If you think you already know all the Spanish beer brands, make room for the new stars of the market, names like Rosita, Montseny, La Sagra Sagra, Tyris, Domus, Cibeles or Tierra de Frontera, the brands of the new microbreweries that have been around for a year grow throughout Spain: from Montseny (Barcelona) to Numancia de la Sagra (Toledo) through Alcorcón (Madrid).

The initiative is the result of small young entrepreneurs who are so in love with this drink that they have even decided to leave well-paid jobs as executives, engineers, marketing technicians or computer scientists to embark on an adventure.

The artisanal ones are gourmet products, generally of the ale type, with more complex flavors and a higher alcohol content than the usual ones. Nothing to do with the beers of life. Discerning palates are looking for them more than thirst quenchers, which is why they are usually found in good breweries, restaurants or delicatessens. And while they are still a minority, they are spreading rapidly, as was the case in the rest of Europe in the 1990s and in the United States in the 1980s.

but that’s just the beginning

In all cases, these are microbreweries that initially operated within a radius of 100 kilometers, but over time some even started to export. And with few barriers to entry because, unlike what happened 20 years ago, you don’t have to be a brewmaster to jump in the ring. Service companies are emerging for craft breweries that sell machines or raw materials, organize courses and advise on the design of the new business.

In addition, we are talking about a business where the investments required to produce the beer, create a brand and sell the product are not excessive.

Key to success

As the sector expands and consumers become more familiar with the product – more sophisticated than industrial beer – demand is starting to pick up. Beer is a living product that needs to be controlled, which is not always easy.

The local taste. The taste of beer is not uniform throughout Spain. Also not in the craft. On the one hand he likes it stronger, on the other fruitier, there are those who like it lighter or blond and with more or less alcohol. This forces the producer to seek out the palates of the people around him.

The costs. Crafting is expensive because it is produced in small batches and uses more raw materials, forcing processors to be overly careful with their costs. With the avalanche of new, increasingly professional companies, less efficient producers will end up being squeezed out of the market.

Distribution. The complicity of the dealers is crucial to establish the brand with the customers. Since regular bars are not interested in the product, the target group is medium or high-end restaurants, quality breweries and gourmet shops. In some cases, this forces the use of wine merchants rather than beer merchants.

Financial support. It’s the critical factor. Craft brewers must be willing to put in several hours a day. Everything is allowed: visits to the factory, tastings in restaurants and breweries, special incentives for traders, participation in the most important beer fairs in Spain, presence on social networks, advertising on the radio and lots of posters and merchandising.

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