Old monk is an Indian dark rum made by Mohan Meakin and is a large group of companies that started with the first brewery of Asia established in 1855 under the name of Dyer Breweries by Edward Dyer in the Himalaya Mountains of India. Edward Abraham Dyer, father of Colonel Reginald Edward Harry Dyer of the Jallian Bagh massacre, set up the first brewery in India and also introduced the Asia’s first beer, LION. The brewery was soon shifted to nearby Solan , because there was supply of fresh spring water.
H.G. Meakin moved to India and bought the old Shimla and Solan breweries from Edward Dyer in 1887.When Burma was separated from India in 1937, the company was reconstituted with its Indian property in the form of Dyer Meakin Breweries, a public company of the London Stock Exchange.
After Indian independence, Narendra Nath Mohan went to London where he got a majority in Dyer Meakin Breweries. He took over as the CEO of the company in 1949 and made new breweries in Lucknow, Ghaziabad and in 1967 the name of the company changed to Mohan Meakin Breweries.On Narendra Nath Mohan’s death in 1969, his eldest son, Colonel V.R. Mohan, took over as Managing Director. They introduced many new brands but soon in 1973, he passed away.
In the 1970s, company started new business including Breakfast cereals, fruit juice and mineral water under the leadership of Brigadier Kapil Mohan) . After this, the liquor was removed in the name of the company in 1982, but soon Mohan realize that company is facing a huge loss than he decided to open new liquor breweries. The construction of new breweries was made in Hyderabad, Madras, Nepal and Kakinada near Hyderabad during the seventies and the eighties.
Today, Mohan Meakin’s flagship brand is the old Monk Rum and the Golden Eagle Beer. Other products include Diplomat Deluxe, Colonel Special, Summer Hall and Solan No 1 Whiskey, London Dry and Big Ben Jeans, and Cupellesky Vodka. The original beer of Asia, the lion, is still sold in northern India.
There is no advertisement of old monk or regarding any product but still it is one of the famous and bestselling rum However, in 2013, the old monk lost its position as the best-selling dark rum to McDowell’s No. 1 Rum. Old monk has been the largest foreign exchange (IMFL) brand of Indians for many years.