Irada! The Brazilian beer beach
BE Irada baech backpack

Imagine yourself in a tropical beach in the middle of the summer.
In five minutes, you get thirsty and start to think about your beer options, right?! You know that you are not going to find a craft beer outside that bar across the street…
But what if a company sells you a craft beer in the right temperature from a fresh keg, while you are laying down on the sand?!
This is the plan for the Brazilian beer Irada!. They adapted a backpack with a keg, used in music festivals in the last few years to sell craft beer in the sands of Rio de Janeiro!

This week, we chatted with Felipe Nogueira, one of the partners of Irada! Beer, Rio de Janeiro’s summer beer.
They created a company to sell craft beer for swimmers at the beaches of Rio de Janeiro. And theres nothing better than a quality beer at the right temperature, in the sands of the ‘Cidade Maravilhosa’ (Beautiful City, in Portuguese. This is Rio’s nickname)?

Totally Beer: How did you came up with the idea of Irada! Beer?
Felipe Nogueira: Two of the partners, Flavio and Pedro, already had plans to launch a craft beer business. And I brought the beach motivation.
Why not a craft beer on the beach, right?
We are craft beer drinkers and we missed this option in such a popular location.
But the glass bottle, so common in craft beers, is not an option because the local law doesn’t allow. So you can not use a long neck, or a 600ml bottle. You can’t have glass circulating in the sand. This is against the law.
So the idea of the beer backpack came up! I remembered the backpacks of Rock in Rio and Lalapalooza festivals. We contacted the supplier and started using this system to get our product to the beach.
The backpack actually enables the idea.
That is how Irada! was born!

TB: And where did the name Irada! came from?
Felipe: We actually went through a selection process of almost 40 names. We had to create a method to get the best names.
But the Irada! name won for being a local expression that takes a bit of the mood we want to go with, the high-spirited.
In any table of friends in a bar that you sit in Rio, if nobody uses the expression, you are in the wrong table !! You can’t help it.... and it is always with the positive connotation...
Could’t be another name !!!

TB: But with Rio’s temperatura, the backpacks can hold the temperature?
Felipe: The heat loss is very small. Obviously if you take a day of hot beach and with little movement, the beer may get a bit warm. But our vendors are already instructed to go back and change the bag.

TB: And how was the market reaction?
Felipe: We launched the beer on the market and it worked very well. Everyone received the novelty extremely happy over the last three months.

TB: What is the relationship between you and Malvino Salvador?
(Malvino Salvador is an famous Brazilian actor, very popular due to his role in one of the last soap-opera).
Felipe: Malvino is one of the company’s partners. Besides being a great friend and a great actor, he is an excellent businessman.
We’ve been friends for many years. I invited him to participate, explained the idea and he accepted on the spot. He participates a lot, especially in capital moments, in all strategic decisions.

TB: How did you choose the first beer style?
Felipe: Beach, right? A light beer without excessive bitterness, little hops.
More like a beer which people are already familiar, but with high quality.
We are a little more conservative … That is why we brew a Pilsner.

TB: But you’ve stopped the sales on the beaches, right?
Felipe: We gave only a break in the beach operation to structure ourselves, we are fixing our house because everything grew very fast and took a large proportion, leaving us a little messy.
The beach operation consumes due to a brutal logistics complexity, full of details: labor, ice, beach tents’ agreements. All small details that throughout the week, give us a lot of work.

TB: And the future plans for the brand?
Felipe: Now we are preparing a series of new products: home delivery, mobile application, e-commerce ... lots of cool thing comes around.
We are preparing a new round of news that comes with a lot in the coming months.
This week we already started new projects with the launch of our bottled beer.
Launched yesterday at a bar in Leblon.

TB: And the beach, what now?
Felipe: The beach will not be our only market.
Its a showcase for us, is the tip of the iceberg. It allows us to realize the vision of our brand, serve our customers ... but the beach is that thing: has the mother with the kids, has the aunt, the grandmother ....
Everyone buys biscuit, ice cream ... but not everyone drinks beer, right?

TB: Do you have plans for new beers?
Felipe: We do have a plan for new lines for Irada!... we don’t know yet what is going to be, if that will be an APA, IPA or Weiss…but new lines are coming.

TB: And the expansion? What are the plans? Do you have goals to go to other states?
Felipe: We have received a lot of franchise’s requests, people who wants to take our business to other states.
But the logistics involved are brutal, the business is absurdly complex ... in every way. Operation on the beach is not for beginners. It was already a brutal effort to duplicate the Leblon beach’s operation in Ipanema beach. Imagine expand to another state!
But we already have this as homework: find a model for the unfolding of this business to be possible in other regions.

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