BenitoLink’s Dia de los Muertos Fiesta: A tasty collaboration

Nov. 1 celebration to include samplings of Brewery Twenty Five’s newest beer, “Dulce de Muertos.”
Event planner's sketch of an
Event planner's sketch of an "ofrenda" or altar. Dia de los Muertos tradition includes placing small gifts on the altar in memory of loved ones who have died.

Dia de los Muertos weekend celebrations get rolling Friday Nov. 1 in San Juan Bautista with the BenitoLink Dia de los Muertos Fiesta, which will include the very first samplings of Brewery Twenty Five’s newest beer: the haunting yet alluring “Dulce de Muertos.”

The event will bring local residents and BenitoLink team members together for Dia de los Muertos to celebrate and remember their loved ones. Guests are invited to bring their blessings and small gifts in memory of those they have lost to place on the handmade ofrenda, or altar, that was put together for the event.

The 18th Barrel Tasting Room, located at 322 Third St. in San Juan Bautista, also joins in the collaboration. The tasting room graciously shares its festive courtyard for the celebration and will pour from its wine selection.

Brewery Twenty Five will offer a special treat at the Friday night celebration: a brand new beer. Owners Fran and Sean Fitzpatrick collaborated with a unique partner for their San Benito County magic brew: El Nopal Bakery, a traditional Mexican bakery in Hollister.

Dia de los Muertos celebrations originated among indigenous cultures in Central and Southern Mexico but have become increasingly popular in the United States.

According to online resource Wikipedia, “The multi-day holiday involves family and friends gathering to pray for and remember friends and family members who have died, and helping support their spiritual journey.

“In Mexican culture, death is viewed as a natural part of the human cycle. Mexicans view it not as a day of sadness but as a day of celebration because their loved ones awake and celebrate with them.”

Traditions connected with the holiday include building private altars called ofrendas, honoring the deceased using calaverasaztec marigolds, and the favorite foods and beverages of the departed, and visiting graves or altars with these as gifts.

BenitoLink Dia de los Muertos tickets can be purchased through Eventbrite for $15 prior to the event or for $20 at the door. A portion of the ticket price will benefit local public news site BenitoLink. Each donation amount will be doubled with funds from NewsMatch, a national effort to strengthen local news organized by the Institute for Nonprofit News.

Event Schedule

  • Face Painting available 6-7:30 p.m.
  • Music by the Tanner Hallinan Quartet 6:30-9:30 p.m.
  • Chips and guacamole, build your own tostadas
  • Complementary glass of wine or beer sample comes with the ticket
  • Ofrenda gifts welcome!
  • Must be 21 or older to attend
  • Dress Warm for cool evening temperatures

Brewery 25’s Fran Fitzpatrick said they developed the beer with the help of Frankie Berlanga of El Nopal, and that the beer style is ‘an Imperial Pastry Stout, a style that began several years ago as a term for an overly sweet, bakery-inspired novelty beer, and a majority of breweries are finding these stouts have a big following.”

“This project has been on our minds for at least two years,” Fran said. “We set out to highlight El Nopal Bakery, a staple amongst our community, and to do something very different.”

She shared some tasting notes and brewing details:

“A hint of vanilla, sweet, and boozy on the nose. Taste is bittersweet chocolate and subtle vanilla with sweetness that turns to a warming sensation. The mouthfeel is velvety, creamy and viscous. Specialty roasted malts, flaked oats, lactose sugar and six-dozen freshly baked Conchas added to the mash. Special note: Conchas were delivered hot and fresh by owner Frankie Berlanga!”

The BenitoLink Dia de los Muertos Fiesta will be held on Nov. 1 from 5:30-10 p.m. in the 18th Barrel courtyard at 322 Third Street in San Juan Bautista. Guest can enter from the Third Street gate. Must be 21 or older to attend.


BenitoLink Staff