Sorry for not posting. I was busy beering it up on some hardcore sour beer over my birthday weekend, and I am consequently sick today. Anyway, I'm sitting here in the guest bedroom waitng for the Nyquil to kick in, and I noticed this article on The Root. The Root.com is basically a black newspaper website sponsored by the Washington Post. I rarely read it, but they've got a great article today. Maybe they'll get me on there next as a major black beer blogger..
Garrett Oliver: The Black Man Who Knows What’s on Tap
America’s only black brewmaster wants you to stop thinking of beer as just a “cold one.”
Garrett Oliver wasn’t looking to start a revolution; he just wanted a good beer.
Oliver’s interest is not so unusual by today’s standards, when high–caliber, micro-brewed beer can be found at convenience markets, and nearly every major city can tout a craft brewery as a local icon. But Oliver’s quest began in the mid-‘80s, when the beer landscape in America was a veritable wasteland.
It hasn’t escaped Oliver’s attention that he is the only black brewmaster in America. His enthusiastic ramble slows a bit when the subject of why there are so few black beer geeks comes up. He attributes some of it to class issues. “So many of us are just getting to mainstream economic status,” he said. “Activities of genuine leisure won’t be far behind.”
The genuine leisure Oliver refers to isn’t drinking beer, which doesn’t require much of an investment, it is travel. He figures most beer fanatics caught their passion in Europe. “Just look at how few Americans have their passport [even generous estimates put it at one in three]; it’s even worse in the African-American community.”
He also noted the success of Heineken’s marketing campaign toward the African-American community. “Heineken is like a Cadillac,” he said, noting that it’s a good car but that people who treated it as a great car were showing what they don’t know as much as what they know. Oliver expects that in a generation, black craft beer brewmasters will begin to mirror the African-American presence in the population at large.
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