why would you want to set the group Heineken, in Spain a turnover of over 1,000 million, is an sme with sales of just 800,000 euros? What is certain is that he has done something more than that. This week announced the acquisition of 51% of The Cibeles, one of the largest brewers in the craft most important of Madrid. “Our growth strategy is based on innovation and the development of a culture of beer each time greater. We grow from within, we are aware of the interest that the craft beer wakes up in the consumer and of its capacity to generate experiences of great value to this, years ago, our company began to work in the field of the craft [craft],” said a spokesman.

As the Holy Grail, the big companies are pursuing since a long time ago a market in ferment… that, however, does not represent more than 1% of the total beer sales in the country. In the past year, according to a study Reported DBK, the 511 firms craft their turnover was 47 million and produced nearly 170,000 hectoliters. Its turnover grew 31%, yes, but they are a drop in the 37.6 million hectoliters produced by the sector as a whole, that bill around 4,800 million. And, however, this microcosm of the hops and the barley becomes increasingly more noise. Last year the giant Molson Coors is made with the toledo Beer The Sagra; the global leader AB InBev bought, for its part, The Virgin, and Mahou has among its holdings two craft in the united States (Founders, Avery Brewing), in addition to owning the 40% of the brewery family Spanish Nomad Brewing.

Far are those words spoken some years ago by the president of Damm, Demetrio Carceller, when it was feared that these beers are made “in a garage” would result in “a failure of quality” by the end of indigestando to some consumers and affecting the other brands. “All the factories have their health record, everything is regulated. We have done a great job of accreditation and training, although in this last aspect, there is work to do. We cannot cause anything in the consumer, beyond that our beer will like it or not,” responds Javier Donate, president of the Spanish Association of Brewers, Independent Artisans.

In Europe the artisans tread strong: in the Uk there are 2.368 processors; in France, more than 1,000 in Germany, 824. “It’s a phenomenon that I hope has come to stay. It has a high content of innovation, and not think in the short term, companies work to create value for the local employment. You are fostering a lot of entrepreneurship,” says Jacobo Olalla, director general of Brewers of Spain.

To explain this growing interest, Javier Donate-speaking of the world craft generates news constantly. “We are many but very small, with a lot of imagination. Not we or to the nail of any industry…, is like comparing a neighborhood store with a large surface area. Bahsegel But we grow, and our work causes people to ask, be interested in the beer.”

This is one of the values that haunt the giants. Benet Fité, general director of the unit for New Business at Mahou San Miguel, recognized several years ago that found that the trend was going to make an impression on Spain. “We adapt and we were pioneers in this sense.” Continue to promote initiatives to spread the culture of craft, such as the center Brewhub of Cordoba, a space where teachers in the industry share knowledge and can make their own products. “In Spain, we are in a very incipient. In the united States this segment represents 24% of the market value, and we have five years of real boot and not we or the 1%. It is important to be there for this to grow, which is a category”. It is a bet of future, which, they say, will continue to support.

even Though the weight is extremely small, since Nielsen your analyst Celia Rodriguez is expressed with the same enthusiasm. “Quantitatively it has no importance, but it is true that it is helping you. It is a highly dynamic market, thanks in part to the craft, something that they are taking advantage of the great”. This year the value of beer sales at the supermarket grew 3% (1.027 million in the first three quarters), “and does so thanks to the mix of beers with a lot of volume and other more expensive and artisanal”.

Thanks to the artisans, in a sector as mature as the beer are appearing to other moments of consumption where you pay two or three euros for a bottle in the supermarket. “The 63% of the increase in prices came from more expensive brands. Even if they are not a big competition for the big breweries, are helping to stimulate the market”, insists Rodriguez.

Limits to growth

But as I said Mafalda, until the infinite has a limit. Each month of this year we launched, on average, 11 new brands. In the sector think that responds to a tendency to consume products with higher value-added mixed with that stream of power of “zero kilometer”. When does it stabilize? “We don’t know, but the opportunity is there. Companies know that the important thing is not to sell more litres, it is bill more. And that billing is now very estacionalizada in the summer. The world craft might be able to change that by creating new consumption moments, such as at parties or dinners with friends”, believe in Nielsen.

Donate reflects on what has happened in these past few years. “What is good and what is bad is that we go very quickly. Three years ago, I would say that we were very behind, today we are at the level of quality with the rest of Europe, although production is always below the united States We raced a lot of these years, it has improved everything. What penalizes us a lot are the structural costs, because, although we’re very small, we comply with the rules of the great.” And your margin is not small, but neither are installed on the segment of luxury. “If we see the historical, we maintain affordable prices, there is a very big difference with the industrial world, although we are always above”.