Stone Brewing’s Greg Koch Joins India’s First Craft Brewery as Partner and Chief Advisor

It’s not quite the European expansion that Stone Brewing’s CEO and co-founder has been discussing for some time now, but Greg Koch is headed abroad.

Koch has partnered with Avanish Vellanki and Shailenda Bist on a new craft brewing project based in India. Independence Brewing Company will become the only independently owned and operated craft brewery in India and Koch is on board as a partner and chief advisor.

Brewbound plans to discuss the project with Koch at this week’s Craft Brewers Conference and will publish more on this story later this week. For now, have a look at the official press release…

Independence Brewing Company (IBC) is a new brewing venture founded by Shailly Bist and Avanish Vellanki to bring genuine craft brewing to India. With an aim to offer Indians something other than the yellow, fizzy, industrial lagers that have become a fixture in India, IBC hopes to offer a unique array of craft brews across a variety of styles not previously offered in the nation. IBC brings Independence from Boring Beers!

IBC is also proud to announce the addition of Greg Koch, CEO and Co-Founder of Stone Brewing Co., to the team. Koch will serve as a partner and Chief Advisor to IBC.

“I’ve had a chance to visit India and witness first-hand why Avanish and Shailly are so excited, and I have to say I agree with them! There is tremendous opportunity in India for craft beer. I also have to say that I’m really excited about these two guys and look forward to helping them bring Independence from boring beers to India!” said Greg Koch.

“We are really excited to work with Greg!” said Avanish Vellanki, Cofounder of IBC. “We are tremendously honored and moved by Greg’s excitement about India; Greg clearly sees the tremendous opportunity in the country, and we look forward to introducing truly exceptional brews together!”

IBC will set up its first craft pub brewery in the city of Pune, in the state of Maharashtra, India, one of India’s fastest growing technology centers. With a national landscape in which only a handful of beers exist in the nation, and a regulatory environment that has only recently awoken to the microbrewery concept, IBC hopes to bring the extensive and passionate craft brewing culture in the US to India.

IBC will be the only craft brewery in India owned and operated by a craft brewer.

“We are tremendously excited about the opportunity to bring to India something we truly love, and we think Indians will love too — truly exceptional craft beers,” said Shailly Bist, Cofounder & Head Brewer of IBC. “India has such a rich artisanal culture, and we think it’s about time that IPA had a homecoming!”

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