Javier Perez

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What’s your current position at your brewery, and how did you get started in the craft brewing industry?

I’m the brewer and owner of Cheluna Brewing Company in Aurora, Colo. I got my start almost 30 years ago in Berkeley, Calif., when I wandered into a local homebrew shop. The challenge and creativity involved in brewing good beer, along with the community of brewers, has me hooked!

What’s new at Cheluna Brewing?

Esperanza’s Toronja Witbier is a grapefruit wit. We also recently took delivery of our mezcal barrels from Oaxaca, which we are very excited about. We’ll also debut a session IPA very soon.

What’s the best part of being a part of the craft brewing community?

Collaborating with hardworking and down-to-earth people is awesome. I draw inspiration from so many of the people I’ve met in the process of opening Cheluna, and hope that I can, in turn, pay it back.

Name a favorite food and beer pairing.

Tamales de mole negro with our lager comes to mind. Delicioso!

What’s your biggest accomplishment unrelated to your job?

I’ve been told I’m a serious A type personality, so I’d say working on my self-awareness is something that I’m proud of. Entering my fifth decade of life has helped with that, and also raising teenagers, which is very humbling. Seriously.

What’s your favorite beer that your brewery does not produce?

Anchor Steam, for sure. That’s the beer that inspired me to begin brewing.

What’s the most memorable travel destination at which you’ve had a chance to sample the local beer?

Not beer, but a distant cousin, perhaps? Drinking pulque in a remote Oaxacan village stands out; that was over 20 years ago. Pulque is an ancient beverage of pre-Hispanic Mexico made from fermented juice of maguey (agave) plants, and it’s an acquired taste.

What do you like to do in your time away from the brewery?

Sleep! I still work in the ER [as a physician] at the Denver VA, so I take advantage of time to sleep. When I’m not doing that, I’m spending my downtime with my family and my three chihuahuas.

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