Michigan's first Black-owned brewery, Black Calder Brewing Co., launches in Grand Rapids area


  • Black Calder Brewing Co.

A new company that bills itself as Michigan's first Black-owned brewery is set to launch the day after Thanksgiving, on Friday, Nov. 27 — "the Blackest Friday," Black Calder Brewing Company says in a press release.

The brewery is owned by Terry Rostic and Jamaal Ewing, two self-described "craft beer heads" who said they're trying to improve diversity in Michigan's largely white-dominated craft beer scene.

"The craft beer industry was full of flavor, community, and creativity," Ewing said in a statement. "The passion that brewers, owners, and staff put into creating a unique experience was refreshing. What we didn't see was diversity and themes that spoke to the culture that we represent."

"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," Rostic said in a statement. "Our motto is simple: Make dope beer for dope people."

The company's first offering is its Black IPA, a 7% ABV offered exclusively for sale in 16-oz. cans at Broad Leaf Local Beer in Kentwood, outside of Grand Rapids. Black Calder Brewing Company describes the Black IPA as "a dark beer with a light tan head that shows moderate to high hop aromas, citrusy notes and light caramel. The smooth, medium-bodied mouthfeel echoes caramel and toffee all the way through with a bittersweet and citrusy finish."

The company says it will eventually offer other beer varieties, including imperial stouts, barrel and wood-aged beers, fruited ale, kettle sours, lagers, and craft ciders. It says it also plans to explore distilling spirits and making wine as well.

According to a press release, Black Calder will collaborate with other Michigan breweries in the coming months, and plans to open a physical location of its own in Grand Rapids in 2021.

Those interested in trying the Black IPA can preorder here for curbside pickup at Broad Leaf Local Beer, 2885 Lake Eastbrook Blvd., Kentwood; 616-803-0602; broadleafbeer.com. Orders will be available for pickup after 3 p.m. on Friday, Nov. 27.

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