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Espinoza and Panzer share their love of brewing and craft beers. Photo: Roundhead Brewing.
Espinoza and Panzer share their love of brewing and craft beers. Photo: Roundhead Brewing.

Roundhead Brewing Company is the first Latino-owned brewery in Massachusetts

Luis Espinoza and Craig Panzer bring beers born out of the fusion of New England and Peruvian cultures.

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Luis Espinoza and Craig Panzer grew up on opposite sides of the world, but their upbringings and love of creating recipes are something they both had in common.

They met on the sidelines of their kid’s soccer games in 2019.

The two began bonding over their love of craft beer and hands-on creations.

“Craig worked in a brewery for years, and I was an experienced chef in Massachusetts,” Luis Espinoza, the co-founder of Roundhead Brewing Company, said in a recent interview with AL DIA News.

Since both men came from creative backgrounds, they decided to go into business together and began creating craft beer that is a fusion of New England and Peruvian cultures.

Now, two years later, the pair are opening their own brewery, Roundhead Brewery, in Hyde Park, Massachusetts.

It will be the first Latino-owned brewery in Massachusetts.

“I am grateful to have made history,” said Espinoza. “I hope that I can be an inspiration to all Latinos who want to start their own brewery.”

Espinoza and Panzer also want to share that they dedicated their business to the people who brought them together in the first place.

“We tried to create this brewery for our family,” said Espinoza.

Ten years ago, Espinoza became fascinated with the idea of creating beer and began experimenting with different recipes in the basement of his house with fruit fermentation.

Now, he and Panzer have a place of their own mix and concoct recipes. However, they’re still starting small.

“We are focusing on making beer in smaller batches,” said Panzer.

Their belief is that beer should be sold locally, and made fresh, so their drinks won't be seen nationally just yet.

Early feedback has been extremely positive. Local residents are loving the impact of their beer in the craft brewing game in Massachusetts.

“The community should benefit from the success of this brewery,” said Panzer. “We want to hire local, we are going to be buying local.”

Right now, Espinoza, who is the head brewer, is looking to add a bit of his Peruvian culture to locals.

“I really want to make Chicha morada,” said Espinoza.

Chicha morada, or purple corn juice, is a typical Peruvian drink.

The drink is made by adding fruits such as pineapple rind, cinnamon sticks, sugar, and lime juice.

Chicha morada is not fermented, so it is more known as a soft drink or fruit punch than a beer.

The pair is also trying more unconventional methods to create their brews. Espinoza also recently conducted an experiment that inspired one of his well-known beers, Quantum Reggae.

“We heard of an experiment that some brewers do in California, they play music to get the grains to grow more emotional,” said Espinoza, “The sound waves make the grains more happy and get them growing.”

Espinoza tried playing heavy metal, classical music, and reggae.

Reggae won the experiment.

“Now we have our Quantum Reggae, a Berline Weisse, which is fermented for 72 hours with reggae music in the background,” he said.

Espinoza also has plans for many other beers that he will be creating in the near future.

If you are traveling to Massachusetts sometime soon, make sure to keep an eye out for their Doble o Nada IPA, Peruvian Lager, and Powerhouse IPA.

They also recently rented an old warehouse that will be converted into a taproom, which will be opening in the Summer of 2021.

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