More than 12 million sun-loving Brits jetted off to Spain in the past year and Barcelona was the most popular destination. It is easy to see why this enchanting seaside city is such a hit, as it is teeming with architectural treasures, the world’s greatest chefs and beautiful Mediterranean beaches.
Barcelona is the home of Picasso, Gaudi, Dali, Lionel Messi, Ferran Adrià and, of course, Estrella Damm. The locals are proud of all their nest maestros, and the master brewers at Estrella Damm are very much a part of that family, so the beer is absolutely synonymous with the city, served everywhere and cherished by all.
It is therefore unsurprising to see Estrella Damm enjoying triple-digit growth in the UK off- trade, according to IRI data, and outstripping all its rivals in the burgeoning world beer category. There has never been a more exciting time to be a beer retailer in Britain, as the category is in growth, the consumer is highly engaged and there is a wonderful plethora of beers to choose from. But as new releases hit the market at a frenetic rate and choice broadens, putting together an effective range can be challenging.
It is worth analysing the sub-categories that are thriving and those that are struggling. As you can imagine, slabs of mainstream lager are faring poorly in an age of premiumisation, gastronomic revolution and people drinking less but better. New category champions have come to the fore, namely craft beer and world beer. The former gains most of the headlines and attention, but world beer is seven times bigger than craft, contributing far more growth and capturing the imagination of many more shoppers (IRI and Kantar).
Heritage and provenance
There are a number of brands trying to muscle their way into the world beer xture, but it is worth a careful examination of their credentials. Nowadays consumers, particularly millennials, demand heritage, provenance and authenticity. Most world beer brands are actually brewed in the UK, but Estrella Damm stands out as each and every can, bottle and keg is brewed at origin, in Barcelona.
The story began in 1876, when a young Alsatian couple called August and Melanie Damm ed their homeland to escape the Franco-Prussian war. They landed in Barcelona at the same time as Gaudi was embarking on his edgling career, and they set about realising their dream of brewing crisp, refreshing, great-tasting lager. They established their own brewery, using the nest Mediterranean ingredients to craft a distinctive beer that was perfectly suited to the warm climate. To this day, Estrella Damm is brewed to the original 1876 recipe, using 100% natural, local ingredients, so it ticks all the boxes in terms of provenance and authenticity. It is also the very de nition of craft beer, made centuries before hipsters in Shoreditch started swigging maple bacon coffee porter.
Estrella Damm is proud to play an important role in the local community and it only works with local Mediterranean farmers to source its ingredients. Its malt is processed to the strictest standards at its own malthouse – La Moravia – while its yeast is unique and is guarded by high security measures. The brewers at Estrella Damm are committed to quality and they refuse to take any shortcuts, so the fermentation and production process takes a minimum of three weeks.
They also insisted on rolling out a darker brown bottle to ensure that light exposure does not affect the taste of the beer. This is important for exports to the UK as it means the bottle will travel better from Barcelona to British shelves, allowing the authentic Mediterranean taste to be perfectly preserved.
Estrella Damm is steeped in heritage and big on tradition, but it has also invested heavily
in the most cutting-edge equipment available in an effort to ensure that nothing compromises the quality of the beer.
That quality has been recognised by a huge range of global awards from prestigious panels in blind tasting competitions, including multiple gold medals at the World Beer Awards. It is also the beer of choice for three Michelin-starred chef Joan Roca, whose El Celler de Can Roca has been voted the best restaurant in the world. “Beer gives diversity and complexity and it is being used more in our pairings,” he says. “I like Estrella Damm not only because it’s Catalan, but because it does things well. It’s very refreshing.”
Estrella Damm is thriving in both the off- trade and the on-trade in the UK, enjoying astronomical growth. A dedicated quality trainer and a quality manager are out among the trade on a daily basis, working with staff to ensure the beer is served in the best way possible. It is available in bottles, cans and draught, all blessed with a striking, stylish, eye-catching design that continues to win over British shoppers.
Head to Barcelona and you will see that Estrella Damm is a colourful presence at stylish, vibrant and passionate occasions, popular among those who want to enjoy the city’s nightlife, sunshine, fun, sport and culture. Brits are increasingly keen to replicate all those things from the comfort of their own homes, and relive their holidays throughout the year. Estrella Damm ts the bill perfectly, because it is fun, stylish, sociable, popular for food pairing and bang on trend. Its premium positioning offers retailers a strong margin, it is backed by fantastic marketing support and it really should be a crucial part of your beer range.