California – Norwalk Brew House (NBH), HenHouse Brewing Co., and SLO Brew announces “Mariachi Maestro” Hazy IPA – the first release in a series of collaboration beers supporting the Rhythmo Mariachi Academy in Orange County. Other collaborators include: Liberation Brewing Co. (Long Beach), Feathered Serpent Brewery (San Dimas, CA) and Cerveza Cito (Santa Ana).
In early March, word spread quickly about the sudden passing of Orange County mariachi pioneer, Maestro Gabriel Zavala. A staple in the local music community, Maestro Zavala was beloved and respected for his contributions promoting and preserving the Mexican folk genre of mariachi. He unfortunately succumbed to complications of Covid-19 in late February.
In the ‘60s, Gabriel Zavala and his band of brothers, Los Siete Hermanos Zavala, were the first group to bring mariachi music to Orange County, CA. After a decade of performing, Zavala taught kids the skill and culture of mariachi music through his nonprofit school, Rhythmo Music Academy. This is where he became known as the beloved, “Maestro.”
During last year’s state mandated pandemic closures, Zavala’s Rhythmo Music Academy found itself in dire straits as it struggled to cover its monthly fixed costs. Zavala’s untimely passing only compounded the school’s problems.
The news of Maestro Zavala’s passing and his struggling music academy struck a chord with NBH founder, Ray Ricky Rivera – “as a former professional musician who studied at a local nonprofit music school, I understand how crucial these spaces are to the community. It broke my heart to hear the news, a few of my friends actually studied with Maestro Zavala as kids.”
Motivated to help, Rivera reached out to fellow beer industry friends, Collin McDonnell of HenHouse Brewing Company and Moe Duran of SLO Brew; pitching a 3-way beer collab to support the mariachi academy. The three quickly hatched an idea to create a beer called “Maestro Mariachi” – a Hazy IPA paying homage to Zavala and the legacy he leaves behind.
With the HenHouse/Slow Brew collab in place, Rivera reached out to other SoCal brewery friends including: Feathered Serpent Brewery (San Dimas, CA), Liberation Brewing Company (Long Beach) and Cerveza Cito (Santa Ana), creating a multi-brewery collaboration. Each brewery will work with Norwalk Brew House to release their own tribute to Maestro Zavala. A portion of proceeds from each beer will be donated to the Rhythmo Mariachi Academy.
Mariachi Maestro is a fabulous Hazy IPA graciously hopped with Cashmere and Motueka. The can label features a QR code buyers can scan for access to free music and get more info about the Rhythmo Mariachi Academy.
Mariachi Maestro will be available to LA/OC retailers starting 7/27/21. Packaging includes:16 oz cans and kegs. Also available on draft at both HenHouse Brewing Company locations (Santa Rosa, CA & Petaluma, CA) and online.
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