7 Jun, 2024 @ 11:43
2 mins read

Beer wars: Boss of lager giant Estrella accuses UK-based Madri of ‘dishonesty’ over Spanish branding

The UK-brewed lager claims to be 'the soul of Madrid'

A ROW is brewing between two lager companies after the boss of Spanish beer giant Estrella accused rival brand Madri of ‘dishonesty’ by branding the beer as authentically Spanish despite it being brewed in the UK. 

Madri, a European-style lager with 4.6% ABV, soared to success in the UK and Ireland after being introduced to pubs in 2020, and soon became one of the top ten selling lagers in the country after an intensive marketing campaign which emphasised its exotic Spanish roots.

The logo imprinted on the company’s bottles and glasses even features a traditional ‘chulapo’ man in a cap with a houndstooth waistcoat.

But the beer, which prides itself as ‘El Alma de Madrid’ (The Soul of Madrid), is brewed in Tadcaster, Yorkshire, by Molson Coors, the same brewery which produces Doombar and Carling. 

READ MORE: These are the best and worst beers from Spain, according to the Sun – but do YOU agree?

Madri, named after the way Madrileños pronounce the Spanish capital city, markets itself as authentically Spanish

Aitor de Artaza, the boss of Estrella Galicia, has criticised Madri for a ‘lack of transparency’ which he claims ‘is confusing for the customer’.

He told the Daily Telegraph: “They did a very nice job in terms of marketing, that’s for sure. But it’s a little tricky because people think they are drinking a Spanish beer but it’s not. They are not very clear and not, to my point of view, very honest”.

Estrella Galicia, which produces over 200 million litres of lager for a worldwide market, has been brewed in Galicia for over 100 years.

In response, Madri representatives were keen to point out that the beer, which recently topped £100 million of UK supermarket sales, was born out of a collaboration between Molson Coors and the Spanish brewery La Sagra, located one hour south of Madrid.

Madri has been marketed for a UK consumer base which is growing a taste for high-percentage southern European lagers. Credit: Wikimedia Commons

Karen Albert, Premium Bands Director of Molson Coors, said: “Madri Execional was created through a unique collaboration between Molson Coor and La Sagra Brewery, which is based close to Madrid, combining the craft and skill of innovative Spanish brewer Carlos Garcia at La Sagra and our Molson Coors master brewers in the UK”,

She added: “Our partnership with Carlos and La Sagra is built on celebrating this fusion of British and Spanish culture, taking inspiration from the vibrancy and diversity of modern Madrid”.

“We’ve brought events to major cities across the UK, with performances from Spanish and British musicians, street food celebrating both cultures and murals created by Marid street artists in collaboration with British artists”.

“Brewing Madri Excepcional in the UK enables us to deliver efficiently, quickly respond to demand and, crucially, to make our beers more sustainably. Brewing in the UK reduces the miles travelled from brewery to bar or shelf and all our beers in the UK are produced using 100% renewable electricity through a power purchase agreement”.

Ben Pawlowski

Ben joined the Olive Press in January 2024 after a four-month stint teaching English in Paraguay. He loves the adrenaline rush of a breaking news story and the tireless work required to uncover an eye-opening exclusive. He is currently based in Barcelona from where he covers the city, the wider Catalunya region, and the north of Spain. Send tips to [email protected]

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