Chihuahua Cerveza wants to become millennials’ favorite Mexican-style lager. To connect with young people, the brewery hired an ambitious young salesman: Henry Camejo ’19, who will represent the company on Nov. 16 at the 2019 North Miami BrewFest.
Camejo has visited more than 300 Publix Super Markets in the last year alone to educate managers about Chihuahua Cerveza. He drives all over Florida, checking in at stores, restaurants and bars to chat about his company’s products.
For Camejo, working hard is nothing new. The Miami native became a full-time salesman at the age of 18, when he began selling real estate to pay for his college tuition.
“Selling beer is a lot more fun, obviously. It’s different when you studied something in an industry you like,” Camejo said.
His transition from real estate to the beverage industry was easy. It happened suddenly. One day, while hanging out at M.I.A. Beer Company, Camejo heard that FIU offers a brewing course.
“I said, ‘What? Why am I studying business?’” Camejo said.
Immediately, he enrolled in the Chaplin School’s beverage management program and began brewing. In his first course, Camejo brewed five beers—four more than what students were expected to create. Professor Barry Gump still keeps his disciple’s first beer on his shelf, a wheat ale with all-American hops and lime peels that Camejo coined, “Liberty Lime.”
“Once I made my first beer, it was so rewarding. After that, it was, ‘How do I make my next beer better?’” Camejo said.
Upon completing the course, Camejo was recruited back to the class as a teaching assistant. He stayed on for six semesters. After graduating, Camejo was recommended by Professor Gump for the Chihuahua Cerveza job.
Camejo is grateful to the Chaplin School for helping him secure a career in beer.
“When you drink a beer, you don’t really think about all that goes into it. But it really is microbiology, it’s chemistry, it’s so much going on and I was so impressed by that. It’s not just a can that you drink enough of and you start feeling good. It really is an art,” he said.
For Camejo, Saturday's BrewFest will be a homecoming. He began attending the Festival as a student and will return as an employee of the industry.
Started by FIU, BrewFest invites master brewers and casual beer fans alike to dive into the flavors of Florida’s craft beer scene. Local South Florida breweries are preparing more than 200 different beers, including several brand-new tastes; so every attendee can try something new.
“[My job] is something that I never even thought was possible, especially having started studying business because I didn’t know what else to do, and working in real estate from as long as I can remember,” Camejo said. “Gump really inspired me to learn more about beer, and it ended up creating a career for me. I’m extremely grateful for that.”
This year's BrewFest will take place at MOCA Plaza—770 NE 125th St, North Miami, FL 33161— on Nov. 16. The university community can save on tickets: Use the code FIUFAMILY for 20 percent off both VIP and general admission at checkout.