Never underestimate the power of a niche market. From energy drinks for women to wine for mommies, the options are limitless. Minerva, a small brewery in Jalisco, Mexico, is tapping into another niche – the LGBT community (that’s “lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgendered” for the uninitiated). Minerva Brewery launched two new beers aimed specifically at the LGBT market in January, and already the two ales are becoming a worldwide phenomenon.
Minerva Brewery’s two new beers are called Salamandra and Purple Hand, the latter a symbol of a famous Gay Rights protest that took place in San Francisco in 1969. The beer bottles’ labels are easily removable so that consumers can wear them as pride armbands. The brewery is no stranger to subversive territory: Minerva also produces Malverde, a pilsner named for Sinaloan Robin Hood figure and “patron saint of drug traffickers” Jesús Malverde.
Both Salamandra and Purple Hand aredescribedas being “brewed with 100% organic honey and malt, with a recipe that ‘infuses the beer with a citrus flavor that appeals to the taste of the LGBT community’ [according to Minerva distributor representative Dario Rodriguez Wyler].” They are definitely a departure from Mexican beer front runners like Modelo or Corona.
One thing that's clear is that this was a market just waiting to happen. Minerva’s Salamandra and Purple Handreportedlysold more than 12,000 bottles in Mexico City within their first week of distribution. As Wyler toldMexican news agency Efe, "we're out in the market with great respect with the idea of offering a product directed to the gay-lesbian community that has been ignored for too long but is important and very demanding.” From here, Minerva Brewery has plans to export Salamandra and Purple Hand to Colombia and Japan, and worldwide demand is growing every day.