Juan Fran Caballero, creative and marketing director at El Cabo Brewing.

Barcelona Beer Festival x Baron
From left to right, Felix Lopez, Javier Yebra and Juan Fran Caballero

From left to right, Felix Lopez, Javier Yebra and Juan Fran Caballero

Who are you and your current job?My name is Juan Fran Caballero. I am Creative and Marketing Director of El Cabo Brewing Co. 


What was the inspiration behind your brewery?It all started back in 2012, when my best friends and I decided to start home-brewing like a hobby. I have to admit that our motivation was more tasting new flavors for ourselves, than making money out of it. But it soon became business orientated when we realized that our resulting beer could be marketed and that our respective formation will do and excellent working team. 


At the time, Felix Lopez as an Agricultural Engineer and Javier Yebra as a Chemical Engineer were both working for independent firms, and I was myself working for a well-known fashion brand as an Art Director. We decided to take this step forward and jump to the uncertainty of self-employment creating our own firm.


The name of El Cabo, came naturally. The 3 of us are great fans of the ‘Natural Park of Cabo de Gata’, born and grown in its deserted hills; it is almost like a local symbol. So we could not think a better name for our beer, as we wanted it to be done with local ingredients only.


Can you give us a tour of your beer scene? There is a growing interest in craft beer on the local scene. At least two new brands show up every year since we started in 2012. This is good for business, compared to mature markets in craft beer like Belgium or Germany where customers are choosing between hundreds of different brands, here we still have a long way to go. 


However, the growing competence makes the market more active, craft brewers make bigger efforts improving quality and variety of flavors, as customers become more exigent and more aware of what to expect from a craft beer and what not.Craft beer makers have to compete with the big brands, like David with Goliath. We have to demonstrate customers that we can offer better quality and flavor with not even a one per cent of their resources. So it has to be an all-for-one job.


What advice would you give to someone who wants to start a brewery?Study your local market, think smart, be consistent with your idea and your principles, surround yourself with positive people and be unique.