In a country known for its wine and spirits, particularly Fernet Branca, craft beer entered the scene 15 years ago thanks to Antares. With American trends as a guide, thirsty millennials lined up at the doors of new pubs and the craft movement was born.
In the early 80’s, German communities in the West and South regions of the country were making craft beer on a small scale, mainly for consumption by local tourists. The quality was poor, suppliers were non-existent and the end result was mediocre at best.
It wasn’t until 2005, after Antares moved to a bigger facility and started producing on a larger scale, that they were able to open their own brewpub. This trend took off and fellow breweries followed. One year after their first brewpub opened, daily lines began to form with wait times of at least one hour. This brewpub explosion triggered the interest of many resulting in more and more breweries opening.
By 2012, Antares had brewpubs in 8 cities around the country, and new brands were emerging. The craft beer craze had begun! The number of breweries grew exponentially; some reaching 70HL per month within 9 months of opening.
In 2015, thanks to trade agreements, imported supplies became available giving brewers access to specialty malts, American hops, imported kegs and fermentation tanks.
Craft beer is now a worldwide phenomenon with a culture of its own. Everyone knows someone who brews beer whether it’s at a brewery or at home, and has tried a variety of craft beers.
There is still a long way to go as craft beer is only 2% of the market, but with new breweries opening regularly, the industry is sure to continue growing.