Jamaica Plain Duo Start Roundhead Brewing After Meeting on Youth Soccer Fields

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Jamaica Plain residents Craig Panzer and Luis Espinoza are currently offering community investment opportunities for their new venture Roundhead Brewing. But where the two met is probably the last place they thought they'd meet their future business partner -- the JP Youth Soccer fields.

Luis Espinoza and Craig Panzer, owners of Roundhead Brewing. (Photo credit Alex Budnitz)

"Our sons joke that we need to frame their youth soccer jerseys for the brewery walls," joked Panzer, who has lived in JP for 15 years. Espinoza has lived in JP for 10 years.

They expect Roundhead Brewing to open in Hyde Park later this year in August or September. There will be a 45-seat taproom, and along with beer they will offer made to order pizza and salads. They will also welcome a rotating assortment of locally owned food trucks.

But obviously the beer is the focus of the menu.

"We will brew beer in small batches that people love – beers inspired by our customers. What we’re not going to do: We’re not gonna simply focus on Belgian ales, or create a bajillion IPAs. We’re going to focus on a menu where everybody can find something they like. Like coffee? Try this! Like Modelo or Budweizer? Here you go. Hate beer that tastes like beer? Ha! Well then try this one! Don’t like alcohol in your punch? No problem. We’ve got you covered," said Panzer.

Luis Espinoza, left, with his family, and his business partner Craig Panzer, right, with his family. (Photo credit Alex Budnitz)

They're also doing something extremely unique when it comes to brewing beer. They're using music.

"We also brew with experimental techniques. Quantum Reggae, our dragon fruit sour, is fermented with 72 - 125 hours of Peruvian reggae. Yeast are living microorganisms, and music keeps the yeast moving in rhythm around the fermenters. Our experiments found that the vibration from reggae music (we also tried rock and heavy metal) delivered the best results," said Panzer.

Just as the duo are asking the community to invest in them, investing in the community is an integral part of their business model. All employees will make a minimum guarantee of $16.70 per hour, and there will be no tipped wages. They'll be using Boston tap water as their water source. They are sourcing almost all of their hops and malts from Massachusetts farms and maltsters, including Stone Path Malt in Wareham and Four Star Farms in Northfield.

Panzer is also on the board of JP Centre/South Main Streets and supports JP Local First. He’s also getting ready for his second season as a baseball coach for Regan Youth League.

Luis Espinoza (Photo credit Alex Budnitz)

The name of the business originates from Espinoza's Peruvian background. The roundhead (aji seco in Spanish) is a type of rooster common to his family's home in Peru. While Espinoza has been brewing and building out beer recipes 10 years ago, as a kid he brewed chicha, a drink made from fermented corn.

"We’re called Roundhead Brewing Company to remind us of home, and say that all people are welcome here," said Panzer.

Click here to learn more about investing in Roundhead Brewing.