Jesús Olano of Beerbay on how to buy craft beer online.
First of all, how are you and your family doing in these COVID-19 times?
Jesús Olano: Everything OK so far. The first two months of lockdown were hard in Spain, and also the uncertainty was great, but after that, in my region, the numbers were kind of under control.
Tell us about you, your career, how you founded Beerbay.
Jesús Olano: I founded Beerbay in 2016 as I was living in Denmark, and I was very interested in craft beer and its entire environment. I started the company in Denmark and after I moved to Spain, where I’m living now.
How does Beerbay innovate?
Jesús Olano: We’re building a personalized system to recommend the perfect craft beer selection for each different customer.
How the coronavirus pandemic affects your business, and how are you coping?
Jesús Olano: It did not impact our business. When the lockdown was harder, people started to order beer online more and more. That was good for us, but the downside is that all the craft beer environment (distributors, producers, bars, etc.) has a significant impact, and the scene has slowed down a bit. Hopefully, things will get soon back to normal, and we can recover together.
Did you have to make difficult choices, and what are the lessons learned?
Jesús Olano: The main lesson is that retail is going online at least in some percentage, and the pandemic just speeded up this trend.
How do you deal with stress and anxiety? How do you project yourself and Beerbay in the future?
Jesús Olano: We plan to expand our craft beer selection and fill our customer demands in a more personalized way.
Who are your competitors? And how do you plan to stay in the game?
Jesús Olano: There are plenty of craft beer online stores in Europe, some bigger at the European level, most at a national level. Our store has always served at the European level, and we plan to stay more robust in our most significant markets (Portugal and Spain) and try to consolidate anywhere else in the UE.
Your final thoughts?
Jesús Olano: I think the pandemic has allowed us to “sit down and think” and also has speeded up some changes (working from home, online shopping). Now it is up to us to make the best out of it.
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