Doña Chela Cervecería, Minnesota’s first Latino-influenced beer company, announced plans to launch its first beer—a Vienna-style lager—into the market this July.
The company was founded by Sergio Manacero, a first-generation citizen born to Uruguayan parents. After serving several years in the United States Marine Corps, including two deployments in Afghanistan, Manacero returned home and is currently attending the University of Minnesota as a sociology major. After seeing other Latino-influenced breweries finding success around the country and Mancero and his colleagues thought a similar concept could be successful in the Twin Cities.
“My family has been heavily involved in coordinating events in the Latino community for years. My familiarity with that and the craft beer scene leads me to believe we can create one-of-a-kind experience if the two are united,” explains Manacero.
According to Manacero, Doña Chela is the nation’s first Latino-influenced “Benefit Corporation” beer company. Benefit Corporations: 1) have a corporate purpose to create a material positive impact on society and the environment; 2) are required to consider the impact of their decisions not only on shareholders but also on employees, community, and the environment; and 3) are required to make available to the public, except in Delaware, an annual benefit report that assesses their overall social and environmental performance against a third party standard.
Beyond making beer that Manacero believes will appeal to the state’s Latino community, Doña Chela’s mission is to provide social and economic support to Latino communities in Minnesota. Manacero is currently participating in various community meetings and events to build awareness of his brand and learn how his company can one day provide resources where they are needed most.
“I envision my role within the company as the community liaison,” Manacero says. “Introducing the Latino community to an expanding variety of craft beer, while learning ways to employ our growing resources over time. Then also helping the craft brewing community appreciate the breadth and depth of Latino culture that’s at home here in the Twin Cities.”
Doña Chela’s first beer, Bronze Lager, is being brewed at Sand Creek Brewingin Black River Falls, Wisconsin, and will be available on draft at bars and restaurants in the Twin Cities starting this July. Bottles will be available in stores later this summer. Doña Chela will release four other beers over the course of the next year and plans to build a brewery and events center that will “showcase an exotic variety of fresh and vibrant Latino-inspired beer, food and events.”