By Laura De La Garza Garcia
Cervezalandia recently made its debut on Freeport Boulevard, hoping to become a mainstay for anyone looking for Mexican craft beer. The tidy, well-lit stop features fun colors and unique brews with flavors common in Hispanic communities. It has a shared space inside Freeport’s Shift Change market.
“It was inspired by my travels to Mexico,” said founder Daniel Savala.
Prior to the pandemic, Savala was traveling to Mexico City and eventually made his way to a town called Queretaro, a destination not many know of.
“I stumbled upon these brew pubs, and you know, you go to Mexico and you have the Micheladas and all the regular lager beers, but for the first time I had seen these craft beers,” Savala recalled.
As he continued visiting different cities in Mexico, Savala kept noticing what Mexican craft brewers were up to. He used to work for the Department of Alcohol Beverage Control in different cities throughout California. The experience helped Savala learn from other businesses and eventually build his own from the ground up.
“A lot of people think beer is profitable, but it is not,” Savala said. “It’s expensive to carry beer, it’s an expensive investment.”
After putting some thought into the idea, Savala set out to address Sacramento’s lack of Mexican craft beer. He notes that in parts of Southern California, there is a big movement on that front.
“You have these Latino and Chicano brewers who are home brewers, and who are now contract brewers, and are putting their beer on the market,” he said.
After constant trips between San Diego and Sacramento, permit approval and awaiting licensing, Savala was able to bring an array of Mexican craft beers into the Capital City through his colleague’s storefront at 4516 Freeport Blvd.
Cervezalandia made its debut in August of 2022.
According to Savala, a customer shopping at there can expect to spend around $20 on a special 4-pack of a variety of craft beer.
“There is beers in our store that you won’t find anywhere else,” he emphasized.
One of those beer flavors is John Anaya’s La Xingona’ double IPA.
John Anaya is a master brewer at King Cong Brewing Company in Sacramento, who has been brewing beer for about 17 years.
“I homebrewed beer for 7 years,” Anaya reflected, “and professionally for 10 years.”
Anaya chose to distribute products through Cervezalandia simply because they are the only store that features beers brewed from Latino or Hispanic brewers. According to him, beer brings people together and helps create memories, which, beyond loving beer, is why he chose to be a brewer.
Dalia Robles is a customer at Cervezalandia. She comes in to seek out flavors from her childhood, including chamoy and tamarind.
“I was following Daniel on instagram and when he started posting (about Cervezalandia) the product caught my attention,” said Robles, who visits about once a month to stock up on some new beer flavors.
Robles likes to see a Chicano small business opening in Sacramento, especially since the products native to Latinos tend to be overlooked or missing altogether.
“I feel very seen, I grew up with tamarindo and chamoy and all these fun flavors,” Robles mentioned.
Robles also thinks Cervezalandia is honoring the roots in which most Mexican beers originated. She appreciates that Savala has been doing the research to distribute products from Latino brewers rather than outsiders who would appropriate the culture.
For his part, Savala is hoping to expand Cervezalandia to other parts of California, including Downey and Arbuckle, soon.