This Milwaukee Bar Will Host Wisconsin’s First BIPOC Beer Fest

Brown, Black & Brews:: The 5th Ingredient on Dec. 3 at The Sugar Maple will feature five Midwestern breweries and one Milwaukee kombucha maker.

Wisconsin’s first beer festival featuring breweries owned by people of color is coming to The Sugar Maple in Bay View next month.

Brown, Black & Brews:: The 5th Ingredient, featuring five beer breweries and local kombucha maker Soul Brew Kombucha, is planned for Dec. 3.

The event is the vision of Tarik Moody, who in addition to his role as program director of Radio Milwaukee’s HYFIN station is a foodie and beer aficionado. He approached Sugar Maple proprietor Adrienne Pierluissi, and they complied the roster of featured brewers: 18th Street Brewery of Gary, Indiana; Moors Brewing Company, Funkytown Brewery, Brewer’s Kitchen, and Azadi Brewing of Chicago; and Soul Brew.

The three other beer breweries to be featured at Brown, Black & Brews – Funkytown, Brewer’s Kitchen and Azadi – came to fruition in partnership with Pilot Project, the Chicago brewery incubator that this fall purchased the former Milwaukee Brewing Co. facility on Ninth Street. A representative from Pilot Project will be on hand at the event. 

Admission to Brown, Black & Brews will be $10, with free samples of 15 different beers and four kombuchas while supplies last. Full pours will also be available for purchase. 

Fewer that 1% of breweries have Black ownership, including precious few in Wisconsin. (Vennture Brew Co. in Washington Heights, is one.) This, despite the fact that the state was home to People’s Brewery, one of the country’s first Black-owned breweries, in the late ’60s and early ’70s.

The challenges for brewery owners of color was spotlighted in a film shown this spring at the Milwaukee Film Festival, One Pint at a Time. The Sugar Maple hosted a talkback with the filmmakers featuring two of the Brown, Black & Brews breweries, Moors and 18th Street.

The three other beer breweries to be featured at Brown, Black & Brews – Funkytown, Brewer’s Kitchen and Azadi – came to fruition in partnership with Pilot Project, the Chicago brewery incubator that this fall purchased the former Milwaukee Brewing Co. facility on Ninth Street. A representative from Pilot Project will be on hand at the event. 

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Executive editor, Milwaukee Magazine. Aficionado of news, sports and beer. Dog and cat guy. (Yes, both.)