Editorial
THE VALENCIAN BEER BRAND ‘AMSTEL’ LAUNCHES A MESSAGE OF SUPPORT BY DECORATING ITS ESTABLISHMENTS AND HANDING OUT PRODUCT

##Amstel ‘Made in Valencia’ joins the Heineken® initiative to continue supporting bars with #FUERZABAR through their shutters.

There are bars in the city in which the brewery has intervened their shutters and blinds to fill them with motivational phrases, which seek to encourage professionals and customers of the hospitality industry, but also to serve as a boost to the city’s residents.

Shutter Ads is an action led by the Heineken® brand at national level and supported by Amstel in the city of Valencia. It is part of #FUERZABAR, from the HEINEKEN Spain brewing family, a movement with which they express their support to the hospitality sector and which has had an investment of 150 million euros allocated to training, direct aid, advice and initiatives such as this one.

When one walks through the streets of Valencia they have become, on too many occasions, a demoralising parade in front of downed shutters, Amstel has taken the opportunity to fill those of some of the city’s bars with motivational messages such as “Doing well is always getting up” or “Gathering strength…”.

This is Shutter Ads, an initiative led by Heineken® at a national level within the #FUERZABAR movement, in which Amstel ‘Hecha en Valencia’ also joins forces, supporting this action in the Valencian capital.

Eleven venues are participating: La Fragua, Vinisimo & Beer, Danubio Alameda, El Garaje Foodie, La Pascuala, Puerta del Mar, Vaqueta, Boatella, Taberna Germanías, Homenaje and Restaurante Augusto. This first list includes traditional venues as well as newcomers, bars and restaurants with diverse gastronomic proposals, which could be seen as a sample of the varied range of styles that make up the city’s hospitality scene.

All of them, in exchange for giving up their shutters to launch these messages of encouragement, have received the support of Amstel ‘Made in Valencia’ to sustain their activity. “Since the beginning of the pandemic, we have been at the side of a sector that is fundamental to Valencian society and economy,” says Marta García, Marketing Director of HEINEKEN Spain, recalling that Amstel is the only major beer that brews its products in the Valencian Community, with the consequent roots in the territory and job creation, both direct and indirect.

A commitment that also characterises the #FUERZABAR movement, with which more than 15 million beers have been provided to Spanish bars and restaurants. In addition, they have managed to get the collaboration of other food and beverage brands to collect more than 21 million products to support restaurateurs across the country in their reopening after the confinement.

However, the commitment of this movement driven by HEINEKEN Spain, with the strength of its brands Amstel, Cruzcampo and Heineken®, has not been limited to that first phase of the health crisis, but has remained active uninterruptedly, with an investment of more than 150 million euros to support the hotel and catering industry in training plans, advice, direct aid or initiatives such as Shutter Ads.

SHUTTERS, A SYMBOL FOR THE HOTEL AND CATERING INDUSTRY

Just as lowering the shutter has a very clear meaning for those who have been forced to do so in recent times, raising it is a challenge in which Amstel wants to show its support for baristas.

“The beauty of this action is that it puts at the centre an element that is very significant for professionals in the on-trade. And we use it not only to encourage them, but also their customers, the neighbours, the citizens who pass in front of those shutters, who want to encourage us to go ahead and return to the bars, when the time comes, with responsible socialising”, says the marketing director of HEINEKEN Spain about Shutter Ads, an initiative that they want to invite other brands to join.

Jesús Mínguez, owner of ‘Danubio Alameda’, points out that he is finding much more support among people than he expected, especially since he has started his takeaway service, something that allows him to keep the restaurant and his workers open. He inherited this traditional restaurant from his father, which will be 40 years old in 2021. And he is taking part in this initiative, aware that “this is a time when we all need encouragement, the hotel and catering industry is not the only sector affected and I’m sure that in every home there is cause for concern”. Mínguez is happy to be able to provide encouragement with such a simple gesture.

‘La Pascuala’ believes that it is necessary to show the commitment of the bars to fight to get out of this situation and they have seen Shutter Ads as a way to do so. Known as one of the temples of l’esmorzaret valencià and winners of the Premi Cacau d’Or 2015 (an award given by Amstel and the virtual community #LunchCulture), this place with a centenary history is not afraid to update itself and has found in social networks a way to facilitate the capacity control required by the pandemic, implementing a pre-booking system that allows it to scrupulously comply with the regulations without losing any customers, better organise the work and speed up the service.

Robert Signes, owner of ‘El Garaje Foodie’, is also committed to innovation and has made it his hallmark. In October he inaugurated this original proposal that has transformed an old car park into a culinary market where six food trucks provide a varied offer for the palate. Organiser of multitudinous gastronomic events such as Sol Market or Amstel Valencia Market and owner of Nº5 Burger, the arrival of the pandemic changed all his plans. It was impossible for him to continue with the events and his burger bar was too small to withstand the restrictions on opening hours and seating capacity. “I could have gone home to wait for better times, but I preferred to go ahead, with the support of my team and Amstel, which has always been with me. That’s how we set up this venue, which received 20,000 visits in its first month alone”, explains Signes, who feels that Shutter Ads has turned his shutter into a declaration of intent: “I don’t give up, I always get up. And I think that’s the way of thinking we need now”.

Another person passionate about his work is Juan Martínez, owner of the legendary ‘Boatella’, an enclave in front of the Mercat Central de València where diners from practically every corner of the world have passed through. “I have customers who used to take an AVE train from Madrid to come here for lunch. But now, with tourism at a standstill, we have had the chance to be more in contact with the city’s residents and it is very nice to feel that closeness”, says Martínez, who is very happy when, on returning from Mercavalencia, at around seven in the morning, he sees his team raising the shutters and starting to prepare the breakfasts. A shutter that from today serves to send out a message of hope. He is looking forward to getting back in touch with customers, which is what he is most passionate about in this job, and he is taking advantage of this temporary break to remodel the kitchen of his business because he is committed to the hotel and catering business. “It is a sector that has a future and this, like everything else, will eventually pass”, he says, convinced that it is a question of holding on until better times come along. A fighting spirit that Amstel ‘Hecha en Valencia’ joins with this initiative.

Report by 24/7 Valencia team

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