Hello America! Mexican Craft Beers Imported into States

Quest Beverage, an new importer of Mexican craft beers led by a team of beer-industry veterans, announced the recent distribution of Cerveza Rrëy and Cerveza Urbana into the US.

Both brands of award-winning craft beers are now available at bars, restaurants and retail locations in Houston and St. Louis. The company will be expanding distribution to southern California and Illinois later this month.

Brewer Magazine was able to discuss the decisions behind bringing the two brands north and onto American shelves with Quest Beverage founder and CEO Gregg Billmeyer.

“The Craft business in Mexico reminds me of the US 15-20 years ago,” he said.  “It’s very small but growing at a tremendous rate. Consumers are demanding beers beyond traditional Mexican Lagers, so it’s the consumer that is creating this new segment.”

The company’s current portfolio consists of four brands, and none are atypical Mexican beers.

From Cerveza Rrëy, based in Monterrey, Mexico, Quest is importing a Kölsch and a London-style ale.

Quest is also importing two beers from Cerveza Urbana, based in Mexicali, Mexico: Crossover IPA and Blonde Ale.

“We didn’t choose Cerveza Urbana and Cerveza Rrey per se…the consumers did,” Billmeyer said. “We took five breweries to research and partnered with the two winners.”

Quest chose Houston as a test market given the strong Latino population and vibrant craft beer community, he added.

“In addition, we knew the wholesaler there and knew they would be a fantastic partner for our first test,” Billmeyer said. “We conducted consumer testing of the concept as well as tastings with both Latino and Anglo consumers. Overall, consumers scored the entire proposition an eight on a 10-point scale.

“We chose St Louis because it’s our home market and we wanted to personally watch how the brands were accepted by retailers and consumers. Results are good thus far. We couldn’t be happier with our partnerships and work very closely together to build their brands in the US. In Mexico, they are also doing very well.”

Billmeyer said they know it’s a crowded market but he feels the lineup coming from Mexico through these two brands are different than other crafts.

“We’re imported and craft which is new and unique,” he noted. “We feel there is a real opportunity to develop  a new segment.

“Our research told us there will be interest from both Latino and Anglo drinkers. At the end of the day, there’s always room for brands that consumers want.”

Be the first to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.