Madrí Excepcional doubles distribution goal in the U.K. and Ireland; aims for more growth

Madrí Excepcional, a modern European-style lager launched in partnership with Madrid’s La Sagra Brewery last year in the U.K. and Ireland, has blown away expectations in its first year in market.

The beer, which won a silver medal in the lager category at the prestigious World Beer Awards earlier this year, has now been installed in more than 4,000 on-trade outlets across the region. Five hundred more placements are on the way within a month.

That’s more than double the amount initially projected for Year 1, says Ryan McLaughlin, marketing controller for premium beers in Western Europe for Molson Coors Beverage Company.

“We have already exceeded that target, and we will be significantly investing in the brand at the start of next year to continue to raise its profile even further and help operators up and down the country make the most of this great brand’s growing popularity,” he says.

To keep the brand’s momentum going, Molson Coors plans to launch a multimillion-pound investment in the brand in the first half of 2022.

The crisp lager, which pours a light golden color and checks in at 4.6% alcohol by volume, already has established itself as one of the top 10 world lager brands on draft by sales value in the U.K. and Ireland, during the period when indoor service reopened on May 17 through the week ended Aug. 14, according to CGA data. 

Madrí Excepcional is the first collaboration beer between Molson Coors and La Sagra Brewery, a craft brewer based near Madrid in which Molson Coors took a significant stake in 2017. It’s also La Sagra’s first foray into the U.K. and Ireland.

The beer was brewed to capture “El alma de Madrid,” or “The soul of Madrid.” Its branding is inspired by the term “Chulapo,” originally a group of people in Madrid during the 19th century known for their elaborate dress and cheeky attitude.

Today, the term is often used to describe people from the area and the sense of style and attitude that lives on in and around Madrid. Based on its reception so far, it’s clear the beer has captured the interest of British and Irish drinkers looking for something new, McLaughlin says.

“Madrí has taken outlets by storm since it launched, tapping into the demand for premium options and consumers’ love for exciting new world beers,” he says. “Given it has only been available for 12 months, with the majority of those having been in a lockdown, its popularity is a real testament to the brand and its great taste experience.”