Meet the Founder: Algarve Rock Brewery, Putting Portuguese Craft Beer on the Map

Meet the Founder: Algarve Rock Brewery, Putting Portuguese Craft Beer on the Map

23rd April 2020 by Michaela Salomon

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Fuelled by a love for the Iberian Peninsula and a boredom with “industrial” beer, Algarve Rock Brewery has brought a new dimension to the Portuguese beer scene since its inception in 2017, with a range of high-quality hand-crafted beers. With craft beer still very much in its early stages in Portugal, Algarve Rock Brewery is capitalising on the increasingly popular global trend.

From themed Brew Bars to a line of craft ciders, there are many exciting initiatives in the pipeline for the up and coming beer brand, so we sat down with CEO Gary Hosmer to find out more.

What is Algarve Rock Brewery’s mission, in your own words?
Our main goal is to become the most successful craft brewery in Portugal. All our beers are brewed right here in Algarve, with only the best natural ingredients which is what really sets us apart. We like to call it a no-nonsense brewery – we never brew anything with chemicals or preservatives, just refreshing beer the way it was always meant to be enjoyed.

What’s the significance behind the name?
Algarve, Portugal’s south-most region is known and loved for its white sand beaches and small fishing towns infused with culture and history. We wanted our location in the Algarve to be part of the brand itself and our first Brew Bar will have a rock beer garden in celebration of the region.

Algarve Rock was started by just a couple guys, passionate about real beer, with a dream of giving Portoguese a name. So why not title it after the incredible place that made that dream possible!

What differentiates you from other craft brewers in the market?
Craft beer is fairly new in the Portuguese market but it’s garnering a lot of attention especially among younger consumers. The current market is dominated by brewers creating strong-flavoured beers with quite high alcohol content. We saw a gap in the market for light-tasting beer that’s easy to drink. By investing in state-of-the-art brewing and bottling equipment, using top consultants and developing a high-quality brand image, we’ve accomplished something different that’s really challenging the Portuguese brewery landscape.

We create British-style craft beers using skilled consultants. Our beer recipes, quality and consistency are created with the help of top UK brewers and experienced staff in Portugal. Our 3,000 litre Brew House and associated fermentation vessels and auto bottling line provide us with the tools to produce 36,000 litres per month, readily expandable to 80,000 litres to meet growing demand.

What’s your favourite part about connecting with your customers?
We’re always hearing from our customers and it’s allowed us to better navigate what they’re looking for and meet their needs. We get reviews all the time and they’re overwhelmingly positive – in regard to flavour, price-point and atmosphere. When we show customers around the brewery, it’s really an opportunity for us to showcase our passion for craft beer and show them what we’re all about – so when they come back with positive feedback it just solidifies everything we stand for as a brand. 

What’s the most significant success the company has achieved so far?
Definitely landing the contract to produce house beers for Quinta do Lago group in Portugal and Casa do Frango restaurants in London. Both of these partnerships are really indicative of the status we’ve achieved as a brand and hopefully the first of many. 

We’ve already got plans to open an exciting craft beer kiosk at a large shopping mall (that has over 750,000 monthly visitors) and soon the rollout of a number of themed Brew Bars all across Portugal. We’re always looking to meet trends in the market. Alongside craft beer there is a growing demand for craft cider and hard seltzers – so we also intend to introduce both this year. Stay tuned! 

How would you describe your company values?
Honest beer, made honestly. It’s as simple as that!

What will the proceeds from this raise help you achieve?
We’re using this fundraising round to fuel what we hope to be a rapid expansion of Algarve Rock-owned Brew Bars. This will require significant investment in marketing and operations. All startup breweries are cash-hungry during the expansion years and it’s of utmost importance to maintain momentum on expansion, so that’s exactly what we plan to do.

What pairs best with an Algarve Rock brew?
For our Piri Piri Pilsner a good strong cheese. Our Pale Ale matches well with spicy food and our grapefruit IPA matches is fantastic with everything.

How/where do you most enjoy relaxing with a beer?
I am spoilt for choice as we supply a handful of really incredible beachside bars. There’s nothing quite like sitting back with an Algarve Rock Pale Ale as the sun dips below the horizon.

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To find out more, and for the opportunity to invest, visit Algarve Rock Brewery’s pitch.

Michaela Salomon

Michaela Salomon

Campaign Support Team

Digital Agency Kent