‘We’re going to disrupt the craft beer industry,’ says CEO of Mexican beer distributor Cerveza Rrëy

Stacy Wescoe//January 8, 2021

‘We’re going to disrupt the craft beer industry,’ says CEO of Mexican beer distributor Cerveza Rrëy

Stacy Wescoe//January 8, 2021

Rrey Mexican IPA Beer
One of the first beers Cerveza Rrëy USA will begin distributing in the region will be its Mexican IPA. PHOTO/SUBMITTED


Rogelio Castillo, owner and CEO of Cerveza Rrëy USA, said Lehigh Valley beer drinkers should expect something completely different when his company begins operations later this year.

The company is bringing Mexican craft beer from Monterrey, Mexico, to the United States starting with a new U.S. headquarters in the Lehigh Valley. The beer is brewed by his close friends, Federico Seyffert and Patricio Ferrara, and is currently distributed throughout Mexico.

“Bringing a Mexican craft beer of this level is quite different,” he said. “We’re going to disrupt the craft beer industry.”

The big question since he announced the company would start its U.S. distribution with a Lehigh Valley headquarters is “Where is it going to be?” But that’s an answer Castillo isn’t ready to answer.

“This has been in the works for a while,” he said. “We’re taking steps forward now. We selected the market we’re going to be in and now we’re looking for a location to build our distribution center.”

He said Cerveza Rrëy USA is looking at a few locations for a distribution center that will be climate controlled and have an emphasis on green technology. Castillo lives in the Saucon Valley area and is looking for a site that is not only close to him, but would provide easy access for employees and the beer distributors they will serve.

The company had been considering a number of U.S. markets, including upstate New York, where it currently runs its import operations.

Depending on how quickly the company is able to expand, Cerveza Rrëy USA plans to hire 25 to 75 people in 2021. The first hires will be in administration and business development, followed by distribution center workers when the facility opens towards the end of the year. It will serve as headquarters and the distribution center for the Northeast.

Castillo noted there will be no brewing jobs as the beer will all be brewed in Mexico and imported.

However, the company plans to boost jobs and the local economy by adding such things as micro tasting taprooms throughout the region at food markets and other collective food service destinations.

The company will release three types of beer in 2021: white, Mexican IPA and Kölsch.

And while all of the beers are brewed in true Mexican tradition, they do have a bit of an international influence, Castillo said. The Kölsch beer, for example, is heavily German influenced and the Mexican IPA is influenced by American-style beers.

Initially, the beer will come in bottles sold in six packs and will be available at retailers such as grocery stores and delis as well as wholesale centers across Pennsylvania and neighboring states.

“Right now the consumer behavior is to stay home, buy you can still enjoy a bottle of beer at home,” he said.

As the company gains a foothold in the market, Castillo plans to add beer sold in cans, hopefully in time for the summer barbecue season. He will eventually make the beer available in kegs to sell in taverns and restaurants.

“We’re not a party beer,” he noted. “We’re a beer to enjoy, to pair with food. We’re gastro cool.”

He said it’s his hope that the beer will change people’s perceptions of Mexican beer. Cerveza Rrëy beers are not mass-produced beer the way Mexican beers most Americans have experienced are. It is a large and growing family-owned craft brewer.

The Lehigh Valley will be one of the first markets the beer will be sold in and it should be available soon. In the initial launch he is targeting markets in Pennsylvania, New York and Georgia. Next he plans to expand into the New Jersey and Tennessee, with the ultimate goal of going national.