Craft beer is gradually making its way into Venezuela with the help of entrepreneurs like José Luis Ortuño. Six years ago, Ortuño started producing craft beer in his kitchen as a passion project. Today, his brewery called Cheers Factory, located in Caracas, produces five different types of beer that cater to the Venezuelan palate. Ortuño’s objective is to introduce Venezuelans to the world of craft beer by offering them drinks that are familiar while simultaneously introducing something new.
To achieve this objective, Ortuño produces a “Honey Blonde” beer, which has honey, ginger, and orange peel, and has a soft texture and complex flavor. For those who prefer more bitter and aromatic beers, they can try the IPA, which is the most popular among the five beers Ortuño produces. The craft beer industry has been growing steadily in Venezuela and its expansion shows great promise in the future.
However, the craft beer industry in Venezuela faces challenges, including the importation of international brands with low tariffs, making it difficult for local breweries to compete. Additionally, craft brewers do not have legislation to protect them, and the current law is mainly focused on large businessmen. Despite these challenges, craft brewers have expressed their concerns to the National Assembly, which is discussing a law that will stimulate the development of artisans.
Despite everything, both Ortuño and Kilian De Fries, the president of Cervecería Tovar company, are optimistic about the future of craft beer in Venezuela. They are both committed to making craft beer part of Venezuelan culture and believe that conditions will improve, allowing the Venezuelan sector to join the worldwide “spectacular” movement of craft beer.