As per the new liquor policy in Kerala, government indents to reduce consumption of alcohol in the state by reducing the availability of liquor all over the state. If you have some time in Kochi, try a local backwater tour. I recently went on a day tour in a country style wooden boat through the backwaters of Kochi. Read more at Cochin Day Tours
Liquor is no longer an easily available thing anywhere in the state. The government cancelled the bar license for most of the bars in the state, except the 5-star hotels. Many of those bars were later converted to beer and wine parlours and many others remain closed.
Many tourists from western countries visiting Kochi find it difficult to get alcohol, which is an inevitable part of their vacation. I've seen these queries in many popular travel portals like Tripadvisor:
- Where can I get liquor in Kochi?
- Is it possible to bring liquor to Kochi from outside?
- What is the maximum quality of alcohol one can carry or keep in Kerala?
Read further to learn the places where you can get alcoholic beverages like vodka, brandy, whisky, rum, wine, beer etc.
Options for tourists in Ernakulam - Kochi area
There are few places where alcoholic beverages are still available in Kochi.
1. Five-star hotels with bar - This is where most tourists go for liquor in Kochi. If you are staying in a 5-star hotel, you will be able to buy any liquor of your choice from the bar attached to the hotel.
2. Beer and wine parlours - These are the old bars that were converted in to beer and wine parlours as per the government policy. As the name indicates, you can get only beer and wine here.
3. Premium beverage outlets - These are special, air-conditioned liquor shops operated by Kerala Beverages Corporation. There are only 2 such shops in Kochi area. Only rum priced above Rs. 500 a bottle, and brandy and whisky with a price tag of Rs.700 and above will be sold through this self-help, premium outlets. You won't find cheap beer and wine brands in these shops. I've been to this place a few times to pick up my favourite branded wine and these are the most convenient place to buy liquor in Kochi at the best price without having to wait in the long queues. They have 5-6 choices for wine and there are no other wine shops in Kerala with this many choices.
4. Kerala Government Beverage corporation outlets - These are crowded places where the liquor is available at the lowest price. Tourists may want to avoid this place since you may have to stand in long lines with locals to purchase liquor. If waiting in a public place in a long queue to buy liquor is not your thing, then you can ask if someone else like your driver or an autorickshaw guy can do the hard job for you.
5. Membership Clubs - There are certain membership clubs in the state which are allowed to serve liquor to its members. You won't be able to buy from there unless you are a club member or you are going there with a friend who has a membership. If you have friends with a membership in clubs like Suburban club, Ramaverma club etc, you can take their help.
Location of air-conditioned, self-service premium beverage outlet in Kochi
There is a premium beverage outlet operated by the Beverages Corporation of Kerala Government. The air-conditioned premium outlet of beverages corporation, located at Gandhi Nagar near Kadavanthara serves only premium quality products with a premium price tag. This place is about 5 km from Marine Drive.
Five star hotels in Kochi/Ernakulam area
If you don't like to go to the Bevco outlets, then five star hotels are the way to go! As per the Kerala government policy, only 5-star hotels can have a license to run a bar for their guests.
Crowne Plaza, a 5 star hotel in Kochi
These are the 5-star hotels in Kochi, which serve liquor only to the residents. Tourists cannot walk-in just for liquor.
Airlink Castle - Airlink Castle is located in the intersection of Airport road and NH-47 at Athani near Nedumbassery. Kochi International Airport is just 4 km away from this hotel. If you are budget conscious and want a convenient stay in a 5-star hotel, Airlink Castle is your best choice. Even though the official website shows the rate starting from Rs 5,000 (+tax) onwards, you can find deals in TripAdvisor for as low as Rs 2,100 + tax. The local attractions in Kochi are relatively far from this hotel since this is located close to the airport, which is a bit far from the city. Distance to important locations: Lulu Mall (18 km), Fort Kochi (39 km), MG Road shopping (30 km), Cherai beach (21 km).
Marriott Hotel - Marriott is synonym for luxury in India. This new hotel in Kochi is located to next to the Lulu Mall, one of the major landmarks in Kochi. Marriott is located conveniently in the intersection of NH-47 and NH-17. Distance to other locations: Lulu Mall (100 metres), Fort Kochi (20 km), MG Road (7 km), Cherai beach (23 km).
Crowne Plaza, Maradu, Kochi - This is another 5-star hotel located along the NH-47 in a convenient location, close to Fort Kochi (12 km), Lulu Mall (11.5 km), MG Road shopping areas (5 km) and Cherai beach (33 km). Since this hotel is located along the highway, it is easy to travel to other destinations like Alleppey, Munnar etc from here.
Room rent: Rs 6,500 onwards.
Holiday Inn in NH-47 bye-pass road is another 5-star facility in Kochi. Similar to Crowne Plaza, Holiday Inn is also conveniently located with easy access to all travel destinations. Distance to important locations: Fort Kochi (18 km), Lulu Mall (6 km), MG Road shopping areas (6 km) and Cherai beach (28 km)
Rate: Rs 5,750 onwards.
Vivanta by Taj - Malabar - This luxury hotel is located in Willingdon Island is overlooking Cochin harbour.
Contact details: Vivanta by Taj - Malabar
Cochin - 682 009
Phone: +91 484 664 3000
Other 5-star hotels in Kochi are:
The best option for tourists staying in 5-star hotels is to buy their favourite hot drinks from the bar attached to the hotel itself. Other tourists may visit the self-service premium beverage outlet in Kadavantra.
Beer and Wine Parlours: If you are looking for beer or wine, there are several options in Kochi. There are many three star hotels and other beer and wine parlours where you can get them. When it comes to wine, there are very limited choices in Kerala.
If you have some time in Kochi, try a local backwater tour. I recently went on a day tour in a country style wooden boat through the backwaters of Kochi. Read more at Cochin Day Tours