Thursday, July 18, 2024

Missouri’s Black-owned Brewery Set to Inspire a New Generation of Beer Enthusiasts

With African Americans only making up one percent of the brewery industry, a new brewery is making history in Missouri. 

Vine Street Brewery opened it doors in Kansas City, MO on Friday, June 30. The brewery is the first Black-owned brewery in Missouri, making its opening a historic moment for the city. The new operation was welcomed to the neighborhood with an official ribbon cutting with Kansas City mayor Mayor Quinton Lucas. 

“I just want to say on behalf of everybody in Kansas City, on behalf of our community and on behalf of this Black kid who grew up in Kansas City, thank y’all for building this opportunity for all of us,” Mayor Lucas said at the ceremony.

According to Fox 4 Kansas City, owners Kemet Coleman, Elliott Ivory and Woodie Bonds, Jr. have been working on the business since the pandemic in 2020. The brick and mortar occupies a two story taproom, brew house and outdoor beer garden in the historic 18th and Vine neighborhood. 

black-owned brewey
Photo credit: Kemet Coleman

Co-founder and Director of Marketing & Experiences Kemet Coleman told Travel Noire the brand is excited about making history and changing history now that it’s open to the public. The three men have a detailed roadmap moving forward that redefines flavor and beer craft. Being the first Black-owned brewery is a proud and significant accomplishment for the trio. 

“After almost three years, it represents a significant milestone in our journey,” Coleman said. “It highlights our progress in breaking barriers and creating opportunities for diverse representation in the brewing industry. We are excited to be pioneers in this space and to inspire others to follow their dreams, regardless of background or ethnicity.”

In an industry lacking in diversity, Coleman believes Vine Street will set a new standard for brewership in the Midwest. By being a reflection of the neighborhood it resides in, Vine Street aims to bring forward a fresh wave of representation for African Americans entering the brewing sphere. 

“Amplifying Black voices and contributions can challenge stereotypes, break down barriers, and inspire a new generation of brewers and beer enthusiasts,” he said. “Additionally, representation fosters a sense of belonging and creates spaces where people from all backgrounds can come together, share their stories and celebrate cultural diversity.”

Coleman said guests can expect a heightened brew experience at Vine Street. The owners stayed true to a lot of the original architecture and design. Things, like the graffiti, were left untouched as a reflection of the surrounding community. Coleman says the brand will continue to push the limits of brews and flavor as they grow and progress along with the community. 

“Community engagement will remain at the core of our mission as we seek to create meaningful connections through events, live music, and cultural celebrations,” he said. “We are committed to growing and evolving, always striving to provide our guests unforgettable experiences beyond great beer.”


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