In the late 1820s, Edward Abraham Dyer, moved from England to set up the first brewery in India (later incorporated as Dyer Breweries in 1855) at Kasauli in the Himalayas. The Kasauli brewery launched India’s and indeed Asia’s first beer, Lion, which was in great demand by the thirsty British administrators and troops
Another entrepreneur, H. G. Meakin, moved to India and in 1887 bought the old Shimla and Solan Breweries from Edward Dyer and added more at Ranikhet, Dalhousie, Chakrata, Darjeeling, Kirkee., Following independence, Narendra Nath Mohan raised funds and travelled to London, where he acquired a majority stake in Dyer Meakin Breweries. He took over management of the company in 1949 and built new breweries at Lucknow, Ghaziabad and Khopoli (near Mumbai) and the company name was changed to Mohan Meakin Breweries in 1967.
Mohan Meakin’s principal brands are Old Monk Rum and Golden Eagle Beer. Its other products include Diplomat Deluxe, Colonel’s Special, Black Knight, Asia’s original beer, Lion, is still sold in northern India. Lion Beer is the main brand first sold by Dyer Breweries in the 1840s. Lion was originally an India Pale Ale (IPA)., Mohan Meakin brand, Golden Eagle, took the number one place until the 1980s, when Kingfisher became number one.
By 2001, Lion sales had declined substantially and Lion was only available to the Indian Army through the Canteen Services Department (CSD). Mohan Meakin then entrusted the marketing of its original beer to International Breweries Pvt. Ltd. The brand has since been relaunched in the north Indian market. With a new label design and marketing campaign, Lion earns a place in history as Asia’s first beer brand. Old Monk is a vatted Indian rum, blended and aged for 7 years .
The Company’s remarkable performance is not limited to liquor, its business interests are manifold. Turning foresight into reality is the Fruit juices, Breakfast Foods, Mineral Water and Glass Factory – a strategic diversification to further re-inforce its business interests.
His eminent successors have borne the mantle with elegance. Instilling upon the Company the strength of purpose, corporate values and a sense of direction, they have reached new heights. Aptly mirrored in Mohan Meakin’s swift march towards progress and its phenomenal growth.
The Challenges of the present are ably met by Padamshree Brig. (Dr.) Kapil Mohan, VSM (Retd.) Ph. D., under his stewardship, the group rechristened as Mohan Meakin Limited, undertook major diversification with 3 distilleries in India and 2 breweries and a host of franchises. A multi-faceted business house with a turnover exceeding INR 400 crores, Mohan Meakin stands for growth, innovation and care.