Olé! Butterfield & Vallis adds Spanish beer
Butterfield & Vallis has entered the beer and wine sector for the first time, bringing Spanish lager Estrella Damm to the island.
As the company celebrates its 100th anniversary, it has added a new line to its wholesale inventory after receiving a license to distribute beer and wine.
The first brand it is distributing is Estrella Damm, which was founded in 1876 in Barcelona and is Spain’s oldest lager beer brand.
Alun Hughes, general manager of Butterfield & Vallis, explained the reason for the move. He said: “Beer and wine has been a very competitive market over the years. We are hoping to bring some points of difference. We are looking at a number of European and American brands.”
Estrella is a Mediterranean lager, and Mr Hughes sees a link between the lifestyles of that region and Bermuda.
“It really fits what we think is suited to the island.”
Estrella was a sponsor of the New Zealand team in the 2007 America’s Cup, which was held in Spain. It is also a sponsor of FC Barcelona.
“There’s that recognition of football and beach lifestyle,” said Mr Hughes, who believes Butterfield & Vallis’s move into the beer and wine sector is timely. He sees a niche in the market, and noted the number of new bars that have opened on Front Street in the past year, including the Astwood Arms and The Dog House, which has acted as an extra stimulus for the arrival of new products.
“Traditionally, Bermuda’s beer market did not have much variety. The major brands dominated,” said Mr Hughes.
Among its range of beers, Estrella has a gluten-free option and a craft beer. Butterfield & Vallis is distributing cans and bottles of the beer to retailers, bars and restaurants, with Patrick Doyle, Aaron Bloom and Tevin Campbell part of the team.
Although the company only recently received its first container of Estrella, the beer has been well received by customers, according to Mr Hughes. He said Butterfield & Vallis is examining more opportunities, such as bringing in draft beers.