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Why Does Vir Das Want His Own Beer Brand?

The stand-up comic and actor has launched his own beer brand, Faaaakit, in association with Great State Aleworks.

Sayoni Bhaduri

Indian celebrities love their food and drinks more than we think they do. And, hence, there is a slew of Indian celebrities investing in food and beverage companies and product lines. The latest to join this tribe is stand-up comic and actor Vir Das. Das has tied up with Pune-based Great State Aleworks to create Faaaakit—a low bitterness, refreshing beer.

The low bitterness is derived from the use of single hop variety and honey. A multi-floral honey is added to the fermenting brew to add a layer of flavour that is said to make the beer more palatable. 

In a press release, the Emmy-nominated stand-up comic said, “After a maybe stressful day you might want to literally say FaaaakIt and have a can of beer to unwind yourself. Also, we wanted the beer to be for everyone, far often brands tend to alienate beer drinkers like the younger demographics or even women, and we wanted this to be for everyone. The team at Great State Aleworks and I spent a good deal of time to find a flavour profile that can be enjoyed by all.” He was also inspired by the likes of Kevin Hart and Ryan Reynolds who have their own alcohol brands—Gran Coramino tequila and Aviation gin respectively— and are actively involved with it.

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This made us even more curious as to what was going on in Vir Das’s mind when he decided he wants his own beer brand. In an exclusive interview with Zee Zest, he revealed more about this latest launch and his favourite beers.

Edited excerpts

1. Why did you pick beer over any other food or drink?

I don't drink hard alcohol and my way of rewarding myself after a week of hard touring or filming schedule is with a beer. At the same time, I always found a macho culture around beer. It wasn’t for people who are uninformed about beer, which is what I am. But I always like a beer that tastes good, that I can chill out with and not take too much effort. So, I had an idea of what I wanted and what it stands for and then we had to finalise who will make it. The one name that kept popping up was Great State Aleworks. So, we met them and then I think it's been about seven months of working on the beer.

2. What is your personal preference in beer?

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I'm going to confess I don't know that much about specific beers, whether it’s an IPA or anything else. I know I don't like a very dark beer and I know I don't like a very heavy beer. I wanted to design a beer that if you began drinking on a Sunday afternoon, you won’t easily get hammered by evening, or be unable to eat later. I also didn’t want a beer that you need to wait till sunset. I’ll occasionally drink a summer cider as well, but I didn’t want this beer to remind you of that. Faaaakit is the middle ground between the two.

When I sat down with the Great State team, I said ‘I want to design and build the opposite of your customer’, which is everything the hipster beer snob. I'm designing a beer for everybody who is not that. The Great State team also took it in the right spirit as well.

3. How do you destress and relax after a long day? 

At the end of the day, I’m doing stand-up—that’s what I do to destress. Apart from that, it’s home time. I’m hanging out with my wife and the dogs, and you know just kind of being home—you have to understand it's all opposites for me. Where people meet people to de-stress, it’s the last thing I want.

4. Do you think comedy and alcohol suffer from biases and taboos?

Comedy has never not been touchy for 50 years now or longer than that. What has changed is that it's now a conversation instead of a one-way monologue. Today audience has a voice and as an artist, you have to humbly take feedback but draw the line on hate and abuse. 

On the other hand, when it comes to alcohol, there is no denying that we are a very large drinking country—and we all know that. As young people grow to assert their voice and their preferences, companies like Great State will come up with interesting things, simply because young people are searching for it.

5. When you’re not promoting Faaaakit beer, what projects are you working on?

There is a bunch of stuff. I am working on a project with CBS and Fox, in America, titled, Country Eastern, I am also working on quite a few ad films. And later, I will be on a 32-country tour. 

Photo: Vir Das
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