OktubreFest Meets OktoberForest
Celebrating OktoberForest in Minnesota
Nestled in an unassuming corner of the Harrison neighborhood in north Minneapolis, La Doña Cerveceria specializes in craft beer that blends the best of Latin and Northern flavors.
La Doña is out to make a splash in the Twin Cities market as arguably the most diverse brewery this side of the Mississippi. Opened in the fall of 2018, La Doña has carved out a unique space in Minnesota's craft beer scene that we didn’t even know it needed—making an important cultural and economic contribution to Minneapolis' north side, an area that for too long has seen little economic development or investment.
nature.org: Tell us a little detail about your brewery and history.
La Doña is unique because we are Minnesota’s first Latino-influenced craft brewery (my family is from Uruguay). I started getting into brewing after returning home from the Marine Corps and started noticing a lack of Latinx flavors and representation in the local craft brew scene, so I decided to do something about it. At first it was just brewing and selling bottled beer under contract, but eventually I was able to open the taproom in 2018.
nature.org: Why do forests matter to brewers like you? How do you draw the connection between healthy forests and great beer?
Healthy forests are important because its important to keep the entire environment working together, and forests are a big part of that. The more forests there are, the better crops we have, the better grains and hops we can grow, and the better water quality we end up with. It’s all connected, and it’s all important to making great beer.
nature.org: Where does your brewery get the water you use to make beer?
Our water comes straight from the Minneapolis city tap, which actually comes from the Mississippi River. I’m a fan—the river is beautiful, it’s a big part of Minnesota’s story and the nation’s infrastructure. It also makes for really good beer.
nature.org: Do your operations include any sustainable practices?
We try to limit our water consumption by recycling water that we use for cooling. We use tap water to cool the wort down as it goes into the fermenter, and rather than putting that down the drain, we put it into our hot liquor tank and then use for brewing our next batch. We also give all of our spent grain to a farmer in Mankato, which they then use for livestock feed.
nature.org: On a personal note, why do you support forests?
I’m a big outdoor recreation advocate. I spent three years leading trips in different wilderness areas and national parks across the country, so I’ve really come to value the natural world. Forests are an important part of nature that should be kept intact and healthy, because we all need them.