WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. — The West Palm Beach Brewery & Wine Vault is jumping into the DACA political arena with the May 2nd release of its Dreamers Lager, a Mexican lager made for Cinco de Mayo.
“I know that politics can be risky business,” says owner John Pankauski. “But I felt this was too important in issue to remain silent on.”
Pankauski should know. His grandparents immigrated from Poland and Lithuania at the turn of the last century with no money, no skills and unable to speak English. They suffered discrimination from those who saw European immigrants as a threat.
“Sound familiar?” Pankauski sarcastically asks.
Pankauski originally wanted to craft a simple Mexican lager. And then it hit him: he would craft a beer that was bigger than just a tap pull. He would create a beer with a message.
“People risk their lives in boats, hiking over fields and desserts, to make a better life for themselves and their families– who can fault them for that,” asks Pankauski. “In South Florida, we have many people from the Caribbean, and Central and South America who, like my grandparents, arrived by ships or rafts dreaming of a better life. Ponce de Leon was one of our first immigrants in the 1500s. Whether you’re from Spain, Poland, Syria or Haiti, we are all immigrants.”
Pankauski created a special image, which will be on a limited edition, Dreamers T-shirt available for free to the first 50 people who purchase a glass of Dreamers Lager and use the special code “I am a Dreamer, too.”
This Lager’s image has Lady Liberty at the center, surrounded by barley, hops, Monarch butterflies, and a raft full of people. Pankauski chose a raft as an image rather than an immigrant ship which his grandparents arrived on. The message is obvious: “Regardless of how you got here, we are all in the same boat today.”
“A Monarch butterfly migrates from Mexico to the USA. Some believe that the Monarch has a spiritual connection to Cinco de Mayo. It will serve as an important symbol,” says Pankauski. “After all, coming here, working hard, and making it is who we are. That’s our spirit. It’s not an immigration issue. It’s a Patriotic issue. We should support those who make the journey that our ancestors made before.”
Mexican Lager has a unique style and flavor characteristics, influenced by a Vienna lager, most probably by German and Austrian immigrants who arrived in Texas and Mexico in the 1800’s. Craft brewers put their own touch on the Mexican Lager.
“Our Dreamers Lager is brewed with Pilsner and Vienna malt, flaked maize, and organic blue agave nectar to add a touch of honey-like sweetness to a light, crisp, refreshing brew which we have laagered for weeks. You will taste freedom. I guarantee,” boasts Pankauski.
You can try a Dreamers Lager beginning at 6:00 p.m. on Wednesday, May 2, 2018. It’s only offered at the brewery.
On Saturday, May 5, Cinco de Mayo, Pankauski will donate 100% of all gross sale proceeds of the first 100 Dreamers Lager he sells that day to Americans for Immigrant Justice, http://www.aijustice.org/, based in Miami and Washington, DC. Americans for Immigrant Justice’s mission and vision is to protect and promote the basic human rights of immigrants and to bring about an American society where immigrants are not subjected to abuse or injustice; are not afraid to seek help; have a fair opportunity to make their case in the system that governs them; and have their contributions valued and encouraged.
The West Palm Beach Brewery & Wine Vault is located at 332 Evernia Street, West Palm Beach, FL 33401.
The West Palm Brewery has a production facility and tap room on site, indoor and outdoor (shaded) seating, and offers craft beer made right here©, limited production, premium and super-premium wine in The Vault, its Napa Valley tasting room and wine shop, as well as made-2-order food in its Intracoastal Kitchen.