The Role Of A Brewery In Community and Culture
Wednesday, June 24th, 6:00pm ET
In 2020 and going forward, what’s the role that we see breweries playing? How can they be more than just a place for people to gather, and actively support their community and the causes that matter to it? As key ‘third spaces,’ what can they do to help create a more open and fair society?
Brandon “The Salsa Pops” Espinosa is a New York native born to a Puerto Rican mother and a Cuban father. His love for his culture and people started at a very young age as he was engulfed in the rhythms and sounds of the music from the islands of his ancestry. Brandon’s love for music and people led to him following in the footsteps of his father by pursuing a career in hospitality. Those footsteps led to him becoming a first-generation college graduate from The Hotel School at Cornell University where he learned all about business management as it pertains to hospitality. His path since then has been non-linear, but filled with incredible life lessons and experiences in the world of corporate merchandising, non-profit management, and entrepreneurship. Over the course of his journey Brandon has built two businesses, one in the non-profit space and the other in fashion. A little over three years ago Brandon became the first Latino to work at The Bronx Brewery, where he began managing both community engagement and events and later became the brewery’s General Manager, where he was able to help build the brand he always envisioned in the Bronx centered around culture, community, and inclusivity. Aside from his role at The Bronx Brewery, Brandon is also an active contributor to The Huffington Post and founder of "The Salsa Project". Brandon loves to travel, play sports, and spend time with his family. He currently resides in the Bronx, NY with his wife and daughter.
NYC native and proud Puerto Rican Christine Correa was born and raised in Flushing, Queens around an extensively diverse community of people, cultures, and cuisines. Originally interested in pursuing a career in the fashion industry, Christine first started working in hospitality to earn a living while attending classes at the Fashion Institute of Technology. Immediately finding a home amongst the vibrant personalities, bustling dining rooms, and hectic kitchens of the service industry, Christine continued to work in front-of-house hospitality roles to make ends meet. It wasn't until working as the maitre'd of acclaimed NYC sushi restaurant Shuko that Christine realized there could be a serious career for her in hospitality. She left FIT and continued to immerse herself in the culture of dining, drinking, and guest experience, holding every front-of-house role possible in a myriad of service styles. A year and a half ago, Christine joined the Bronx Brewery as the one full-time bartender on the team. As time passed, she has gone on to fulfill the lead bartender position, helping manage operations on a day to day basis in the brewery's taproom space and being the face that you are likely to find laughing loudly behind the bar on any given day of the week. Christine believes in the power that hospitality has to bring people from different walks of life to the same table, creating the opportunity to open discussions, bridge cultures, and build community. Being able to do that within a craft beer space in the South Bronx has been the pinnacle of why Christine fell in love with hospitality in the first place, and a testament to the ability it has to create change. Christine likes biking, hazy IPAs, graphic design and cartoons. She currently resides in Harlem, NY with her girlfriend and their cat.
Cat Wolinski is the Associate Editor at VinePair. Specializing in beer, she has covered beer culture and the beer industry for publications including VinePair, Craft Beer & Brewing, Ale Street News, Civil Eats, Men's Journal, and others. She also served as curator and editor of the Brooklyn Beer Book and Queens Beer Book. Follow her love affair with beer @beeraffair.