- Griffin Swartzell
- Atrevida Beer Company’s a vision anchored in brewing skill.
Co-owner/head brewer Jessica Fierro netted a national win on Viceland’s Beerland show with her homebrew, Doña Neta tamarind bière de garde, before buying the Great Storm Brewery facility and making it her own new brewery. Fierro’s one of a small but growing number of women in head brewing positions, and one of even fewer Latina brewers around. She’s even doing charity — The Teenth cream ale is named for Juneteenth, the June 19 celebration of the (very late) announcement of emancipation in Texas, and a dollar from each pint goes to the Springs’ Black/Latino Leadership Coalition, of which she and husband/brewery co-owner Richard are members.
Of course the enduring value of these already-good things rests on the quality of the beer. Fortunately, the Fierros and business partner Stephen Marzulla have a solid foundation — the brew team is killing it.
The Teenth, an atypically hazy cream ale with orange, lemon and vanilla, finishes clean. Notably, the citrus and especially the vanilla notes are very mild, resulting not in a Creamsicle in a glass, but a cream ale that whispers about its adjuncts. That conforms to Fierro’s stated mission for her beers: Good beer first, eclectic flavors second.
But it’s the Gold Member golden Belgian and Ibarra chocolate stout that show as our favorites. The former’s got a hell of a yeast profile to go with the prominent caramel notes, starting peppery and finishing mineral-crisp with only a hint of hop bitterness in between. The latter, kegged on nitro, is foremost a dry stout with delicate cinnamon and subtle chocolate notes emphasizing the roasty malt before adding to the finish, a reference to the Mexican table chocolate the beer’s named for.
Location Details Atrevida Beer Co.
“He was helping me go through all my contract work and everything else with the Beerland thing,” she says. And on one of the forms exchanged, she saw the signature “E-Legal.” As for the low-rider on the tap handle, Fierro says it’s Edward’s, one he fixed up nice enough to make it into San Jose, California-based magazine Lowrider. “He got all sorts of awards and a whole spread,” she says.
From our tasting spread, we’re confused by the Boricua Belgian blonde ale — it’s sour, reminiscent of a Sweet Tart. It’s not an infection, Fierro says, but the product of heavy lemon, orange and pineapple additions, which do read. But no fruit’s mentioned on the menu or tap handles.
We note similar labeling issues with the El Dorado kölsch — its lemongrass and lime additions are only listed on the tap handle. No biggie, but it’s heavy on the lemongrass, the only brew on tap we don’t fully dig.
We’re happy with the beers, not just for good brewing chops, but for the vision. Fierro puts her heritage into her product, both in beer names and in her fusions of Latin flavors into German and Belgian brewing techniques.
“While I’m telling [my customers] something they’re not familiar with, they turn around and tell me something about their traditions and their culture...” she says. “It works both ways, and that’s the way it should be.”