By Bryan Llenas | Our American Dream
Published February 19, 2015
Fox News Latino
A cherry-flavored fancy light beer, a café con leche Milk Stout, and an India Pale Ale infused with passion fruit — these are some of the blends concocted in a kitchen in uptown Manhattan and brewed to perfection two-and-a-half hours north of there, in a private manufacturing facility in Bloomfield, Connecticut.
For 29-year-old Juan Camilo, the recipes for his beers are deeply personal, as he was inspired by his single mom and accomplished school teacher, his Dominican roots and the working-class Manhattan neighborhood he grew up in.
Camilo started the Dyckman Beer Company a year-and-a half ago. Today, his craft beers are being sold in about 70 bars, restaurants and grocery stores in New York City. He has also established new accounts in the Dominican Republic.
Camilo, who moved to the United States at age 5, is the new face of American small business — and he is using his Hispanic heritage and uptown roots as a business advantage. On the side of his beers reads ‘Una Vaina Bien’ – a popular Latino catchphrase meaning ‘A really good thing,’ an attempt to connect with shoppers on a whole new level.
“I just think it’s that emotional connection we have with our background,” Camilo said. “A lot of immigrants, especially from the Hispanic community, came here in the last 10, 20 years and they can relate to these [beer] flavors; the emotional connection to their country is strong, and I’m very glad I’ve been able to put that forward in my company.”