Although the Oktoberfest cult will not take place this year because of the KOVID 19 pandemic, another Oktoberfest is planned this summer at the gates of Pittsburgh.
The country’s first and only black beer festival, the Fresh Fest Digi Fest, takes place on the 8th. August in digital format. The annual festival, originally planned for the Pittsburgh Allentown District, showcases black breweries from across the country and Pittsburgh breweries in collaboration with black artists, entrepreneurs, politicians and business owners, according to the event’s website.
In addition to the celebration of the black breweries, the Fresh Fest is celebrated with musicians, artists, speakers, DJs and chefs. According to Day Bracey, one of the founders of Fresh Fest, the festival is not only a demonstration of talent, but also a tasting of new beer.
The goal is to differentiate blacks in the beer industry, Bracey said. We want to provide representation, access to opportunities and fill gaps in the brewing community and celebrate the black culture in general.
Tickets for the Fresh Festival cost $10 each and give access to the festival through an application currently under development. Instead of a physical location, this application will become a platform for all breweries, shows, artists and other small companies participating in the event. Ticket holders will also find information on how to have Kraftbier delivered to their home using the Beverages2u service.
According to Bracey, the growing artisanal brewing industry in the United States – where more than 1,000 new breweries opened between 2018 and 2019 – has left little room for black entrepreneurs. He says that Beerfest is an obvious choice for him and his business partners to draw attention to the lack of diversity in the sector while celebrating the achievements of the black breweries.
By attracting black brewers from all over the country, holding symposia and conferences, and bringing white Pittsburgh brewers together with local black organizations, entrepreneurs and artists, we are trying to create meaningful dialogues, says Bracey.
Mr Bracey added that the discussions at Fresh Fest could improve the whole brewing and craft community.
These dialogues not only strengthen the black community, but also the beer industry as a whole, according to Bracy. The greatest strength of the artisanal beer industry is its own diversity of styles.
Fresh Fest offers black artisan breweries across the country the opportunity to promote their business. According to Timothy White, owner and production manager of the Harris Family Brewery in Harrisburg, the festival is an opportunity to showcase its products to a wide audience across the country.
It was so refreshing to have so many different people from different states, White said. You can’t afford that kind of help.
White, whose company is the first black brewery in the state, says that the road to starting a small business has been difficult, partly due to the lack of diversity in the brewing industry. But this lack of representation was the most important factor that led him to start his own business.
The industry isn’t just rolling out the red carpet and welcoming you, White said. When I started brewing five or six years ago, I said to myself: I wonder if someone who looks like me does. But after hours of searching, I still haven’t found anything. That’s what really fed us.
Clara Kent, a musician and artist from the Homewood district of Pittsburgh, east of Auckland, has been involved in performance and art since Fresh Fest began. For them, the best part of the festival is getting new information about the brewing process.
I really want more opportunities and information for people interested in owning their own brewery, especially black people in Pittsburgh, Kent said. My experience [with Fresh Fest] was very enlightening, and it was really great to see the people in town building something cool.
According to Mr Bracey, the pandemic did not affect interest in the event when it had to happen.
We have a community that is not only interested in drinking beer, but also in strengthening each other, Bracy said. This willingness, desire and need to support the black community and build bridges to support small businesses and local artists has gone nowhere.fresh fest beer fest logo,black-owned breweries in america,black brewers,black-owned brewery los angeles,black-owned brewery nc,beer festival pittsburgh,beer events pittsburgh,black-owned brewery portland