It’s Black History Month and let’s face it: we need more African-Americans in craft beer.

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Dear reader,

I remember the day I drank my first Brown Ale from Brooklyn Brewery. I was 22-years-old, working a job I hated, and didn’t have barely a dollar to my name. After buying that beer, I basically drained my bank account. But it was worth it.

Every penny, and every moment of poverty until my next pay check, was so worth it for that beer. From the moment I tasted that delicious beer, my craft beer journey changed forever.

After drinking the Brown Ale, I devoured every beer from Brooklyn that I could find. I told every person I knew about the delicious Brooklyn Beers I was drinking and even went as far as buying, and devouring, Garret Oliver’s book.

In the entire time I was discovering Brooklyn’s beers, and when I was reading more work from Garret Oliver, I never once considered his race. All I knew was his beer was delicious and his knowledge of beer was astounding.

Fast forward to 2018, and Fresh Fest launched it’s inaugural beer festival in Pittsburgh to celebrate and promote African-American inclusion in craft beer. From the time I sipped that first Brooklyn beer, until the time I learned about Fresh Fest, I regrettably had never considered the lack of African-American involvement in craft beer.

It’s hard to imagine that in 2020, Pennsylvania, even though it’s home to over 300 craft breweries, is still without a African-American owned brewery. That’s hopefully changing in 2020 with Harris Family Brewery working hard to open in Harrisburg.

In fact, this is the case in most of America. A few years back, in 2018, it was estimated at of the roughly 6,300 craft breweries in the U.S. at the time, only 50 of them were owned by African-Americans. Clearly, the craft beer industry has a lot of catching-up to do in terms of inclusiveness.

This month we plan to feature African-Americans in craft beer. From Fresh Fest to Harris Family Brewery, we plan to highlight on this blog all things that African-Americans are bringing to craft beer with hopes that we can do our part to help promote more African-American involvement in craft beer.

Covering African-American involvement in craft beer is a task that I feel completely unable to properly pull off. However, we’re going to do our best to honor a cause we feel so deeply about. If you happen to find any errors in our work, or have recommendations for new features, please feel free to email anytime at [email protected]

Cheers, yinz!