Collaboration aims to help Hispanic farmworkers through craft brew called La Cosecha

Posted at 11:25 PM, Oct 13, 2022
and last updated 2022-10-14 01:25:59-04

Woodland Empire is a brewery that has a mix tape IPA series where they release a new India Pale Ale every other month, this months beer is called La Cosecha and it honors Hispanic Heritage Month.

This is a collaboration goes back a few years, proceeds from the beer will go towards Vision 2C Resource Council, a non-profit that focuses on agriculture, climate and helping immigrants.

Irene Ruiz grew up working in the fields east of Twin Falls, now she writes grants for Vision 2C and this partnership is her way of helping bring awareness to the hardships farmworkers face.

"Working in the field is hard and tedious," said Ruiz. "You have to deal with extreme elements, you have to deal with heat, smoke and so many other factors.

Bobby Gaytan grew up in Mountain Home, his grandfather worked on the farm, so did his parents and so did Bobby, it's all he knew growing up.

"To be honest I became an artist while working in the fields as a teenager, there was nothing else to do," said Gaytan. "Before I could work, I would help my parents out there by bringing them water, but at the same time I would bring my little sketch book and just doodle."

We met up with Irene and Bobby at Woodland Empire to learn more about this beer and how it will help the Hispanic community.

David Roberts recently purchased Woodland Empire, he credits the former owners with starting this partnership, one he wants to continue because he credits Idaho farms with locally sourcing products that help the thriving craft brew scene in the Treasure Valley.

"Idaho produces the third most amount of hops in the country every year, it produces the most high quality malt barely in the country and that's only true because of the farmworkers and agriculture that supports it," said Roberts. "If that changes because of a lack of awareness about the conditions farmworkers are exposed to, Idaho will stop being one of the best places on the planet to produce beer."

Ruiz looks at this as an opportunity to make a difference for farmworkers in Idaho and she hopes people will discover La Cosecha and that this IPA will help raise money to help people working on Idaho farms.

"It just means so much that we are getting so much support in this work and that people actually do care about what they do for us," said Ruiz. "I like the beer, it's actually one of my favorite beers right now.

Bobby became a professional artist and the partnership brought him in to create the logo for La Cosecha, he designed a women covered up carrying hops, he chose this image because he wanted showcase the work women do and show how they cover up to protect against pesticides and the elements.

Bobby credits his parents with making sure he got an education as Hispanic families work hard with hopes that the next generation will break the cycle just like Bobby did.

"It means a lot to be part of this collaboration," said Bobby. "I'm really proud of where I come from and I want to be part of this because it brings awareness."

I tried La Cosecha and I'm not really a big IPA guy, but I did try the beer and it had a smoother finish than what I'm used to experiencing with an India Pale Ale.