Kasauli Brewery, Kasauli
Set up in the late 1820s in Kasauli by Edward Dyer, Kasauli Brewery happens to be the oldest distillery for 'scotch whisky' in Asia. The equipment of brewing and distilling were brought by Edward himself from England and Scotland in the early 19th century. These equipments came by sailing ship before being loaded on the top of ox drawn carts and taken up to the Himalayas through Shimla. In fact, some of the equipment with the copper pot stills of early period is still in use today. Edward chose Kasauli as the location of his distillery and brewery because fine spring water was available there and the climate was just like the climate of Scotland. His stated aim was 'to produce a malt whisky as fine as Scotch whisky'. Another reason for selecting this location was because there was a nearby market sponsored by the British and civilians. He began by creating India Pale Ale and malt whisky from the brewery and distillery of Kasauli.
Over the years, when the hilltop started increasing and a large number of people started settling here, the use of spring water increased because of which the brewery was relocated to Solan where it is still located today. Nevertheless, the distillery that remains in Kasauli is now considered to be the oldest operating distillery in Asia and the oldest whisky making distilleries in continuous operation across the world.
Edward Dyer started his company in the year 1855, following the full formation of British East India Company reign over the Punjab in the year 1849. This has brought the area under the law of British which built-in the incorporation of companies. The company was formed as Dyer Breweries Limited and by and by it combined with Meakin Breweries Limited to turn into Dyer Meakin Breweries Ltd. Today, the company still runs under the name Mohan Meakin Limited.
Earlier, the main whisky brand made by Kasauli Distillery was well reckoned single malt namely 'Solan No.1', which was named after the nearby Solan town. Over a century, Solan No.1 was considered to be one of the best selling Indian whiskies but in recent years, it started declining and struggling against various competitors that offer flavoured rums. At present, Old Monk Rum is the not only the famous liquor brand of Mohan Meakin but also known for other brands like Colonel's Special, Diplomat Deluxe, Summer Hall, Black Knight and Solan No. 1.
It remains open from 7 am to 7 pm every day.
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