For both Latinos and non-Latinos, it's a place to connect with others and feel at home surround by traditional food, music and culture.
Raices Brewing Company Team
The Raices Brewing Company Team. Photo: Raices Brewing Company

If when you think of a craft brewery an image pops into your head of a Sam Adams looking dude with a beard and a trucker hat standing over a vat of fermenting hops in Connecticut, you wouldn’t be too far off. In fact, with only .05% of the 8,700+ craft breweries in the United States owned by Latinos, and many of those created to fit the mold of a traditional brewery, you’d be pretty spot on.

Now though, three Latinx founders in Denver, Colorado, José Beteta, Tamil Maldonado Vega and Martín Vargas, are out to impact the industry. Their Raices Brewing Company is not only Latino owned but it also intentionally celebrates Latino culture, front and center. From their name to their artwork, events and the beers themselves, Raices is a craft brewery that makes a point of being a continuous platform for visibility in the community.

Raices Brewing Company tap room

And, with their tri-faceted approach of “communidad, cultura y cerveza” they’re doing a kick ass job at it. “The mission is really huge,” explains Co-Founder, Tamil Maldonado Vega. “We serve as a community center. We serve as a cultural center. We serve as a resource center.”

Raices facility displays artists’ work and holds gatherings. For Latinos, it’s a place to connect with other Latinos and feel at home surround by traditional food, music and culture. For non-Latinos, it’s a great space to learn taste great beer and food and learn about the richness of Latin American culture.

Raices Brewing Company

Maldonado Vega talked to Startup Cuba about some of the challenges they faced in starting their business. First, their lack of experience in the industry made it difficult for them to raise money. Despite co-founder Martín Vargas’ background as a brewer in the Denver area, they needed to show that they could do it. The trio made microbrews at home, submitted them to festivals and won some awards. This proved that they had the chops to make beer people wanted.

Related Post: 5 Things That Latinx Entrepreneurs Should Be Doing to Win

Then came the lack of access to the financial markets that many people of color face: barriers that they had to overcome because they previously didn’t know how to play weren’t invited to the game. In the face of financing rejection after rejection, without explanation, the co-founders quickly learned to ask questions. They learned to dig for information, course correct and then repeat the process, over and over again.

After three years of setbacks, they officially opened the brewery in 2019.

Raices Brewing Company

Today the trio proudly represents Latin American culture in the Denver area. But, they also do what they can to support the small niche of Latino craft brewers across the country. Each fall they host a Latino craft beer festival called Suave Fest giving fellow brewers, food trucks and artists an opportunity to come together and celebrate. Personally, I think this sounds like an amazing time and I’ve got it on my calendar for September, 2022.

If you’re in the Denver area this fall, please let me know. I’ll see you at Raices to drink beer, eat food and maybe do a little dance, or seven.

The Latest From Startup Cuba

ConBAC: Cuba’s Blooming Craft Cocktail Scene

Havana’s Hottest New Stays

Is the Face of Havana Changing?

Some of Havana’s Best Art Isn’t in Museums—It’s on the Street

10 People You Probably Didn’t Know Were Cuban-American

Crowdfunding in Cuba: Bringing Art to Life (On a Budget)

9 Spectacular Yet Little Known Cuban UNESCO World Heritage Sites

<strong><em>VIVA</em> Is a Proof of Concept for Cubans Who Use Talent to Flee</strong>

The Continued Effort to Restore Havana’s Historic Neon Glow

Here’s How You Can Support Art Brut Cuba: Cuba’s Outsider Artists

Ken Deckinger is the co-founder and CEO of Startup Cuba and the executive producer and host of its namesake docuseries. A native of South Florida, Ken has been an entrepreneur for his entire professional career. Previously he was co-founder and CEO of HurryDate, pioneering the global concept of speed dating to 45 cities throughout the US, UK and Canada. HurryDate eventually evolved into online dating and was acquired by Spark Networks, the parent company of and Ken is a graduate of Boston College and the University of Florida, where he was honored with the University’s Alumni Entrepreneur of the Year Under 40 award and sits on the Board for the Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation. He actively advises entrepreneurs and is a two-time protagonist of a Harvard Business School case study. Ken’s filmmaking and journalistic journey is inspired by a love of travel and authentic connections with other cultures. He believes that the more we know about each other, through stories, the closer we can become — thus the mission of Startup Cuba: to amplify the voices of the people sharing stories in the Latinx space. After living in New York City for 15 years, he encouraged his wife to move their family to Miami to get back to his South Florida roots. Needless to say, it was a short discussion and he and his family now call Boston, where his wife grew up, their home.

Add comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

9 UNESCO World Heritage Sites in Cuba
10 People You Didn't Know Were Cuban-Americans
startup cuba episode one teaser
jews in cuba
netflix taco chronicles teaser
cuba street photography
clandestina episode teaser
Ecuador Mashpi Lodge