The National Black Brewers Association was announced at the Craft Brewers Conference and BrewExpo America in Nashville last May. This first-of-its-kind non-profit organization is committed to a solid set of goals: 1) promoting the black brewing community; 2) increasing the number of African American individuals in the brewing industry at all levels of production, especially ownership and brewmasters; 3) exercising influence by developing and advocating for effective policies; and 4) fostering historical context and legacy surrounding African American influence on brewing in the United States.
For one of its first big initiatives, the National Black Brewers Association has announced Black Brewer’s Day — a day dedicated to recognizing and celebrating the rich heritage and contributions of Black beer brewers throughout American history. What’s really cool here is that the organization already has 16 cities within the United States recognizing this day as an official holiday set to be observed annually on October 10th. In fact, a bunch of cities and states celebrated this year: California, Los Angeles County, Louisiana, Oklahoma, Lucas County (OH), North Las Vegas County(NV), Atlanta, Cleveland, Durham, Las Vegas and Little Rock. Way to go, Cleveland! … CBB‘s home city.
From the press release:
New Orleans, Montgomery, Sacramento, St. Louis and Toledo), with more to come in 2024.
“Although we just launched our association and efforts towards a more equitable and inclusive brewing industry, our team has been hard at work to make sure Black brewers across the United States start to receive the recognition they deserve,” said Kevin Asato, President of the Black Brewers Association. “Together with local and state representatives we are proud to announce this momentous occasion, the first of many to come.”
Focusing on mission statement No. 4 above, Black Brewer’s Day has special historical significance as it marks the journey of Theodore A. (Ted) Mack, Sr. and his associates, who, on October 10, 1970, celebrated the acquisition of People’s Brewing Co. in Oshkosh, Wisconsin. This momentous occasion was witnessed by over 2,000 guests, including stockholders, local and state legislators, and notable dignitaries. On that fateful day, Mack made history by becoming the first black brewery president in the United States, and People’s Brewing Co. achieved the distinction of being the first black-owned brewery ever.
The Black Brewers Association encourages all to celebrate and recognize the enduring legacy of black brewers, their invaluable contributions to the brewing industry and the pivotal moment in history that is Black Brewer’s Day. Well ahead of the target date, the National Black Brewers Association noted it is partnering with the City of Sacramento and the California State Legislature to pass a resolution that will establish this significant day in the state’s calendar. For more information on the National Black Brewers Association and membership, visit https://www.nationalblackbrewersassociation.org/membership