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Meet The Man Behind The Largest Black-Owned Brewery In Brazil
Founded by Sandro Gomes and his business partner Diogo Mello in 2011, Brassaria Ampolis is the largest and most successful Black-owned brewery in Brazil. Located in Rio de Janeiro, the company was created to honor Gomes’ father, and with over a decade of business activities, Brassaria Ampolis has achieved great profits and plans to expand its portfolio abroad.
While working in corporate in Brazil after college, Gomes often found himself dreaming about paying homage to his father, Antonio Carlos Gomes, also known as Mussum, one of the most famous comedians in this Latin American country. “He is one of the most beloved artists in the history of Brazil, and since my father passed away I was looking for an idea to honor him. I thought about creating a museum. One day I was talking to Diogo (Mello) about that, and we agreed that the best way to pay homage to my father was to create a brewery,” Gomes told Travel Noire. Then he decided to quit his job and try his hand at entrepreneurship.
Mussum popularity began in the seventies when he was one of the stars of the iconic Brazilian comedy troupe Os Trapalhões. Extremely successful, Os Trapalhões Show was aired on TV from 1970 to 1995, and the TV show has always had a big TV audience, reaching millions of people every week. The show was canceled one year after Mussum’s death in 1994.
“Being Black and coming from poverty, Mussum has become a legend thanks to his unparalleled talent. He is loved by different generations in every corner of the country. He is an example to be not only remembered and honored, but also admired. We are proud to contribute a little to this with our project.”
With the great success of Brassaria Ampolis, the company started to garner attention from investors, who could see the potential of its products. In 2017, this Black-owned brewery teamed up with Cervejaria Petropólis, a Brazilian brewery major to increase its operations and boost production and sales capacity for its customers.
Gomes said that currently there is a growing number of new Black-owned breweries in Brazil. However, he admits that brewery is still a White dominant segment in the country. “We still have a long way to go, but we are sure that we will see more and more good examples happening.” However, he said he wants to support other Black-owned companies “not only because it makes sense from the point of view of a company that honors a Black celebrity, but also because of our purpose as the founders of this company.”
In the future, Gomes hopes that the largest Black-owned brewery in Brazil achieves great success abroad. “Today we are already in different countries besides Brazil. But our expansion plans continue. We are working to turn Brassaria Ampolis into a large company that gives visibility around the world.”