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10 fantastic Black-owned breweries and wineries in the USA

These Black-owned breweries and wineries in the USA are changing the scene for the better, one delicious brew at a time

Written by
Karl Klockars
&
Shana Clarke
Contributor
Gerrish Lopez
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From restaurants and shops to Black-owned Airbnbs, it’s becoming easier to seek out Black-owned businesses across the USA. In a small but growing sector, Black-owned breweries and Black-owned wineries are gaining traction. 

Black-owned breweries in America make up less than 1 percent of the nearly 8,5000 craft breweries in America, but these breweries are worth seeking out. Expect unique flavors such as African vanilla and Ghanian honey, a celebration of African and African-American culture and support for social justice initiatives.

Black-owned wineries are few and far between, though our list includes standout producers. Whether born of a passion for wine or through longtime experience in the field, these California and Oregon wines can hold their own next to the big names. The wine industry lacks diversity on every level, but these producers are working to change that.

By supporting Black-owned breweries and wineries in the USA, we will see the industries become increasingly diverse, injecting fresh perspectives and flavors into the scene.

Black-owned breweries in the US

Several Black-owned beer companies came on the Chicagoland scene in 2021, but none have hit with the force of Moor’s. Launched on Juneteenth by Damon Patton and Jamhal Johnson, Moor’s offers three different beers (including a lavender-infused Imperial porter), and each can features the steely gaze of Moorish conqueror Tariq ibn Ziyad looking back out at you. They’re already also celebrating more than just beer culture by hosting concerts with performers like Rakim and as well as documentary screenings celebrating Chicago’s house music and hip-hop history.

If you’re looking for a strong opening statement, the Black-owned Black Calder launched their first beer—a Black IPA—on Black Friday, where that batch sold out within days. Michigan’s first Black-owned beermaker has since rolled out a sweet potato pie stout with African vanilla and a hazy IPA with Ghanian honey. While the pandemic put their plans for their own location on pause, co-founders Terry Rostic and Jamaal Ewing are making Dope Beer for Dope People out of Broad Leaf Brewery while collaborating on beers with other breweries like Eastern Market and Speciation, with a forthcoming barrel-aged pecan pie stout with Chicago’s Goose Island.

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Not many beermakers start through Tinder dates and marketing companies, but LA’s Crowns & Hops isn’t like most other beermakers. Founders Beny Ashburn and Teo Hunter met on the dating app and decided they made better business partners than romantic ones. They launched a marketing company called Dope & Dank with the intent to build a bigger beer-loving culture amongst communities of color, and that naturally transitioned into making their own beers as Crowns & Hops in 2019. Since then, they’ve released a variety of stouts, IPAs, and lagers through partners like Three Weavers Brewing while working towards opening their own facility in Hunter’s hometown of Inglewood.

No brewery knows that Black is Beautiful better than San Antonio’s Weathered Souls. Following the murder of George Floyd, co-founder and head brewer Marcus Baskerville launched a worldwide collaboration beer project called Black is Beautiful to raise awareness about injustices faced by people of color, as well as to raise funds to support police reform. To participate, all you had to do was brew the Black is Beautiful imperial stout and commit to donating the proceeds to charities appropriate to the cause. To date, over a thousand breweries in nearly two-dozen countries have participated; the beer recently hit the shelves of 300+ Walmart stores as well. 

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Owner Clarence Boston may be the most multifaceted brewery owner in America. After opening the first Hippin Hops location in April 2021 (the first brick-and-mortar Black-owned brewery in Georgia), he and his wife and co-owner Donnica are already opening a second production facility, which also features a distillery. Clarence, originally a mortician, was a homebrewer for years before launching Hippin’ Hops Brewery and Oyster Bar, whose menu is supplied in part by Boston’s own oyster bed in North Carolina.

Black-owned wineries in the US

Phil Long and his wine Debra started as garagiste winemakers, but the popularity of their wines turned their hobby into a full-time career. Located just 30 minutes from San Francisco Bay, Longevity’s tasting room highlights the estate’s wide range of wines, from Chardonnay to Zinfandel. Now the president of the Association of African American Vintners, Phil’s experience furthers the organization’s goals of creating a strong winemaking community.

Chris Christensen, co-founder and head winemaker, is passionate about Sauvignon Blanc, and he wants to push the grape in all different directions. Sparkling Sauvignon Blanc, especially, is Bodkin’s calling card; the winery claims to be the home of America’s first bubbly version of this grape. Oak-aged, skin-fermented; nothing is off-limits when it comes to finding new expressions of Sauvignon Blanc. But far from being just a one-grape producer, Bodkin creates other white wines as well as reds such as Zinfandel.

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What started as a vacation home for doctors Bassett and Marcela Brown turned into Napa’s first black-owned estate winery. The couple planted vineyards (because, Napa) during renovations in the 1980s and even sold grapes to local winemakers. In 1995, the family decided to bottle their own wine, and Brown Estate was formally established the following year. Brown’s Zinfandel regularly receives critical acclaim; taste for yourself at their tasting room in downtown Napa.

Trial lawyer and senior partner Theodora Lee first became interested in wine through her law firm mentors. In 2001, she purchased her own plot of land in Yorkville Highlands AVA—located between Alexander Valley and Anderson Valley—which she developed into her own vineyard. Estate Petite Syrah is her calling card, but she also sources grapes throughout California for her Pinot Noirs and signature blends.

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Andre Hueston Mack helmed some of the best wine lists in the country while working as a sommelier at Thomas Keller’s French Laundry and Per Se, so you can bet he knows what he is doing. It is with this exceptional palate that he crafts Maison Noir wines, with cool-climate Pinot Noir, Pinot Gris, and Chardonnay from Willamette Valley the focus. Taste these small-production wines at & Sons Ham Bar in Brooklyn, NY.

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