ 45,715 Cr.
United Breweries SubsidiariesMangalore Chemicals & Fertilizers, UB Overseas Limited, Kingfisher Training and Aviation Services Ltd., UB Infrastructure Projects Ltd.,  United Breweries Of America Inc., UB International Trading Ltd., UB Electronic Instruments Ltd., Kingfisher Finvest India Ltd. – 21st Feb

Established in 1915, United Breweries Limited (UBL) has cemented its legacy as one of India’s premier beverage companies. 

It offers a diverse range of alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages.

  1. United Breweries Limited Owner: MD & CEO: Mr Vivek Gupta leads the helm at United Breweries Limited.
  2. United Breweries Brands:

United Breweries offers a diverse range of brands catering to various segments of consumers. The renowned Heineken brand is complemented by Heineken Silver. 

  • The iconic Kingfisher family includes Kingfisher Premium, Kingfisher Strong, Kingfisher Ultra, Kingfisher Ultra Max, Kingfisher Ultra Witbier, Kingfisher Storm, and Kingfisher Blue. 

Amstel Bier stands out as a premium addition. 

  • The Bullet series comprises Bullet and Bullet Super Strong, while Cannon 10000 brings its unique flavor. 
  • Zingaro adds to the collection of choices alongside Kalyani Black Label and UB Export, which includes UB Export and UB Export Strong. 

London Pilsner offers its classic taste, along with London Pilsner Strong. 

  1. Non-Alcoholic Brands
  2. Kingfisher Premium Packaged Drinking Water
  3. Kingfisher Strong Power Soda
  4. Kingfisher Storm Strong Soda
  5. Kingfisher Ultra Non-Alcoholic
  6. Heineken 0.0
  • United Breweries Subsidiaries:

United Breweries Limited (UBL) operates through multiple subsidiaries. Each contributes to its multifaceted presence across industries. 

  • Mangalore Chemicals & Fertilizers: Engaged in the production of chemicals and fertilisers.
  • UB Overseas Limited: Facilitates expansion strategies, fostering global reach and market penetration.
  • UB Infrastructure Projects Ltd.: Involved in infrastructure development projects.
  • United Breweries Of America Inc.: Oversees operations and business ventures in the American market.
  • UB International Trading Ltd.: Facilitates international trade and commerce for UBL’s diverse products.
  • UB Electronic Instruments Ltd.: Caters to a wide range of industrial and technological needs.
  • Kingfisher Finvest India Ltd.: Supports UBL’s strategic financial initiatives and endeavours.

UBL’s Commitment to Social Responsibility

UBL commits to operating and expanding its business with social responsibility. 

It prioritises sustainable development by balancing commercial and economic progress. This is further acknowledged by social and environmental considerations. 

Its focus areas include water management, responsible alcohol consumption, women’s empowerment, and community development.

FAQs| History of United Breweries Limited

Who is the CEO of United Breweries?

The CEO of United Breweries is Vivek Gupta, who was appointed on September 25, 2023.

What are the products of United Breweries?

The products of United Breweries include Kingfisher, Heineken, Amstel, Bullet, London Pilsner, and more. They also offer packaged drinking water and non-alcoholic beverages.

What is the nature of the business of United Breweries Ltd?

The nature of the business of United Breweries Ltd is to manufacture and distribute alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages in India and abroad.



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