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Good Beer Hunting

Jan 28, 2023

What does a banana taste like? I want you to take a moment to consider it, whether you like them or not. As you think about unpeeling the fruit and taking a first bite, do you imagine something sweet? Maybe the texture is mushy. Is there a scene playing out in your mind? I promise this question isn’t for nothing, and in this conversation, you’ll eventually hear how one skilled brewer thinks about eating a banana he can only find in memory.

Get ready to meet Rafael D’Armas, who came to homebrewing and the beer industry through a career that started in political science and international relations. Originally from Venezuela, you’ll hear how politics, history, and culture shaped his early assumptions of what he wanted to do for work, and then how a friend and some beer changed his mind. Rafael started in beer at New York City’s Bronx Brewery through an internship program made possible with Beer Kulture, a nonprofit working to foster a more inclusive beer industry, and is currently a brewer at Montclair Brewery in New Jersey. This fall, it was announced he received the Michael Jackson Foundation’s Sir Geoff Palmer Award for Brewing to attend the prestigious Siebel Institute of Technology, which has trained generations of some of the best brewers in the world.

But all that is just background for the person you’ll come to understand Rafael to be as we talk about his home country, what it was like trading political science research for beer, what “innovation” means when it’s made personal … and bananas, of course. This is a chance to get to know an up-and-coming brewer who has unique and deep ideas of what beer can be, and how he wants to be a part of change.