The craft beer industry is seriously lacking a Black presence, but Brothas have been establishing new breweries in hopes of dominating the industry in the future.
Jamaal Ewing & Terry Rostic aim to not only be a Black brewing company, a serious feat in itself, but also to provide the best tasting beer in Michigan.
The Black Calder Brewing Company was established by Mr. Ewing & Mr. Rostic in 2020. The company specializes in brewing barrel and wood-aged beer, but also focuses on imperial stouts, fruited ale, kettle sours, IPA’s, lagers and craft ciders.
“Our motto is simple: Make dope beer for dope people and always do it for the culture.” Said Rostic in a statement.
The two men are on a mission to bring excellence to a competitive Michigan brewing industry.
Michigan ranks sixth in the nation for its number of breweries. The rust belt state has over 400 breweries.
Mr. Rostic & Mr. Ewing, the minds behind Black Calder Brewing, have been fielding calls from customers across the U.S., as well as in the United Kingdom, overseas U.S. military bases and more, looking to get their hands on a pack of their delicious Black IPA, a malt beer roasted with grained coffee, whipped with caramel and topped off with citrus lime.
“It was already kind of crazy that people in Detroit knew who we are but then to be like, ‘Oh man, you’re from Texas and you heard about us?’” Rustic said.
“People in California, Seattle, it’s all over,” said Ewing.
“We met in 2016 at an event and quickly realized the passion we both had for craft beer, community, and togetherness,” Rostic says during an interview. “We didn’t see a lot of breweries that were representative of our culture.”
Rostic adds, “We started kicking around the idea of starting our own brewery and, in 2018, we pitched the idea at a local business competition called 100 Ideas sponsored by Start Garden and won.”
The Brothas had to compete like crazy, encounter trademark disputes as well as rebranding challenges. But as usual nothing can stop a determined pair of Black men.
They’ve also had to open in the middle of the pandemic. “It has been a struggle to launch during a pandemic, but we also see it as somewhat of a blessing in disguise,” Ewing says. “Our original plans were to launch with a taproom at the end of 2019, which would have been disastrous for us a few months later.”
Rostic and Ewing spent more than a decade supporting other breweries in Michigan and working with mentors. Now, it’s their time to show the Grand Rapids beer industry that their brew is the best in town.
Many in the Black community are still in shock, this makes the second Black Brewery established within 6 months. The first being Memphis’s very own Beale Street Brewery, a Black owned brewery that’s making major headwinds in west Memphis.
Although Michigan is gaining a reputation as the epicenter for craft beer in the Midwest, Ewing and Rostic see even more opportunity ahead.
“The passion that brewers, owners, and staff put into creating a unique experience was refreshing,” Ewing said in a statement. “What we didn’t see was diversity and themes that spoke to the culture that we represent.”
The two Brothas are determined to add more flavor to Michigan’s brewing scene.
–Sylvester Loving, B1Daily