The craft beer phenomenon is relatively new in our country. Many brewers consider that it was the English master brewer Steve Huxley who introduced the philosophy of craft beer brewing in Spain, more specifically from the Gràcia neighbourhood in Barcelona. The idea certainly materialized, paradoxically, coinciding with the start of the economic crisis. To get an idea, let’s look at a couple of numbers. In 2008, according to the Spanish Agency for Food Safety and Nutrition, 21 microbreweries were registered, the production of which did not reach 100,000 hectolitres per year. However, at the end of 2015, 361 microbreweries were registered throughout the territory, an increase of about 1,600%!
How is it possible that a product by definition more expensive than its industrial analogue has proliferated so much in times of crisis? There are several answers.
On the one hand, the craft beer recovers values that returned with much strength during the beginning of the crisis. Rejection of large corporations, increase of products of proximity, natural ingredients etc. Concepts that are very common to us today but that, perhaps due to the frenzy of economic growth in which we found ourselves, had fallen into oblivion.
On the other hand, the pure and hard economic factor. Having less money for consumption has meant that many have opted for quality rather than quantity.
The fashion factor should not be ruled out, far from it. In the US, they have been recovering beer recipes that the industry had removed from the map since the 70s, long before the term “craft beer” was even coined. The UK drinks from its own brewing tradition, but it is not until 2002 when microbreweries re-emerge. It is not surprising, then, that a mature movement in such globally influential countries ended up on our shores.
The growth of the sector has been so spectacular that large beer groups are moving to gain a privileged place in the market. As happened in the US and the UK, the beer giants are expanding their ranges to more “premium” products. A clear sign that, far from being a passing fad, craft beer is here to stay.