Michigan’s bustling craft beer scene is about to get its first fully Black-owned brewery. Terry Rostic and Jamaal Ewing, who bill themselves as “craft beer heads,” are set to open Black Calder Brewing Co. on Black Friday, with the release of its Black IPA (7% alcohol by volume), in the Grand Rapids area.
Black Calder will sell the Black IPA exclusively out of Broad Leaf Local Beer in Kentwood, with plans to collaborate with other Michigan breweries in the coming months. It will contract with Broad Leaf Local Beer and Grand Rapids-based Brewery Vivant during its “start-up phase,” with plans of opening a physical location in Grand Rapids in 2021.
While craft beer has experienced a boom in the past decade across Michigan and the rest of the United States, diversity hasn’t followed suit. A 2019 Brewers Association survey found that 88% of craft brewery owners who responded to the survey are white, as opposed to just 1% Black. Furthermore, just 4% those breweries’ employees are Black, and just 7.5% reported employing a woman with the title “brewer.”
“Black Calder Brewing Company was established to make great beer and provide a platform for innovation, art, culture, and inclusion in the craft beer industry,” Rostic said in a news release. “We appreciate the significance of being recognized as Michigan’s first Black-owned brewery. It’s something Michigan and the craft beer industry has been longing for, but it’s not the only thing we want to be known for.