Mohan Meakin distillery in Kasauli.
Did you know that Old Monk was the brand leader till 2002, not only rum but the entire spirit business in India.Till date Old Monk is one of the top selling rums in India. A smooth dark coloured rum with a hint of vanilla, it has an alcohol content of 42%. Loved world wide, the Old Monk had been awarded a gold medal at Monde World Selections since 1982.
With the first drop of Old Monk Rum, stirs up the age old legend. Old Monk Rum is a form of the legendary ‘Som ras’ of India’s centuries old scriptures-The Drink of Gods and Lords of India.
About the distillery
Situated in a picturesque location of snow covered mountains with fresh spring water made Edward Dyer Father of Col dyer responsible for the Jaillian wala bagh masacre) to set up the first brewery in kasauli. This later came to be known as Dyer Breweries in the year 1820s. Kasauli Brewery is supposed to be the world’s highest distillery the Himalayas and happens to be the first distillery for Scotch Wiskey in Asia. The entire equipment for the unit was imported from England and Scotland and still being used in the distillery . Since fresh spring water was available in Kussowlie so Edward decided to set up his unit here. Primary reason for setting up the Brewrey unit was the climatic condition similar to scotland and a market sponsored by the British and civilians and the nearby consumer market. In the begining India Pale Ale and malt whisky were the first brands of the distillery. With the increase in population and lack of spring water supply the brewery to be shifted to Solan.
The main whisky brand was single malt SOLAN NUMBER 1 which was named after the Solan town. Solan No.1 was considered to be one of he top brands and the best selling whiskies in India but has declined due to the upcoming brands and competitors.
The Kasauli brewery launched Asia’s first beer, Lion, which was very poplar amongst the British rulers and troops stationed in the hot climate of India. The Kasauli brewery site was converted to a distillery, which is still operatational. later H G Meakin, moved to India and bought the Solan Breweries from Edward Dyer .
The wine barrels are stored in a cold storage in order to keep the temperature . Wine barrels are wrapped in gunny bags and constantly sprayed with water sprinklers.
Later Colonel V.R. Mohan took over as Managing Director. Later the manufacturing activities of the company were diversified into other fields including breakfast cereals, fruit juices and mineral water under the leadership of Brigadier (Dr.) Kapil Mohan . Subsequently the word brewery was dropped from the company name .
Today, Mohan Meakin’s principal brands are Old Monk Rum and Golden Eagle Beer. Its other products include Diplomat Deluxe, Colonel’s Special, Black Knight, Meakin 10,000 and Solan No 1 whiskies, Asia’s original beer, Lion, is still sold in northern India.