Less than 1% of Breweries are Black Women-Owned – so let’s show our support!
At Beer is for Everyone, we understand that many people picture a cis-white male with a grizzly beard when they think of craft beer. But the reality of the craft beer industry is much more diverse and representative than people might be led to believe. In fact, there are genuinely amazing women-led, POC-led, LGTBQIAA–led craft breweries out there that we, as a non-profit, are dedicated to highlighting. Because for beer to indeed be for everyone, these contributions cannot go unnoticed. These brewery owners are doing their part, so we hope this helps do ours. So without further ado and in no particular order, here are nine Black women-owned craft breweries you can support today.
Beny Ashburn – Crowns and Hops, Inglewood CA
Crowns and Hops Brewing Co., founded by Benny Ashburn and Teo Hunter, set out on a mission to preserve Black culture in Inglewood, California, through what they dub an expansion of the palate through their world-class craft beer. Co-founder Beny Ashburn has led the way, with everything from Crowns and Hops one-of-a-kind merchandise and the Crown and Hops Beer Garden to most recently collaborating on Roller Jams events in DTLA, featuring live DJs and roller skaters. What Beny Ashubrn and Crowns and Hops have accomplished are nothing short of galvanizing the Inglewood community around a Black-Owned and Women-Led world-class craft brewery. Available in local Trader Joe’s, Whole Foods, and more.
“We were not the first black-owned craft brewery,” says CEO and co-founder Beny Ashburn. “We were definitely the loudest, most audacious.”
Tony Guinn – Gravity Brew Works, Big Flat, Arkansas
The best breweries start with a dream, and Gravity BrewWorks in Big Flat, Arkansas, is co-founder and assistant brewer Tony Guinn’s dream fully realized. As an avid homebrewer since 1980, decades of hard work have paid off, as Tony and Gravity Brew Works opened in 2013 and have since become known for their authentically formulated recipes, brewed in small batches. But the growth has already grown from a 1-barrel system to a 2.5-barrel system with plans to continue to grow. With a local tasting room, complete with take-home growlers, grumblers, and ⅙ bbl. kegs; Gravity Brew Works offers the North Central Arkansas community an intimate beer adventure with a neighborhood craft brewery. Bravo Tony!
Alisa Bowens-Mercado – Rhythm Brewing, New Haven, Connecticut
One of our greatest privileges at Beer is for Everyone is to report on those dedicated individuals who’ve taken it upon themselves to right something that’s wrong. Alisa Bowens-Mercado founded Rhythm Brewing in New Haven, Connecticut, after realizing the lack of Black-owned craft lagers on the market. What did she do about it? She created her own. A lager that has since become her flagship beer. “Rhythm” is a modern American-style lager with an ABV of 5.5% and brewed with South African hops; Rhythm is unfiltered, flavorful, and provides a slight bite. While this story and lager are impressive in themselves, Alisa didn’t stop there. Not even close. With music, dance, and beer playing a significant role in her life, Rhythm Brewing hosts all types of events – including Rhythm and BBQ and dance events – inviting people to “Find your Rhythm in Life.”
Eamoni Collier – Urban Garden, Washington, DC
Black woman-owned is a label of pride – especially in the craft beer industry. But there’s something special about Urban Garden Brewing, led by Eamoni Collier, with their mission: “Bridging the gap between craft beer, community, and urban culture, one sip at a time.” The Urban Garden Brewing recipes are inspired by the ancient practices of Egyptian women, who historically believed beer to have powerful healing properties. Hence, Urban Garden infuses reminiscences of tea with unique blends of soothing honey, chamomile, flowers, herbs, and spices with healing properties. So while Eamoni Collier and Urban Garden promote diversity in the craft beer industry, they also remind us that “we ARE the garden” and we’ve got to take care of ourselves and one another. Check out the Urban Garden’s Instagram for events, workshops, and collaborations with local artists, and stay up to date with this incredible Black woman-owned DC brewery.
