White Rhino: A Welcome Fresh Face in Nepal’s Beer Lineup
by Evangeline Neve
Have you tried White Rhino Wit? Launched in Nepal in the very first days of 2018, it’s a new beer for the new year. White Rhino Wit is a Belgian-style wheat beer (Wit being the commonly used id for a Belgian wheat ale), a style that’s not as well-known yet in Nepal, where most of what’s available falls into the lager category. The taste of this new brew is light and almost fruity; I enjoyed it best well-chilled, and I think that as the weather gets warmer it will only get more popular.
Ashish P. Pradhan is one of the promoters at Evolution Beverages, the group that brought you Asahi from Japan and Singha from Thailand—and now, this new kid on the block. It’s the first craft beer from India to be launched in Nepal, and the beer scene in India seems to be really taking off, particularly in Bangalore and New Delhi, something that I hadn’t been aware of. White Rhino Brewing Co. products, however, are made in Madhya Pradesh, and also include a lager and IPA, in addition to the Wit—here’s hoping that IPA also makes its way to Nepal soon. With a retail price of Rs.350, White Rhino is an affordable option for those who want something a little different out of their beer.
The bottle tells me orange peel and coriander are amongst the ingredients, which I think account for the fresh, slightly floral feel it has. Ashish explains the need to pour a wheat beer properly; he believes drinking it from the bottle does the beer a disservice. “Pour 2/3 of the bottle into a glass,” he explains. “Then, stop, swirl the rest of the beer around in the bottle quite vigorously, and pour it into the glass with the rest. Doing this really releases the flavors and aromas and gives it the hazy appearance a wheat beer should have.” Well, that’s something I didn’t know before, either!
White Rhino is available at a growing number of bars, restaurants, and supermarkets, and can also be ordered online from cheers.com.np. According to Ashish, the response has been really encouraging, which is good news for more and bigger plans for the future.
In the wake of last month’s well-attended craft beer festival, it’s clear that there’s a growing thirst for a diversity of beers here in Nepal. It\s good news that White Rhino are doing their part to help the situation, and I think we can all agree that the outlook for craft beer in the country is certainly looking up!