Imbibe 75 People to Watch: Edgar Preciado - Imbibe Magazine Subscribe + Save

Imbibe 75 People to Watch: Edgar Preciado

There can be plenty of pomp and pretention when it comes to drinking craft beer. Proper glassware. A pilsner poured just so. Pinkies up, take a sniff and a sip. Edgar Preciado wants no part of that pageantry. “I’m going to chug this beer, man,” Preciado says. On his Instagram page, Beer Thug Life, Preciado films himself gulping cultish IPAs and stouts from Monkish and Toppling Goliath, a #cholochug that upends norms with each upside-down can. “People were like, ‘That’s awesome. This guy looks like me? I love beer, too.’ ”

In Los Angeles, Latinos make up the largest demographic but are rarely reflected in craft brewing. “There are people of color out there who maybe felt there was no one to look up to,” Preciado says. That’s why he launched Beer Thug Life, a lifestyle brand and beer company splashed with the cinematic—hey, this is still L.A.

Each month, Preciado and partners Julio Trejo, of Cerveceria Mundial, and Daniel Phoenix, of Hip Hop Craft, collaborate with local breweries, hip-hop artists, and others to create beers such as the Protect the Hood and Nuestra Ciudad hazy IPAs, which Preciado designs on his garage brewing system. The releases are accompanied by Instagram beer trailers featuring Preciado, full of tattoos and friendly swagger, centering craft beer within Latino culture. “People got tired of fake people,” Preciado says. “I keep it real.”

Preciado was born in Compton and raised in South Central Los Angeles, a “bad boy” who got caught up in gangs and spent five years in prison. “I learned from my knowledge of the streets and how to turn that into something positive,” says Preciado, who later became a production coordinator at an aerospace firm. His three boys with wife, Maria, all attended college; one is a Princeton graduate.

He lost his job during the pandemic, which became an opportunity to focus on Beer Thug Life. The big aim for 2021 is opening a Compton taproom where he can connect everyone with lagers and IPAs, chugging optional. “I want people to understand that craft beer is for everyone,” he says.

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