DENVER — It's Hispanic Heritage Month, and a Denver brewery is on a mission to highlight Hispanic influence on the greater community with its event venue.
The Raices Brewery taproom, located at 2060 West Colfax Avenue, hopes to foster cultural conversation, arts, and entertainment that everyone can enjoy over craft beer.
"We have had classes that are music classes, or art, or theater," said Tamil Maldonado Vega, one of Raices Brewery's three founders. "Other days you come, and it's live music and people are dancing."
Raices is Spanish for "roots," and the founders opened the taproom in 2019 as a vessel to connect families of all backgrounds.
According to 2020 U.S. Census data, more than 21.9% of Coloradans identify as Hispanic, and that percentage is growing.
"It's known that the demographics will continue to grow," said Maldonado Vega. "On the other hand, we don't have enough spaces where we can actually engage and engage as families."
Flags hang from the ceiling representing all the different Latin countries, and the walls are like an art gallery. Their outside patio includes one of the most-coveted selfie spots in Denver. It's a large mural representing the many pillars of Chicano culture and tradition around the world.
Their beer can labels are also designed by local artists. Each has a theme, like their collaboration with neighboring Meow Wolf. And, many of their brews hold special meaning to Hispanic Heritage. "Cafecito" includes coffee bean in the mash. "Manguito" has mango.
"One of the beers that we created for Hispanic Heritage Month was Monarca," said Maldonado Vega. "It refers to the monarch butterfly that emigrates from Mexico all the way to the Americas."
Raices sources several ingredients locally from underserved, or under-represented business owners. Their goal is to not only practice, but open conversation about diversity and inclusion.
"The first thing is that people are more open to really listen to our stories, to really get to know us a little bit better," said Maldonado Vega. "Businesses like ours, go and visit, support them, and get to know them. See if they're a positive impact to the community. And, continue to bring other people into their place."
Raices Brewery is hosting their Great American Beer Fiesta at their taproom to coincide with the Great American Beer Festival at the Colorado Convention Center October 7-8, 2022.