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Local homebrewer wins national distribution deal

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Fierro's beer, which will be distributed nationally, honors her grandmother and her heritage. - SCREENSHOT
  • Screenshot
  • Fierro's beer, which will be distributed nationally, honors her grandmother and her heritage.
Springs homebrewer Jessica Fierro was selected as the winner of the Viceland homebrewing competition television show, Beerland, Thursday night. Her tamarind Bière de Garde, Doña Neta, won over the judges and set her ahead of brewers from New York City; Santa Cruz, California; Honolulu, Hawaii; and Santa Fe, New Mexico. Starting June 2, Fierro's beer will be distributed on tap and in cans across the country through Anheuser-Busch InBev-owned show sponsor Golden Road Brewing.

“A part of me is just amazed,” says Fierro of her win, adding that she's still trying to process it days later.

The beer's a homage to Fierro's grandmother, Ernestina Martinez, known better as Doña Neta. Fierro used to spend summers with Martinez in Mexico, during which Martinez would send her out to sell and deliver homemade tamarind candy. Martinez' recipe and technique for good tamarind purée went into Fierro's beer.

“When I first brewed it three years ago, she was alive, and I shared it with her,” says Fierro. "The day that I was told I had won the competition was two days after the year mark of my grandma’s passing away.” 
Jessica and husband Rich FIerro celebrate her victory. - SCREENSHOT
  • Screenshot
  • Jessica and husband Rich FIerro celebrate her victory.


Beyond the smooth, tamarind-inflected finish, Fierro says the beer has the reserved hop  and biscuit-y malt profile typical of a bière de garde.

Fierro hopes her win will serve as an inspiration to other Latinas. So far, at least one has responded to Fierro's win with unabashed enthusiasm and joy: Her teenage daughter.

"If I don't make a difference to any other Latina, and it's only my daughter... that's one person who can make a difference to someone else," she says. "[Winning this is] a powerful message to send, especially for young Latinas."

While Fierro does hope to open a brewery of her own in the future, that's still somewhere down the line — she's not going to rush in just because of this win. She says if she's going to do it, she's going to take the time necessary to do it right and make it last.

Check this blog for a list of distribution locations — we'll post them as soon as we have them.

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