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The Recent Advent of Micro Producers in the Spanish Brewing Industry

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This chapter aims at investigating the birth and diffusion of craft brewing in Spain. We discuss the role of consumers: Lead and experimental consumers were influenced by the discovery of a richer culture and variety of beers in foreign countries. They founded consumer associations and fostered the creation of a new demand for beer in the Spanish beer market. This gradual change created new opportunities for new firms, which entered the market on a small scale to produce differentiated products with respect to the mass-market beer. The first entrepreneurs in the craft brewing sector had relations with foreign experiences or with the consumer associations. The role of the first entrepreneurs was decisive for spreading the idea of new business opportunities and for satisfying the demand of a new consumer attitude, more sophisticated, more local, more informed. The Catalonia region played a crucial role in this story.

Christian Garavaglia shared and developed the first ideas and content of this chapter with Steve Huxley who passed away in October 2015. This chapter is dedicated in memory of Steve.

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Fig. 13.1

Source Author’s computations on data from Informe Socioeconómico del Sector de la Cerveza en España (various years)

Fig. 13.2

Source Author’s computations on data from Informe Socioeconómico del Sector de la Cerveza en España (2015)


  1. 1.

    Manuel Edo Benaiges, Pepa Villalba Ibáñez, and Anna Blasco Olivares.

  2. 2.

    Manuel Rojo Guerra.

  3. 3.

  4. 4.

    Murrell (2014) explains that Spanish city laws make it extremely difficult for activities such as brewing to take place outside a polígono industrial; i.e., an industrial park (see also the case of Magister).

  5. 5.

    Personal written communications, February 2016.

  6. 6.

    Personal written communication, September 2015.

  7. 7.

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  8. 8.

    Personal written communication, April, 2015.

  9. 9.

    Guía para descubrir las mejores cervezas artesanas (2013).

  10. 10.

    Available at

  11. 11.

    See Cerveza Artesana (2016), available at


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Garavaglia, C., Castro, D. (2018). The Recent Advent of Micro Producers in the Spanish Brewing Industry. In: Garavaglia, C., Swinnen, J. (eds) Economic Perspectives on Craft Beer. Palgrave Macmillan, Cham.

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