BELL, Calif. — The founder of Beer Thug Brewing, Edgar Preciado, was once a gang member in his hometown of Compton, and serving time in both state and federal prison.

But today, Preciado’s life looks very different. He operates his beer brand out of the Border X Brewery in Bell and San Diego, but hopes to raise enough money to open his own Beer Thug Brewing space in Compton to give back to the community that made him who he is today.

Preciado credits craft beer with saving his life, and stopping him from returning to prison.