(Image courtesy Percival Beer Company)
Taking its inspiration from the people, places, and things that make Dorchester unique, a new brewing company looks to bottle the flavor of Boston’s largest and most diverse community.
Founded in 2011 and officially launched in early-2013 by Felipe Oliveira, a 36-year-old Milton resident who grew up in Dorchester, the Percival Beer Company aims to create a selection of “craft” beers that can an appeal to the many cultures and palates in the neighborhood.
“My attitude about it is that the craft beer movement has gotten too snobby,” explained Oliveira, who was raised on Percival Street in Dorchester’s Bowdoin-Geneva neighborhood. “I wanted to create a good tasting beer that was simple and could appeal to everyone.”
Oliveira’s foray into the beer world started at a family barbeque and a dissatisfaction in the beverage options.
“About five years ago I was at a barbeque and somebody brought by some ‘craft’ beers and we felt they were too heavy, too complex,” explained Oliveira. “After that barbeque I just started doing research.”
After purchasing a basic home brewing kit, Oliveira set off to create his own recipes, working out of his Milton home and using friends and family as taste testers.
Now with two beers under his belt – Kompadre Lager and DOT Ale 1630 – Oliveira is looking to bring his beer, which is currently brewed at Paper City Breweries in Holyoke, home to Dorchester.
“It’s an ongoing process to identify the right location, but we hope to be brewing in the neighborhood soon,” said Oliveira.
Although the location of where the beer is brewed is important, Oliveira, who works full-time to support his family and company, said it’s really about the beers’ reflection of the community.
“I wanted to give Dorchester an identity with my beer,” Oliveira, a Cape Verdean-American, explained. “You don’t have to be a beer aficionado or Cape Verdean or Irish-American to like these beers; you just have to enjoy beer.”
Both of the company’s offerings are in their own way uniquely Dorchester, from the Kompadre Lager and its Cape Verdean flavors to the DOT Ale’s namesake and the triple-deckers that adorn its label.
“I want to continue to develop brands that reflect the communities of Dorchester and taste good,” said Oliveira. “Right now we are working with the Vietnamese community to create a beer that reflects their contributions to Dorchester, as well as another beer that will reflect Roxbury and Mattapan.”
Oliveira said he will continue the search for a location in Dorchester to base his brewery, as he works to come up with new recipes and flavors for his beverage empire.
Although it’s not available to the public yet, Oliveira said he is already working on a new brew: Mad Jack IPA. The beer takes its name from John “Mad Jack” Percival, once a captain of the USS Constitution and the person Oliveira’s childhood street was named after.
“I grew up in this neighborhood and now I’m bringing something back,” said Oliveira. “I’m a Dot Rat first and a Cape Verdean second.”
To find out more about the company or where to pick up a sixer of one of Oliveira’s brews, click here.