Rising Star Brewer Jose Lopez of Casa Humilde Cervecería - Biography

Chicago, IL

September 2021

Javier and Jose Lopez grew up immersed in Chicago’s Hermosa neighborhood. As the children of Mexican immigrants, they were raised with a deep appreciation for their heritage. The Lopez brothers were always into craft beer, but it was the Gumballhead release from 3 Floyds Brewing Co. that showed them how special a brew could really be. Craving a career shift after 10 years in a band, Jose partnered with Javier to go all-in on stainless steel, temperature-controlled home brewing equipment. As they experimented, Javier worked in construction while Jose handled food distribution at meat and seafood companies, followed by Omega Yeast. His next distribution job at Hopewell Brewing Co. allowed Jose to study the business of owning and operating a brewery.

With their savings, small investments from friends, and help from industry insiders like Ben and John Saller of Burnt City Brewing, Javier and Jose launched Casa Humilde Cervercía in 2019 within the brewery collective District Brew Yards. The Saller brothers essentially became their brewers committee, guiding them through the opening process. Although Mexican beers are most often associated with macro-brews like Corona and Modelo, the Lopez brothers believe that through a balance of traditional Latin flavors like hibiscus and corn, they can create craft beers that would appeal to the people in their community and beyond. Casa Humilde now produces about 800 barrels of craft, Mexican-inspired beer per year and is collaborating with Chef Diana Dávila of Mi Tocaya Antojería on a burnt-corn lager to benefit The Resurrection Project, a nonprofit for social change.