July 26, 2023 HBI visits the Roundhead Brewery, the 1st Latino-owned brewery in MA
HBI had the pleasure of visiting the Roundhead Brewery in Hyde Park, the first Latino-owned brewery in Massachusetts. The building that houses the Roundhead Brewery was once the power station for the Benjamin Franklin Sturtevant Blower Fan industrial complex built in 1903 and known more recently as the Westinghouse plant, after Westinghouse bought B.F. Sturtevant in 1945 (pictured in 1950 on the left).
Benjamin Sturtevant was a Roxbury inventor who built the first commercially successful blower in 1864, and whose company went on to be the largest manufacturer of fans in the world. Today, the power station and Roundhouse sit in the center of a multi-building complex that has been adapted for commercial offices and residential units.
Local co-owners, Luis Espinoza and Craig Panzer, opened their taproom for business in late October, 2022 and have already been awarded 2023’s Best Brewery in Boston Magazine. There’s little wonder why, as co-owner and chef, Luis Espinoza, has revolutionized the typical approach to brewing by infusing flavors from his native Peru in every brew.
Espinoza and Panzer first met at their children’s soccer games and soon discovered their shared passion for brewing. After college Panzer went to work for a craft brewery that sold across 17 states, steadily realizing that he’d prefer to instead specialize in locally sourced and sold beer. Espinoza launched the Roundhead Brewing Company in 2017, and spent years developing the artisan style brews you’ll find on tap at Roundhead today. A fateful soccer match led to Panzer and Espinoza’s meeting, and well, the rest is history.
At Roundhead they have a saying: “cerveza que reúne” which translates to: “beer that gathers.” And as we talked with Espinoza and Panzer, it became apparent that there was something especially unique about this brewery. For even though half of our staff are not beer-drinkers, the zeal and pride with which Espinoza and Panzer described their brewing process had us happily sampling a variety of brews at 2 P.M. on a work-day.
We tried the Chimu (a Peruvian red ale), the Contigo (a Peruvian lager), and the all around favorite, Carnival (a sour beer with tropical fruity notes). Their non-alcoholic Purple Wisdom (chicha) was a pineapple and purple corn-based drink that made for a memorable treat as well. In addition, the Roundhead Brewery offers a variety of Latino-inspired pizzas, beer ice-cream floats (using ice cream from local favorite Ron’s Ice Cream), and churros for dessert. All of which we here at HBI are certainly intent on returning to try.