Oktoberfest is theoretically a celebration of Bavarian beer culture (and an excuse for the Santacon crowd to don lederhosen and beer maid costumes) BUT if you can get beyond the belligerent-beer-bro aspect, there are also lots of awesome opportunities for craft beer lovers to quaff concoctions that draw inspiration from all over the world. This weekend, at the Village Voice’s annual Brooklyn Pour event, for example, parched patrons have the chance to taste more than 100 beers from over 70 breweries, including New York City’s first Latino-owned brewery, Dyckman Beer Company.
Dyckman Beer Company has been on the scene for a couple of years now — we got our first taste in the summer of 2013, when it was one of the local businesses featured at Apt 78’s block party. The brewery, which was started by a 28-year old Dominican-American entrepreneur Juan Camilo, has since rapidly spread out of Uptown circles and started cropping up all over the city (I even recently spotted it on tap at filipino eatery Jeepney in the East Village!).
In an increasingly cluttered craft beer landscape, Camilo’s line stands out for its Latin Caribbean influences. His inspirations are “the essence, culture and flavors of New York’s Latino neighborhoods,” and brew recipes include hints of Dominican flavors, like chinola and other Caribbean fruits.
It’s definitely a departure from what most people associate with Latin American beers, the majority of which are unremarkable light-colored lagers or pale ales. But Dyckman Beer Company is part of a growing group of breweries around the country, both big and small, incorporating traditional Latin flavors into their beers. From local, small-batch craft breweries like Camilo’s, to breweries with huge giant parent companies (like Blue Moon, which recently put out a Cinnamon-Horchata Ale), there are now plenty of chances to try chelas that are thinking outside of the box. Or the bottle, as it were.