Una Fría is a Presidente-like pilsner inspired by the Dominican Republic.

By Mike Pomranz
June 21, 2019
Courtesy of Blue Point Brewing Company

Collaboration beers are currently all the rage. Brewers collaborate with bands, collaborate with ice cream brands, collaborate with clothing companies, collaborate with convenience stores, and the list goes on and on. But the most common collaborations are when breweries collaborate with each other. It’s a great way to exchange ideas, cross-promote, and just hang out — which is why a lot of these collaborations are just friends making beer together. That’s what makes a recent collaboration beer from Blue Point Brewing Company so interesting. The New York-based brand has just launched a beer called Una Fría — brewed not with their buddies down the street, but with help from the largest beer brand in the Dominican Republic, Presidente.

Let’s get this out of the way: Blue Point and Presidente teaming up isn’t completely random. Blue Point is one of a dozen American craft beer brands owned by Anheuser-Busch InBev. Meanwhile, the largest owner of Presidente’s brewer Cerveceria Nacional Dominicana is AmBev, which is also owned by Anheuser-Busch InBev. So the whole thing is a bit like cousins who met up at a family reunion.

Still, ownership aside, there’s something inherently fun about a smaller American brand teaming up with a big name so many people identify with vacationing. And as Blue Point points out, the Dominican community is also deeply intertwined with New York. “Blue Point's partnership with Presidente evolved from strong similarities in their tight knit communities and a shared sense of pride in their roots and culture,” a spokesperson told me. “Each value family, hard work, and coming together over a cold one — whether for a big celebration or just at the end of a long day.”

The beer itself takes this Dominican connection even further. Una Fría is a Presidente-like pilsner, brewed with the addition of plantains, and meant to be served ice cold. "Plantains are high in starch content, so it makes the lautering process a bit slower and more challenging," Blue Point's brewmaster Dan Jensen told me via email. "We were able to make adjustments to our mashing recipes to alleviate some of the issues. In the end, it's worth the extra time and effort because the plantains give Una Fría some amazing flavors."

Additionally, the label was designed by Dominican-American artist Tiffany De Jesus, “which merges together NYC Dominican culture and Blue Point’s Long Island laid-back vibe.”

I got to try Una Fría back in April, and though the beer won’t necessarily change the world, it hits all the right notes for a beach-ready lager: a light and unassuming malt base accented with a firm, crisp bitterness. Any plantain sweetness is undetectable, and frankly, that’s what I prefer for a beer meant to fight off the heat. If you’re the kind of person who’d occasionally grab a Presidente, then Una Fría is definitely worth a try. And it’s an interesting novelty: I doubt we’ll see many more Presidente collaboration beers anytime soon.

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