NewsFor The Culture Is Houston's First Black-Owned Brewery

For The Culture Is Houston’s First Black-Owned Brewery

For The Culture has a unique twist: it’s a “craft-culture exchange” brewery that shares the space with a woman-owned brewery, Ovinnik Brewing.

Weekend loading. . . Thursday “Hoppy Hour” from 4-7pm will be in full effect. Friday our new friends at @napuleepizza will be in the building with their delicious brick oven pizzas from 3-8pm. @elcomaltacoeatery will bless us on Saturday from 1pm – 8pm. See you this weekend ! pic.twitter.com/5mAhwIne4Z— For The Culture Brewing (@fortheculturebc) February 15, 2024

Come pack us out this weekend. @elcomaltacoeatery will be serving up their delicious tacos this evening, and @powerhousewings will be here Saturday and Sunday. Don’t forget our Super Bowl party on Sunday, starting at 4pm. pic.twitter.com/lPi3JW4lLp— For The Culture Brewing (@fortheculturebc) February 9, 2024

Roaches described the collaborative atmosphere to ABC 13, saying, “They’ve become like a family to us,” before Weber, who is also the head brewer at Ovinnik, added, “To see people smile and sit around a table like a whole family, like, eight people sitting around a big picnic table laughing and toasting. That’s what we want. We just want people to be happy and enjoy each other’s company. And beer, it’s better than cocktails.”

Eventually, the pair was connected with Michael “Mufasa” Ferguson, who serves as a mentor an dconsultant, and is the company’s brewer emeritus as he is one of the first Black master brewers of beer in America. Ferguson says it was his idea to merge the two companies as they dealt with the COVID-19 pandemic, as he told ABC 13, “Oh, and COVID happened and made everything much more expensive.” Ferguson continued, “Both of them are saying, ‘We need a lot more investors.’ And it’s like, ‘Here’s the plan. Why don’t you two get together and open up under the same roof? It’s a woman-owned brewery and a Black-owned brewery, and it’s a joint venture, and it’s just never been done in Texas before. So, let’s do something new.”

Ferguson also has some ideas about how advertising campaigns have limited the exposure of Black and other people of color to craft beers, instead advertising companies elected to associate Black people with malt liquor. “I blame that on advertising and the way that they advertise differently for people of color when it came to beer and things like that…. Billy Dee Williams on Colt 45 billboards,” Ferguson said. “It’s like, ‘OK, you’re people of color. You’re drinking malt liquor, right? OK, you aren’t people of color. You’re drinking Hamms and Olympia.’ The fact is there was no avenue for people of color to get into this industry because it wasn’t one that presented itself to the community at large.”

One of the forces that helped push For The Culture together was Hurricane Harvey, which lashed the city with severe flooding and damage. Roaches says that experience galvanized him and the others, telling ABC 13, “It’s like, ‘Well, yeah, we could die today. So, if we live tomorrow, why not?’ And so that was kind of our impression of how we went about it. And it was something that we put our minds to.”

Roaches also described how the beers foster community between all kinds of people, and given that Houston is a global city, it’s a natural connection. “For us, it’s just about being able to present not only some classic takes on beer, but also some remixes,” Roaches said, before adding that the breweries are sending a signal to the larger Houston community that they’re here and whether you look like them or not, you can come out and enjoy what they’re pouring.

RELATED CONTENT: Black-Owned Brewery in Kansas City Sets Its Sights On National Recognition


Source: Black Enterprise

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