Downtown Beer Fest Underway

In Budapest

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The 6th Belvárosi Sörfesztivál (Downtown Beer Festival), sponsored by Spar Hungary, is now underway. The festival, featuring quality beers from a variety of breweries, will run until September 4.

The beer festival, one of Hungary's largest is held at Szabadság tér in Budapest, featuring some 250 different beers and a wide selection of food trucks. The aim of the organizers is to further promote the rich Hungarian beer culture and to showcase new Hungarian craft breweries alongside well-known brands.

The event will also showcase Hungarian beers available in Spar stores, ranging from top-fermented specialties, fragrant IPAs, midnight stouts, and fruity beers made mainly with wheat beer.

The official beer of the festival, called "Festival Hippie", created by beer fans, is also available on Spar shelves. The unfiltered, straw-colored, top-fermented beer with a light body is the result of thousands of votes. The beer features American and Australian hops and experimental hop specialties giving it its tropical fruity, citrusy aromas and flavors.

Consumers More Aware and More Confident in Their Beer Purchases

"We have been working consciously for years to lead the way in developing beer products in the retail market, and the results of recent years confirm that we are moving in the right direction in transforming our product range. Five years ago, craft beers accounted for only 6.5% of our permanent and seasonal range, but this has now increased sixfold. According to the data and experience of the past years, the beer product category is no longer growing significantly in terms of volume, but consumers are more selective about the type of beer they choose: they are more conscious, yet more courageous in their purchases within the different types", said Márk Maczelka, head of communications at Spar Hungary.

He added that the supermarket chain is also open to innovative solutions in the beer palette, working closely with its supplier partners to develop the composition of its range in order to offer its customers an exciting experience to discover.

"For our chain of stores committed to Hungarian businesses and quality domestic products, the Downtown Beer Festival is a great opportunity to draw the attention of discerning beer consumers to the craft products available in our stores all year round, and the special batches of excellent domestic craft breweries. At Spar, everyone can find a beer to suit their taste, whether it is a large-scale or a one-off, small-scale product," said Maczelka.

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Dániel Kurucz, the main organizer of the festival, notes, "We are delighted that the festival and our mission have attracted the interest of one of the largest retail chains in the country. We have been working for years to showcase the diversity of beer, educate, and encourage consumers to drink quality beers, try new things and support Hungarian craft breweries. This agreement is mutually beneficial, as we can introduce a wider audience to the excellent Hungarian craft beers that are increasingly available on the shelves of Spar stores. We are far from reaching our goal, but we believe this cooperation is the start of something very good. We are on the right track with the festival, as the number of participants is growing year by year, a stable point on the festival map."

"This year, the premium segment of the biggest Hungarian beer producers has already reached one-third of the total sales and the branded mid-range has also performed well with its 60% share," said Sándor Kántor, director of the Hungarian Brewers Association. "This is thanks to the fact that product and technology developments in recent years have significantly expanded the range of products available in the wholesale range. In addition to the traditional top and bottom-end beer brands with decades or even centuries of tradition, the emerging new stars, flavored and unflavoured non-alcoholic and low-alcohol beers, have also gained strength, with 75,000 hectolitres or 15 million cans sold every month during the summer season."

Zsolt Gyenge, president of the National Association of Small Breweries, noted, "Our association, as the representative body of small-scale breweries, continues to see its main task as promoting the market access of domestic breweries. The amendment to the Trade Act came into force a year ago, but it has not brought satisfactory results. We hope that a further amendment to the wording of the law will lead to a leap in our presence in the HORECA sector. We have an excellent relationship with the Agricultural Marketing Center, with whom we will be working even more closely from the autumn. Among others, we will be able to present our products to a professional audience in Finland, Belgium, and Germany, and we will bring together domestic producers with potential customers at B2B meetings."

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