Craft Beer’s Hispanic Appeal

Hispanic consumers are fans of beer and of imported and major domestic brews in particular. Those are not the only beer categories on the Latino radar, however. Hispanics are engaging with craft beer both as consumers and as producers, and they’re poised to influence the direction of the craft beer industry.

Two-fifths of Hispanic consumers (43%) order craft beer in restaurants and bars at least once a month, and three in 10 (31%) consume craft beer at home—similar to what we see with the general population (44% on-premise and 30% at home), according to Technomic’s Special TAB Report: Hispanic Consumer Insights. What’s more, frequent craft-beer purchasers, as identified in our recently released On-Premise Craft Beer & Cider study, skew toward Hispanic consumers. This large and fast-growing ethnic group, whose drink decisions often are influenced by food choices and the people in their party, will undoubtedly continue to explore craft beer at the bar and in the retail store.

The growing number of craft beers produced by Latino brewers and featuring Latino flavors also surely will heighten the appeal of craft beer to Hispanic consumers. Opened in Chicago in 2011, 5 Rabbit Cerveceria is named for a figure in Aztec mythology and is billed as the nation’s first Hispanic craft brewery. Popular brews include the fall seasonal Vida y Muerte, a marzen involving dulce de leche, and 5 Lizard Latin-style witbier, in which lime peel replaces the traditional bitter orange and passion-fruit puree adds a unique twist. Cigar City Brewing Company, based in Tampa, FL, brews several beers that tap into the Latin flavors and culture of the area, such as the Bolita Double Nut Brown Ale and the Jose Marti American Porter. At Pacific Plate Brewing Company in Monrovia, CA, three Latin brewers produce beers inspired by traditional Hispanic food and drink, such as Mango IPA and Horchata Stout. Dyckman Beer Company was recently launched in Manhattan by a Dominican-born Wall Streeter-turned-brewer; its first beer is a pilsner, but a passion-fruit-infused saison is slated for a fall release.

The major brewers and import marketers continue to court Hispanic consumers. Coors Light Summer Brew debuted in May; the first line extension for the brand was positioned to target Hispanics with its citrus-infused flavor profile. MillerCoors’ Tenth and Blake division will offer Blue Moon Cinnamon Horchata Ale this fall. Constellation’s beer division is running both English and Spanish versions of its ads for Corona this summer. Indeed, the fight for Hispanic beer occasions has been heating up in recent years, and it appears craft beer is the next battleground.

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Donna Hood Crecca

A veteran of the foodservice industry, Donna Hood Crecca leads the firm’s Convenience Store Practice and is active in its Adult Beverage Practice. She develops research-based insights and recommendations for leading and emerging supplier and operator companies to enhance their go-to-market and product development programs and strategies.

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