An 8000km expedition in search of the best craft beer bars in Europe

At a time when, across Europe, relief is beginning to be felt from the restrictions of the pandemic, the opportunity now arises to develop a European roadmap in search of the best craft beer bars. It will be during the month of March that Letra beer will carry out a brewing expedition by campervan covering more than 8000km through 11 countries.

With the name of “Letra Brew & Beyond”, this project aims to promote the craft beer brand and Minho at an European level. At each stop there will be a different dynamic, whether producing beers in collaboration, whether Tap Takeover events where several barrels of Letra are served or pairing events between beers, artisanal cheeses and Minho sausages.

Filipe Macieira, founding partner of the brand, reveals that “showing our product outside the scope of festivals or fairs is undoubtedly a differentiating factor, but the best result we can obtain is the international recognition of the brand.”

Afonso Vilaça, responsible for the international market of Letra and beer geek, reveals that it's normal to see bands touring internationally, however a beer brand is something out of the ordinary or never seen before. This attracts bars and distributors as there will be the opportunity to get to know each other in person and this personal relationship is something that beer has cultivated for several centuries.

Raquel Gonçalves – the marketing manager, who will be the last crew member on this adventure along with Afonso and Filipe – reveals that “the buzz that the brand will create on social networks throughout March will be almost like a Big Brother brewer, where there will be a compact diary with all activities. The idea is that our followers follow this adventure and feel that they are traveling alongside us.”

There are several brewing projects that have the ability to involve the community around an idea. In the case of Letra beer, both founding partners, Francisco and Filipe, always had the support of family and friends for all kinds of tasks. This trip is only possible because Filipe's parents will lend the motorhome and because national and international partnerships have been established, allowing other brands to reach various countries and other market sectors. Internationally, the following have joined forces: Yakima Chief – USA (hops), Castle Malting – Belgium (malts), Christeyns – Belgium (industrial detergents) and Lindr – Czech Republic (beverage refrigeration). The project's mentors also wanted to take a sample of the region across Europe, and the projects that joined were VISIT BRAGA (Braga Business Association and Braga City Council), MASilva (corks), VilaToldos (advertising) and the Macieira e Silva Galleries (furniture and electrical appliances). In gastronomic terms, wines from Quinta do Portal, artisanal cheeses from Lactimercados and sausages from Minho Fumeiro will also be promoted by Minho brewers at all stops.

The departure from Vila Verde is planned for the 3rd of March and the return on the 29th of the same month. This beer expedition will pass through Spain, France, Italy, Croatia, Slovenia, Austria, Czech Republic, Germany, Holland and Belgium, returning to Portugal. This project can be followed on the social networks (Facebook, Instagram and Linkedin) of the Letra beer profile, where followers will be able to follow and interact with the campervan crew.

A beer for the road was the motto for the creation of a new canned beer with the same name as the trip: Brew & Beyond. It's a Hazy Double IPA that explodes in the nose and mouth and defines itself as being tropical and resinous. Due to high demand, this recipe is already sold out in Portugal.


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