As you may or may not know Constellation Brands are leaving Mexicali communities without drinking water. On October 20, 2015 they signed a contract with Mexicali’s State Public Utilities Commission to purchase 20 million cubic meters (5.3 billion gallons) of water a year. They’ll receive water from the region’s aquifer, which it will have to buy from local farmers, but the contract signed with the authorities also entitles the company to draw from the city’s public water network despite a 2015 report by the National Water Commission (CONAGUA) that said the “(water) volume is not sufficient to accommodate new concessions in the Mexicali Valley aquifer.” Constellation Brands is the third largest beer producer in the U.S. and are based in New York, they own nearly all of your favorite Mexican beer brands like Modelo, Corona, Tecate, Victoria, Pacifico, the list goes on and on. As Cinco de Mayo is upon us, notoriously known for copious beer drinking, we should be conscious of what brands we support— especially since they will be profiting off of a Mexican Holiday while at the same time exploiting the Mexican people. Here are 6 Latino owned breweries you can support.
These guys call themselves the Brewjos! What started out as homebrewing eventually turned into a mission to give back to the community through supporting local Latino and inner-city non-profits. These socially conscious Latino partners are brewing beer in Hacienda Heights, California and are helping to support non-profits like Multicultural Communities for Mobility, the East LA Community Corporation, and El Monte Promise Foundation just to name a few.
These El Monte, California beer brewing bros have degrees in chemistry from CalTech and UCLA. Dr. Diego Benitez is from Mexico City and Kevin Ogilby is a Long Beach native. Progress brewing creates sour stouts, kölsch style ales, imperial double reds, and other varieties of beer.
5 Rabbit Cerveceria
5 Rabbit Cerveceria became the first Latino-owned craft brewery in the United States in 2012! They are now major players on the Chicago craft beer scene shaking things up with flavors like ancho chile, piloncillo, and passion fruit. They blend their Costa Rican and Mexican heritage for a twist on Belgian ale, which they brew with hibiscus flowers and honey. Sounds good to me!
El Paso Brewing Company
Carlos Guzman, his wife Norma Reed, and his Uncle Jorge Guzman opened El Paso Brewing Company in 2016. Guzman has degrees in biology and chemistry from the University of Texas at El Paso and was an officer in the Army Signal Corps. El Paso Brewing offers tasty beers like Lagartos Red Ale, Pa’Chuco Pale Ale, and El Matador Mexican Vienna Lager.
Ode Brewery is an Ode to El Paso in the best way possible, they serve world-class food and beer crafted from local, high-quality ingredients. Albert Salinas is a former insurance agent turned craft beer distributor and brewer. His partner Norbert Portillo makes the food, which looks uh-mazing! You’ll want to try La Gringa and Hueco Wit!
Gabriel Montoya and his partner Ray Campos established DeadBeach Brewery in 2013, they make flavorful big and bold beers drawing inspiration from the local El Paso Landscape, flora, and fauna as well as its hard-working people.