Yes, Black People Brew Beer, Too – CityLab

Fresh Fest head honchos Day Bracey, Michael Potter, and Bracey’s “Drinking Partners” podcast partner Ed Bailey. Epicast Network

As craft beer breweries pop up in cities across America, Michael Potter and Day Bracey want to make sure that African American brewers are not left off the map.

Pittsburgh’s beer-drinking identity is either the scruffy steel worker with drops of I.C. Light splattered across his ZZ Top beard, or the Cupertino-transplant tech wizard swilling an Imperial IPA through a not-plastic straw so as not to get froth on their salon-coifed mustache. The truth, of course, lies somewhere in the middle, and includes a group often erased from that beer-chugging identity: African Americans. Two black men in Pittsburgh—comedian/podcaster Day Bracey and event promoter/brewer Mike Potter—are hoping to change that picture when they launch the “Fresh Fest” this weekend, which they are billing as the first African-American beer festival in the nation.

The name is inspired by the early 1980s “Fresh Fest” hip-hop tour that exported the then-mostly New York City-brewed brand of street culture to cities across America. Bracey and Potter are hoping to do the inverse with their “Fresh Fest”: Import the various black-owned brands of beer breweries from around the country to one central location for a weekend—and show the world some black brew magic.

Many of the several dozen brewery companies that will have their beers on tap at the Fresh Fest are located in Pittsburgh. Some of the black beer companies have an explicit cultural or political mission behind their brand. There’s the D.C.-based Sankofa Brewing Company, which infuses West African traditions into its beer-making process, and the Garvey-ite sounding Black Star Line Brewing Company, which has a mission of creating “job training/economic opportunities for marginalized, disenfranchised, and to provide social justice education” on top of

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