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KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Rizoma Liquid Creations is the first Hispanic-owned beer company in Kansas City. It recently launched its first beer just in time for Hispanic Heritage Month.

Damon Arredondo has been in the brewing industry for many years. He’s the brain and founder behind Rizoma Liquid Creations.

“I definitely didn’t set out to be the first,” he said. “I just set out to be one. But it was more. There wasn’t accurate representation.”

Arredondo said he saw that misrepresentation when it came down to branding for Mexican-style beers in the brewing industry, and he wanted to flip the script.

“But I just I didn’t feel comfortable with how there was the exploitation, and it just fit the stereotype that was already rampant in craft beer,” he said.

Arredondo grew up in the suburbs of Kansas City, and within the last few years he’s become more comfortable with his Hispanic roots.

The name of his beer company, Rizoma, is the Spanish word for “rhizome,” a stem that grows horizontally underground.

Arredondo and his business partner, who both identify as Hispanic, saw it as a way of connecting people, much like stems grow and connect. He said the brand doesn’t identify with just being Latinx, but rather is for all people who are different.

“That’s what we’re trying to do from not just a Hispanic or a race or gender point of view — it’s just an inclusive place and inclusive community that we want to support,” Arredondo said.

Arredondo knows that beer is served best with family or friends and conversation. He hopes his beer gets people connecting on a more personal level.

“We really want to inspire people to sit around a table and talk about not surface stuff,” he said. “We want to talk about people’s experiences, identity, and that it’s uncomfortable. It’s hard. But these are conversations that this is where progress happens in that real talk.”

If you grab a can of Rizoma’s “El Sol” beer, you’ll see a QR code that will eventually link you to stories from real people.

“Ultimately each beer that we do in the future will have a specific story from someone, not us, telling the stories. We want to tell individual stories,” Arredondo said.

He said Rizoma has another beer in the works called “La Luna,” which means “the moon” in Spanish. It will be opposite in flavors from its first beer “El Sol,” which means “the sun.”

Rizoma’s beer is exclusively sold at Crane Brewing in Raytown.

As for Rizoma’s future, Arredondo wants to branch out to other beverages like sodas and cold brew coffees, plus grow the brand regionally.

“We really want to use the product and leverage it to empower the people in the communities that we will be in,” he said.

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