We had the good fortune of connecting with Agustin Ruelas and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Agustin, is your business focused on helping the community? If so, how?
Brewjeria Company has always been about building community. When family and friends started homebrewing back in 2010 we started hosting tasting events with beer that was still a work in progress. Several years later with more brewing knowledge and connections to community organizations we began donating beer to nonprofit fundraisers, something we did for 5 years before opening our brewery and taproom and will continue to do after the pandemic.
In 2020, while only offering pickup and delivery due to stay at home orders we still stayed true to our commitment to the community and donated over $6,000 to social justice causes. About half of the funds we donated came from a portion of proceeds from 2 collaboration beer releases with local homebrewers–Norwalk Brewhouse and South Central Brewing Company–and nationally syndicated cartoonist Lalo Alcaraz. The first beer called ‘Los Vendors’ benefitted the Los Angeles Street Vendors Campaign while the second called ‘Los CarWasheros’ benefitted the CLEAN Carwash Campaign.
Alright, so for those in our community who might not be familiar with your business, can you tell us more?
We are a Latino and POC-owned business in an industry with very little diversity. We are excited to hopefully make it out of the pandemic with our business intact and eager to show what we are capable of thriving and running our business as intended with a large community joining us along for the ride.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
Hopefully, they like beer because it might end up being a beer-centric experience, lol.
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
All of our co-founders, co-owners, family, friends and supporters have made this possible. Three of us started brewing 11 years ago and it wouldn’t have happened without mutual friends volunteering to walk us through brewing our very first beer in their kitchen with their equipment. Our family and friends came to our tasting events and cheered us on even when we all knew it was definitely a work in progress. Our colleagues working towards social justice kept asking us back to pour our beers for a number of years and kept pushing us to take it to the next level. Having co-founded the largest Latino and POC homebrew club in the country, SoCal Cerveceros, we all encouraged and provided opportunities for club members to improve on their craft and consider the possibility of going to the commercial level.
All of our co-owners who believed in our plan for a community based brewery and have stayed the course during these trying times. And for me especially I have to recognize my wife, my parents and siblings who have put up countless brew days, found ways to help us raise a large chunk of our startup funds and who have persevered through one of the toughest things we’ve ever undertaken.
Salvador Castrejon Mike Dennis