The #BlackBeerCulture is making waves in the craft beer industry. A new Pittsburgh-based festival is aiming to unite African-American beer brewers from around the country, The Incline reported.
The festival—dubbed Fresh Fest—is the nation’s first major event created for and by Black brewers, the news outlet writes. Historically, white males have dominated the industry when it comes to ownership, but several Black entrepreneurs are looking to change that. Aware of the lack of diversity on the beer scene, Fresh Fest event organizer Day Bracey wanted to create a space where Black brewers are celebrated and where they can connect to push the movement forward. Fresh Fest will feature 30 breweries from around the country and over 50 beers will be available for sampling.
Many of the individuals involved with the Fresh Fest believe that the festival will lay the foundation for cultivating a tight-knit community of African-Americans in the industry. “A lot of minority-owner breweries are going to feel that they aren’t alone,” Mike Potter, Founder of Black Brew Culture magazine, told the news outlet. “When I started, I didn’t know who to go to and I ended up doing a lot of research online. A guild would give other minorities, not just African Americans, a resource to reach out to on what to do.”
Bracey believes it’s important that people of color see themselves reflected in the establishments that are introduced to their communities. He hopes that the rise of Black-owned breweries helps dissociate craft beer bars with the idea of gentrification and is pushing for the creation of a Black brewery in Pittsburgh. “The ideas, the collaborations, the conversations that are gonna go on in this parking lot may spur the next wave of beer,” said Bracey.
The Fresh Fest is slated to take place on August 11 at the Threadbare Cider House.
According to USA Today, the U.S. beer industry is worth $107.6 billion.