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The Craft Brewing Industry in Latin America: The Case of Colombia


This chapter presents a brief description of the beer industry in Latin America and specifically in Colombia. The main focus is on the performance of the craft brewing industry. It was found that the same patterns followed by other markets around the world are being replicated in Colombia in explaining the renaissance of the Colombian craft brewing industry. Some common factors are identifiable such as consumer resistance and change in consumer preferences for food from the demand side, and the apparition of brewing associations, network ties and access to information from the supply side. Some specific barriers for the country are also identified such as the unavailability of inputs, lack of funding and difficult sanitary regulations.


  • Craft beer
  • Brewing Industry
  • Colombia
  • Latin America

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Fig. 4.1
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Fig. 4.3


  1. 1.

    In this chapter the name Latin America refers in general to the geographic region of Latin America and the Caribbean.

  2. 2.

    (Euromonitor 2015) Calculations by the author.

  3. 3.

    According to the Federal Trade Commission merger guidelines.

  4. 4.

    For a detailed explanation of the process of industry renewal (resource partitioning and social movements), see (Carroll and Swaminathan 2000).

  5. 5.

    In order to consider Brazil within the market.

  6. 6.

    It is important to add that in personal communication with Ricardo Plano, he pointed out the need to recognize that the graph may not be exactly accurate. The actual closing date for many breweries is unknown, a fact that is revealed in the uniformity in the decrease of breweries between 1957 and 1977, which is arbitrary. We use this assumption based on the fact that in 1975 Bavaria was a well-established monopoly. Another important element that Ricardo pointed out is that there are three different types of firms aggregated in the same graph line: traditional small breweries, mass-production industrial breweries, and contemporaneous craft breweries.

  7. 7.

    Personal interview.

  8. 8.

    BBC was purchased in 2015 by AB InBev.

  9. 9.

  10. 10.

    In contrast to the pioneers of the industry in the country, who almost two centuries before were also producing craft beers.

  11. 11.

  12. 12.

    Pioneer of the brewing industry in Colombia with Cerveceria Otra Parte Colombiana (personal interview).


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The author thanks the editors, Christian Garavaglia and Johan Swinnen, for their guidance through the entire long process of writing the chapter, the dedication, and comments of the anonymous reviewers and Nicholas Woodward for their valuable corrections. Thanks to Jill McKluskey and Ron Mittelhammer for their guidance on the amazing world of the economics of beer. Special thanks to Ricardo Plano-Danais, beer aficionado and enthusiastic collector of data; and to Juan Alejandro Correa, one of the pioneers of craft brewing in Colombia since 1995 with Cervecería Otra Parte Colombiana. Thanks to Mauricio Anillo for his valuable help as a research assistant in the early stages of the project. Thanks also to Ronald Soto-Quiroz, for sparing me the necessary time to write the last version of the chapter during my period as invited professor at the University of Bordeaux.

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Toro-Gonzalez, D. (2018). The Craft Brewing Industry in Latin America: The Case of Colombia. In: Garavaglia, C., Swinnen, J. (eds) Economic Perspectives on Craft Beer. Palgrave Macmillan, Cham.

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