In the movies, it's usually the Devil that steals your soul. But in the real world, as it turns out, if you’re Spanish and from Madrid, it’s a Tadcaster brewery.
Unless you have been hiding under a rock for the last two years, you can’t have missed the phenomenally successful launch – both in the on and off-trade – of Madri. A crisp, clean Mediterranean-style lager.
Artfully positioned as a Moretti-clone for millennials by Molson Coors expert marketing team, and its partners at La Sagra, as ‘The Soul of Madrid.’
‘Madri is a completely manufactured and invented brand,’ Pete Brown, an expert in beer trends and author of ‘Clubland: How the Working Men’s Club Shaped Britain’ told Time Out. ‘It’s purely a marketing reflex exercise. And it’s probably the best [marketing campaign] we’ve seen since Peroni.’
The ubiquitous red and white packaging fronted by an illustrated hipster in a Peaky-Blinders-style cap is, The Grocer says, “inspired by the “chulapo”, a group of people in Spanish society in the 19th century who were “famous for their vibrant and elaborate style of dress.”
But what have the chulapo got to do with Tadcaster?
Time Out have solved this mystery: “Turns out Madrí isn’t brewed in a Spanish basement by two guys with a dream. It’s actually owned by one of the biggest boys in the British beer game, right here in the UK. It was created by Molson Coors – the company behind Carling, Coors Light, Pravha and Blue Moon – in collaboration with La Sagra Brewery, a craft firm in Spain that was bought out by Coors in 2017.”
Which is why instead of Castille, it’s brewed in North Yorkshire, and a number of other UK sites. But whatever the brand lacks in authenticity it’s made up for in sales.
As Karen Albert, brand director for Premium Beers, Western Europe, at Molson Coors told The Yorkshire Post, Madri has been “the UK hospitality sector’s most successful ever new product launch, delivering the highest sales value of any alcohol brand in its first year.”
Time Out agrees with her, pointing out that Madri’s launch “delivered the highest-value sales of any alcohol brand in its first year, raking in £109.3m between 2021 and 2022.”
So, there you are then. Madri Excepcional. An exceptional success. Even if it’s soul really belongs to Tadcaster.