When it comes to exporting drinks, Chile has consistently been recognized internationally for its wines. In fact, a longitudinal study by Imagen de Chile carried out in 12 cities around the globe found that wine is the best-known Chilean product, with a 52% response rate. Wine has served as an ambassador, paving the way for products from emerging sectors by opening markets and exploring their potential. Beer is a prime example and Chilean companies have been working to emphasize their products’ place of origin, highlighting the fact that they are craft beers.
The new face of the brewing industry and the accompanying momentum are the result of innovation, sustainability, a commitment to local communities, Chilean skills and talent, and pride in presenting a locally-made, often artisanal product. “The Chilean market has changed a great deal in the past 3 years. Beer culture is growing and people want to learn more about beer and brewing. They have noticed that there aren’t just light and dark beers, but in fact there is a wide range of varieties that, thanks to the Chilean craft beer community, has grown and expanded, first through bars and now via online digital platforms,” said the CEO of the CasaDeLaCerveza digital platform, Juan Pablo Valin. Below we talk about three businesses that are leading the way for the Chilean brewing industry.
Sustainability and Community
Cervecería Guayacán was founded in 2009 and began operations in the Elquí Valley in the Coquimbo Region, 500 kilometers north of Santiago. Since then, the company has become known for its philosophy of sustainability and commitment to the local community. The brewery was built around the ideal and vision that the companies of the future are those that put an emphasis on enduring over time. “We believe that the only way to be sustainable is to believe that we exist for a reason and that reason is to have a positive impact on our local surroundings, at the economic, social and environmental levels,” commented the founder of Guayacán Brewery, Andrés Toro.
Speaking about commitment to the community, he added, “the fact that we created a brewery to attract tourists in a town like Diaguitas has won the support of the community. In response to our project, more tourism has been developed in the town, which has spurred local development and generated work for our neighbors with a low environmental impact.” The brewery has incorporated solar energy into its production process, which has improved their competitiveness and led to the increased use of non-conventional natural resources to produce their beer.
Connected to their roots
One characteristic that is unique to the Chilean brewing industry is the fact that many companies actively promote their Chilean identity by using local talent and fostering links with the land. Cervecería +56 is a start-up that was born in 2013 and this connection to their roots is evident in their brand, because their name refers to the telephone country code for Chile. This code is specific to Chile, easy to remember, simple and speaks its own language. This code reflects what it means to be Chilean through a craft beer. “Our goal has always been to focus on the local aspect, which is reflected in our beer label. We want our consumers to have the total experience, to know our history, our shared idioms, and our beer,” noted the business director of Cervecería +56, Francisca Pacheco.
For many years, e-commerce has been gaining strength in Chile and due to the pandemic, this trend has really taken hold. The creators of CasaDeLaCerveza saw it coming. This digital platform was designed specifically to sell Chilean and imported beers, from the most popular brands to craft beers from microbreweries. The owners were able to adapt to the new situation and the boom in e-commerce by promoting beer consumption at home. Their idea has been a complete success. Online sales via this platform have grown exponentially and are 600% up on last year. “Drinking beer at home is here to stay and that is why solutions such as CasaDeLaCerveza, which allow for different experiences, are very important. We wanted to create a brewery platform that didn’t just sell beer, but also educated our consumers on all aspects of this great world,” said Valin.
Chilean beers to celebrate the digital platform’s third anniversary.