Josie Footmon-Smith – Our Culture Brewing, Atlanta, Georgia
During the seemingly endless fight to combat inequality, Our Culture Brewing’s Josie Footmon-Smith has taken it upon her brewery to help in that fight. Josie has dedicated this Atlanta brewery to truly exploring the concept of diversity in all aspects of business and social interaction. But you don’t have to take our word for it. Take one look at what the brewery out of Georgia shares on their Instagram: “Our Culture Brewing Co. seeks to connect communities on cultural and intersected based levels to create alliances in order to better ourselves as a whole.” What Josie and Our Culture Brewing have championed is not only diversity but community, collaboration, and craftiness. The culture is spreading with a host of monthly events and a rich collection of craft beer “crafted for action”. At Beer is for Everyone, we couldn’t be happier that it is.
Jasmine Dill – Liquid Intrusion, Brandywine, Maryland
Have you ever heard of Liquid Intrusion Brewing? Trick question, because that’s the name of the brewery but also the scientific process owner Jasmine Dill prefers for her craft beer. Scientifically, liquid intrusion is “the process of water flowing through malts and hops to make wort,” which is needed to create liquid. Societally, as Jasmine writes on the Liquid Intrusion Brewing Company website, the Brandywine Maryland Brewery “wants to intrude on a market that is underrepresented by African-Americans.” African Americans only account for less than 1% of all breweries across the county, and as we learned through writing this article – even fewer are owned and run by Black women. Jasmine and her husband are doing their part in moving the needle for a more diverse representation in the craft beer industry across the U.S. With this mindset, no matter your background, “The Liquid Shall Always Prevail.”
Briana Brake – Spaceway Brewing, Rocky Mount, North Carolina
This list isn’t meant to play favorites, but you can’t help but instantly love everything Briana Brake and Spaceway Brewing are all about. Spaceway is a nod to Afrofuturism, which seeks to imagine a future in which minorities are depicted as leading characters. Spaceway Brewing out of Rocky Mount, North Carolina, is as much a goal as it is a company – seeking to reinvent simple and full-flavored craft brewed beer and to create a sense of community through education, innovation, activities, festivals, and community ownership. Some of their beers include a strong and bitter double IPA made from four hop variations, and the whopping 8.3% ABV of the Pirate Jenny is a crowd favorite. Are you favoring a Cream Ale? Spaceways. Agent Seven is a slightly sweet, creamy 5% ABV cream ale, which has quickly become a staple of Briana’s brewery. The future is about inclusion – inclusion and beer is for everyone.
Celeste Beatty – Harlem Brewing, Harlem, New York
Not only would it be a disservice to exclude a Harlem brewery on this list, it would literally be impossible with such a rich supply of Black excellence and Black history in this New York borough. However, Celeste Beatty and her Harlem Brewing Company go far beyond Harlem, with a journey and cultural reach, from sourcing their hops from local gardens to targeting Whole Foods stores in more diverse neighborhoods. Celeste and Harlem Brewing are making sure the Harlem community and culture are represented in the craft brewing space by delivering world-class tasting craft beer, unique experiences like their lucrative AirBNB Beer Experience, and virtual recipe classes. Quickly, before we forget, Harlem Brewing Company was a past winner of BEST BEER IN NYC, an honor and a privilege, to say the least. And if you follow us to their website, Celeste and Harlem Brewing invite you to Craft Community Equity and invest in what Harlem Brewing is all about.
Beverly Armstrong – Brazo Fuerte Artisanal Ales, Watertown, Massachusetts
Beverly Armstrong of Brazo Fuerte Artisanal Ales in Watertown, Massachusetts, has indeed founded one of the state’s world-class breweries. Establishing a reputation of full-flavored craft beers for passionate beer drinkers and for those of us who enjoy the social aspects of sharing a “hard-earned” cold one with friends after a long day of working or activity. Additionally, Beverly and Brazo Fuerte Artisanal are committed to maintaining a sustainable business with environmentally-friendly brewing practices and making their beers from the best organic and locally sourced ingredients. Simply but profoundly put by Beverly and her brewery, “Your Active Life Deserves A Delicious Beer.” We wholeheartedly agree.