The American craft beer industry has been steadily gaining followers and participants in the past few years, and it has become one of the biggest growing industries in the country, offering a variety of products for the beer aficionado, the budding beer critic, and everyone in between. But until recently, one important group has been left out of the trend — Latinos. According to industry experts, though, the addition of this group into the craft beer industry could be a real game changer.
CNNMoney recently reported on New York City’s first Latino-owned brewery, Dyckman Beer Company (named after a popular street in the area), while Fox News Latino has put the spotlight on Blue Moon Brewing Company’s highly-anticipated Cinnamon Horchata Ale (which will be released next month), and the Latino brewer behind it. What makes these Latino breweries and beers so special, as both articles note, is the prevalence of the Latino culture in everything down to the ingredients.
But what still remains to be seen — and what craft beer fans are concerned with — is whether these new companies will be able to compete with other established breweries. Finding the perfect niche in the craft beer industry is notoriously difficult, especially when the popular notion of “what beer is” has been based on mass-produced products like Miller and Budweiser. What distinguishes craft breweries from their corporate competitors is a keen eye toward quality, rather than quantity. Small breweries depend on time- and money-saving techniques, like using mobile POS systems and taking advantage of social media platforms for marketing campaigns.
It certainly takes a special brewmaster to be able to incorporate flavors like cinnamon and honey into a beer — and actually make the drink sound appealing to consumers — and industry experts already seem confident that these new brewers will be able to tap into a previously nonexistent niche in the market. Even more importantly, this new trend makes it clear that craft beer isn’t just about the drink itself; rather, it’s about giving consumers the opportunity to delve into different worlds and learn to appreciate the tastes, aromas, and traditions of other cultures.