Carneros Brewing Company is a family owned brewery that has been around for just a little over a year. Two of the four brothers, Armando and Pedro, who are now business partners in this venture are also associated with Ceja Vineyards.

Armando, Pedro and Manuel Ceja decided to team up with their brother Jesus Ceja to launch this Latino owned brewery. Although there are now thousands of breweries open in the U.S., very few of them are Latino owned and operated.

Jesus has 25 years of brewing experience. He spent 20 years working for AB as a brewmaster and more currently overseeing international operations. Jesus is well schooled in the art of making beer with a Bachelor of Science in Food Biochemistry and Master Brewer Certificate from UC Davis along with a MBA from Webster University.

“It’s been a dream,” said Jesus when talking about coming home to northern California to work on these hand crafted beers. He acknowledges that many people are shifting from the lighter Coors and Budweisers of the world for something much more flavorful.

Many craft breweries are now making really big flavored and high alcohol volume beers. Carneros Brewing Company wants to focus on the gap that’s left in between. “Palates are changing, there is sort of a gap between the two styles and we want to be that springboard for beers with a lot of flavor, but are still drinkable.”

Currently Carneros Brewing is offering Cerveza Pilsner, Jefeweizen, Morena Ale and two IPAs. I recently tasted the Jefeweizen, which is a Bavarian style Hefeweizen. The unfiltered wheat beer had notes of banana with clove and spice. The beer is refreshing and flavorful with a very nice mouth feel. For those of you that don’t speak Spanish ‘Jefe’ means ‘boss’ in espanol.

To taste through the full lineup in a beautiful environment I suggest you visit Carneros Brewing Company at 22985 Burndale Road in Sonoma. For more information about the brewery go to http://www.carnerosbrewing.com/

– Peter Lopez