Brahma bucks world market
In the U.S., "brahma" is a name associated more with rodeos than anything else. In Brazil, it's the top-selling beer, one its brewers hope to make a worldwide hit.
In Sao Paulo, Bar Brahma (seen here) has been a city staple since 1948. It is the place that Brahma beer, brewed since 1888, became popular with city dwellers and tourists. Now that the brewery is owned by big thinkers, it may become even more of a cult favorite.
Brahma, after a series of mergers and acquisitions, now is owned by Inbev of Belgium, the world's biggest brewer by volume. It also manufactures Stella Artois and Beck's. Inbev is making Brahma available in 15 countries, including the U.S. and Canada. Company officials say they expect Brahma sales outside Brazil to exceed $35 million by the end of 2007.
In an interview with the BBC, Inbev global brands vice president Devin Kelly said the company saw Brahma as a product that captured the essence of Brazil.
"First and foremost, it was the emotional context. The culture was more important in terms of filling a positioning that we had identified on a global basis. The emotional context of Brahma, at the heart and soul of this incredible country called Brazil, was the single most important factor," he said, obviously not sparing the florid prose.
Travelers who have tried Brahma in Brazil will find the export version slightly different.
"It's a slightly different liquid," Kell said. "It has a slightly more fruity nose to it and that characteristic carries through. It still has a great beer taste. But across the globe outside Brazil, it's exactly the same beer."
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Posted by William M. Dowd at 4:59 PM