Bearing its namesake character on the recognizable green and gold label, the shielded and armor-adorned Indian of Indio Cerveza pronounces itself against the backdrop of an opaque glass bottle. The dark beer, distributed by Heineken USA, is ubiquitous in its natal country of Mexico and only recently, within this summer season, has made an incognito introduction to the U.S. with an articulated welcome by the characters of each of its intro-cities, being L.A., San Francisco, Chicago, and Austin.
Indio has partnered these past couple months with VICE, renowned for its brand’s relevant yet can-be-irreverent cultural coverage, to sponsor the “Hola Indio” tour, debuting the beer’s presence in the United States. The tour travels in cooperation with The National Museum of Mexican Art in Chicago, displaying limited numbers of collaborative Mexican-American artworks at each location. Included in the showing are contemporary artists Ines Estrada, Clarke Curtis, Jhina Alvarado and Edgar Orlaineta.
Indio’s ad campaign- and private event-driven introduction to the States has been nuanced with metropolitan-meets-historical medleys of culture and of appreciation for the age-old brew. The musical performances, for example, are often local (though perhaps under the local radar) performers, or are otherwise based in the U.S. and Mexico; the Latino-identifying cultures of the Texas and California regions, primarily, are familiar with the beer, ravenously anticipating its arrival. Indio has been around since the late 1800s, having developed a solid following of sated admirers. Each Indio party boasts incredible musical talent, entertainment being from the likes of electro-inspired artists Bufi, Dani Shivers, Mexican artists Carlos Pesina and Toy Selectah, and Mexicans with Guns.
Indio’s partnership with VICE, being a consummate international bastion for all things culturally au courant, makes for a perfect coupling of companies, especially to announce such a migration. Together as party hosts, they create an inevitable sense of refined debauchery. At its premiere Austin stop, “Hola Indio” sought a venue in downtown’s Red 7. Local Austin band Love Inks performed a soulful pop-rock set, translating the crowd’s playfully inebriated enthusiasm to moving and shaking. The post-set DJ played for the dance-fiends, carrying the pachanga on ‘til the wee hours.
With Indios in hand, each party-goer got to experience not only a taste of VICE-induced Austin night life and cross-cultural artistic collaboration, but also a taste of the U.S.’s newest dark brew. With a teaser ad campaign making statements like “Almost Aquí” and “Coming Pronto,” we can surely agree that it’s about time.
As for the next string of upcoming events planned on the “Hola Indio” tour, there will be stops in Austin this coming Saturday, August 25th, on September 29th, and lastly on November 2nd. To discover the artists performing and displaying work at each event, to learn how to attend the parties or to check out when “Hola Indio” will be stopping in its other cities, visit www.Facebook.com/IndioBeer.
By Emily R. Pellerin