The craft beer industry, in the country, brings together 235 enterprises. Before the COVID-19 pandemic, 1,350 families worked directly and more than 8,500 indirectly.
Ecuador has historically been linked to fermented beverages such as chicha and beer. The first brewery in America was built in Quito in 1556 by Fray Jodoco Ricke.
80% of sales are directly linked to the activities of specialized bars, restaurants, supermarket chains, fairs and events.
“We represent 0.67% of the beer sales volume in the Ecuadorian market and we move about $ 15 million annually, says Nelson Calle, spokesman for the Ecuadorian Craft Breweries Association.
In Ecuador, quality craft beer is made, some have managed to participate in beer glasses in Latin America, winning gold, silver and bronze medals, says Calle.
About 75% of the employment we generate has been lost due to the closure of establishments due to the coronavirus pandemic, because the productive chain behind the craft beer industry is great, explains Calle.
As a strategy, craft breweries have opted for door-to-door sales with biosecurity protocols and have reduced the price to cover fixed costs; however, they have an overdue portfolio of 45% and the closure of distribution points such as bars and restaurants.
We have seen that, since the beginning of the health crisis, our sales have decreased by 85% and if we add to this the extension of the curfew and the prohibition law, we are talking that very possibly in the next 30 or 60 days, 90% of craft breweries could fail, says Calle.
We have exhausted all our resources and efforts to have access to financial relief, to quick credits through government institutions, but we have found negative responses. We need the support of the Government to work together, to reactivate ourselves taking care of people’s health through the biosafety protocols that we have worked with the national COE, concludes Calle. (I)