Cuenca, Ecuador: Canadian Expat Makes a Life for herself with a microbrewery business

Posted on April 7, 2017 • Filed under: Business, Ecuador

Expat from Canada along with her husband establish micro brewery in the expat hotbed of Cuenca Ecuador

FT.COM/LUCINDA ELLIOT
Within a year of moving from Montreal to Cuenca, Deborah Debas began to experiment with home brewing. She and her husband Mathieu had wanted to live somewhere warmer than Canada and settled in Ecuador’s third-largest city in 2012. Debas, 36, was on maternity leave and Mathieu’s “fairly flexible” profession as a computer programmer meant he could work remotely.

Soon after the move, however, Mathieu lost his job. “We needed to find something [else] and brewing seemed like a good idea,” she says. “I signed him up for a brewing class while on vacation to visit family in Montreal and the beer business went from there.”

In 2014 their first 20-litre batch — a dark ale with a hoppier, richer taste than pale Ecuadorean lager — proved to be popular with Cuenca’s expat community. Nórdica, the company they founded that year, is now one of eight microbrewery businesses in Cuenca, the crafts capital of Ecuador and the home of the Panama straw hat. Yet it is the only local beer brand made by a North American. Read Article

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