Q&A With Ezequiel, Our Craft Beer Master

THE ORIGINS

Where did you grow up?

I grew up in a neighborhood named “Flores” in Buenos Aires city.

How did your passion for craft beer started?

It all started when I had my first crafted beer at the age of 17. I was captivated on how it’s flavour and aromas where so different from “regular” beer. Also, a Charlie Papazian book got to my hands and introduced me to these wonderful world. I realized that brewing was not as difficult as I thought, thus I made my own brewing equipment from kitchen supplies. It was only a matter of time until my entire room was completely packed of empty bottles, brewing equipment and fermenting beer!.

What is the main difference between industrial and craft beer?

I think the main difference between industrial and craft beer comes from the time invested and passion towards creating a particular taste that separates you from the rest. Also when you are working with small quantities, as in the case of home made beers, the possibilities are endless; “if you can imagine, you can do it” without worrying about wasting a lot of money. I think there are good and bad beers, some of them are industrial and some are crafted. Generally speaking, however, the fact that craft beer is made out someone’s personal taste, makes it more romantic and unique.

Do you brew? if so, what are you brewing now?

Yes, I have been brewing since I was 22 (now 28). I am currently brewing an Argentinian golden ale with kent golding and bunch of caramel malts.

THE CRAFT BEER INDUSTRY IN BARCELONA

What are your thoughts on the craft beer industry in Barcelona?

The craft beer industry has been growing steadily the last 5 years. Right now there is not as many brewpubs or specialized bars as it should be for the amount of craft beer being produced. Thus, it is our duty as craft beer lovers to expand the knowledge and passion with people so they join the club and the industry can continue to grow.

Where do you see it in 5 years time?

I believe it will keep growing steadily but not so far from now it will reach a peak and stay flat for a bit. Unless we make harder efforts in educating industrial beer drinkers an explain them the advantages of being a craft beer consumer. While it is true that there’s a price difference between craft and standardized beer, I strongly believe that anybody would appreciate craft beer if given the chance to understand the difference and story behind each beer.

What about your future?

I would love to expand knowledge within the Barcelona craft beer scene. For that, my goal is to mix two big players in Barcelona, such as tourism and local craft beer in order to create a unique experience for them and at the same time help out the local industry. That is what we try to do here at CocoVail.

What about locals? How can they be educated?

Mediterranean countries are wine countries. Although the tendency is changing, it will take some time to get locals to explore beyond the classic “caña” and to make them understand that beer isn’t just a “refreshment”. I believe that in order to get there, it is important to support local breweries so people know that their beer is being produced by passionate people just around the corner.

  Ezequiel at the craft beer festival