The rapid recovery of the craft beer industry in Spain

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The fact that Spaniards are beer drinkers goes without saying. Only the Czech Republic surpasses Spain in per capita beer consumption. However, in addition to leading in consumption, Spain, besides being the second country in beer consumption, is the tenth-largest beer manufacturer worldwide and the third-largest in the European Union (after Germany and Poland). Its annual production exceeds three million tons, of which a select 0.5% is craft beers.

By craft beer, what do we mean? The AECAI (Spanish Association of Independent Craft Brewers) defines a series of minimum requirements to qualify as a craft beer:

  • Only barley or wheat malt as a source of starch.
  • The brewing company should not produce more than 5 million liters per year.
  • The brewing company must not be owned by another company that does not comply with the volumes, method, or ingredients.

These also tend to have a more effective link with local raw materials, although this is not required to receive the craft beer designation. Some 56% of brewers use local raw materials in hops or malt.

The craft beer sector, a booming sector

What are the current situation and prospects of this sector? AECAI, in its latest Informe Técnico de la Cerveza Artesana e Independiente (Craft and Independent Beer Technical Report), compiling data from 420 breweries in the national territory, shows that Spain generated 17 million liters of craft beer during the year 2020. This figure represented an inevitable drop compared to 2019 due to the effects of the pandemic.

The sector’s recovery, however, has been rapid. According to data from the report by Observatorio Sectorial DBK of Informa, in 2021, more than 19 million liters were generated, which represents a 14.5% rebound in the sector. In 2022, the growing trend of the industry is expected to continue. However, the increase in costs will have an impact on its profitability.

There is still plenty of room for growth. At present, the share of craft beer production, in relation to the total brewing industry, stands at 0.5%, as mentioned above. The market share, meanwhile, stands at 1.1%. Thanks to its better quality and taste, the price per liter of craft beer is much higher than that of conventional beer.

More than 3,800 craft beers

All the production is divided into two types of craft beers:

  • Fixed-range beers. Produced continuously throughout the year.
  • Special editions. Reserved for specific events or seasons.

Between them, they counted a total of 3,856 different craft beers in 2020, produced by approximately 500 breweries, a sign of the prevailing creativity in the sector.

This brewing variety is not limited to the content but can also be seen in the container. The wide variety of bottle designs is being joined by marketing in cans. One in four breweries now uses aluminum cans in addition to the conventional glass bottle.

At a regional level, Catalonia is the largest producer in Spain, accounting for 23% of craft breweries. The next region is Andalusia, with 14%. 87% of the breweries are located outside the provincial capitals, favoring the much-needed rural development of our country.

Barcelona Beer Company and its Cerdos Voladores

We are pleased to introduce you to a craft brewery that perfectly represents the boom in the sector that leads the Catalan region: Barcelona Beer Company. From Llinars del Vallés, they have developed nine types of beers (six classics and three seasonal), all of their craft beers, among which Cerdos Voladores stands out, one of the best known in the sector.

Barcelona Beer Company has already achieved considerable milestones. A crucial international reputation (among them), as it exports its craft beers to countries such as France, the United States, and Chile. It has also been recognized as the third-largest Spanish craft beer brewer, and its craft beers have won 14 national and international awards.

The equity funding round at Fellow Funders Crowd Investment has a target capital of €600,000. After less than a week of being launched, there are bookings for more than €677,000, which represents an overfunding of 113%. The funds raised in this round will continue expanding the company, optimizing production, and strengthening the brand image. All in all, to boost prospects in which the glass looks more and more “full”.

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