The founder of Island to Island, Brooklyn Jun Brew and House of Juice has decided to close the doors to her NYC locations. “It kind of was a blessing in disguise” says Danii. “I felt like an outsider in NYC. It was stifling … Difficult to just ‘be’.” But this does not mean the business ventures are done for good. In fact, Danii and her family relocated to Dallas, TX to live a more holistic life after moving away from the big city and plans to reopen Island to Island down south!
“We felt welcome and wanted in Texas. Texas is an integrated place that celebrates breweries” she said. Danii found it difficult to teach customers in NYC about the beer she was making, that it was not the same as the big names in the craft beer industry.
“Give us whatever your version is of ‘XYZ,’” they would ask. But the customer base was missing the point of the indigenous of the Caribbean, Arawak, way of brewing at Island to Island.
“I am trying to build an indigenous style … Currently, it doesn’t fit into a style for a competition.” She is in the beginning stages of getting the Arawak style recognized by Cicerone and other scholars, such as the styles that are recognized like a Belgian Tripel or an American Pale Ale.
“I try to tie it to a style, so that people understand what the yeast is like,” but truly, the style is one of it’s own; more expressive and open. Think of it as “freestyle, with a purpose.”
KIDO Family Ranch, the farmstead she established in North Texas, is where she began homeschooling her children and growing crops to showcase in her beer. In fact, the first crop of the farm is getting ready to be harvested: Moringa. (Not to be confused with the dance style or the puffy white topping on a lemon pie.)
Moringa is a super food tree, which is entirely edible. The roots are horseradish, the leaves are multivitamin, but the true superstar of the plant are it’s seeds. Moringa seeds can be used as a substitute for coffee. It feeds the body and in return, gives lasting energizing effects, all day long.
Danii believes “Beer is medicinal. Beer should feed the body, rather than damage it.” I couldn’t agree more!
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