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October 7, 2022

Rupee Beer signs on with 3 major U.S. retailers

Photo / Jim Neuger Brothers Sumit Sharma, left, and Van Sharma, founders of Rupee Beer, have big plans to grow the brand. They were photographed at Bombay Mahal, their parents' Indian restaurant in Brunswick.

A year after launching Rupee Beer, brothers Sumit and Van Sharma are taking their Indian-style lager to the next level via three major U.S. retailers — Costco, Whole Foods and Total Wine & More. 

The new partnerships will put Rupee Beer at select regional stores of all three retailers, with precise shelf placement still to be determined.

Sumit and Van Sharma, whose parents own Bombay Mahal restaurant in Brunswick, grew up in Portland and brew Rupee Beer in Massachusetts, though the long-term goal is to create a base in Maine's largest city. Both were honored on the Mainebiz NextUp/40 Under 40 list of the state's rising movers and shakers.

Asked how the new retail partnerships came about, Van Sharma chalks it up to "being at the right place at the right time, and Rupee was something which made sense to their consumers."

For Rupee Beer, the pluses of working with Costco, Total Wine and Whole Foods are many: "They believe in our brand, product and mission to bring Indian-style beer to more people and also introduce new and exciting products," Van Sharma said.

Rupee Beer is now sold in Maine, Massachusetts, New York, New Jersey, the District of Columbia and Virginia, with distribution to Illinois, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, North Carolina, Florida and Connecticut slated to start in coming weeks. In Maine, Rupee Beer is sold at more than 70 locations from Kittery to Ellsworth.

The Sharmas have big plans for their brand global, citing demand in several Commonwealth countries, including the United Kingdom, Australia, South Africa and Canada, as well as within the European Union, Southeast Asia and the Caribbean.

"We are grateful how Rupee continues to grow with just us two working behind the scenes while having other day jobs," the siblings told Mainebiz in a joint email. "For us, the next steps involve building out a team and helping grow the brand into newer markets." 


Listen to the full Rupee Beer story on Episode 58 of the Mainebiz audio podcast, "The Day That Changed Everything," available here and wherever you get your podcasts.


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