International Insights: Federico Murgier, La Paloma Brewing Company

For the second edition of International Insights, a continuing series of Q&As with brewing members, but this time branching outside of the US and into the rest of the world, Brewer is featuring La Paloma Brewing Company.
In this series, Brewer will share personal insights from international breweries each week about the craft beer market in other countries, where those brewers get their inspiration, and how the market compares to craft beer in the US.

 

Federico Murgier, Co-Owner, La Paloma Brewing Company — Argentina

BREWER: What are the most popular beer styles in your area?
MURGIER: Lighter style beers like Cream and Amber Ales are the most popular, especially among people who are just starting to drink craft. However, culturally Argentinians are used to bitter drinks, such as Mate and the Italian drink Fernet. As the craft brewing industry took off here, this flavor profile has shown through in beer as well. People really really fell in love with IPA style beers once they hit the market five years ago.

BREWER: What can you tell me about the craft beer market in your country? How has the market evolved throughout the past few years?
MURGIER: The craft beer market in Argentina is nothing like it was six years ago. Back then, the only players in the market where those who had not only their own production but their own bar as well. The only way for producers to grow was by opening franchises of their own brand. By 2013, we had been living in the United States for 11 years and experienced first hand the craft beer revolution in the states. At the time we were working 9-to-5 at desk jobs in New York and we would come back home for Christmas to spend time with our family, when it came to drinking craft beer, all we could find in Mar del Plata was local beers. There was nothing in town such as beer gardens in NYC, where you could find anything from a Vermont IPA to a San Diego West Coast IPA.Therefore, we realized we had an opportunity to open a multi-brand beer garden. A place where we could offer beers from all over the country. So, our first bar BRÜDER was born.The business model was not only successful and appealing to us, but also to the different producers and consumers in Argentina as well.  The producers did not need to rely on investing in opening a bar to sell their beer anymore and consumers started to enjoy home-town beers from all over.This model spread all over Argentina and the industry took a big leap in terms of production and so on. Two years later we partnered up with Gabriel Reynoso, one of the most recognized brewmasters in the country and open our brewery LA PALOMA. 

BREWER: Do you distribute your beer? If so, where, and do you self-distribute or do you use a third-party distributor?
MURGIER: Yes, we distribute our beer all over Argentina. We distribute it ourselves through a third-party logistic company, but they are not distributors. In Argentina, the three-tier distribution system does not exist. 

BREWER: How is your brewery innovative? Where do you get your inspiration when brewing new beers?
MURGIER: We work to elaborate new products that are based not only in old-style German or English beers, but explore other production techniques and ingredients. This allows us to keep creating innovative products, which is exactly what the market is looking for today. Being a small brewery gives us the flexibility to brew small batches of different beers. We have a lot of fun experimenting. We’re coffee lovers and love adding coffee to our beers. In the recent past, we have developed beers like a Belgian passion fruit beer, a golden Coffee Ale and a Berry Stout. Our most recent project is a Berry Coffee Sour.

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