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Black Woman-Owned Beer Brand Nabs Major Retailer, Expects 20% Growth in Sales


Celeste Beatty of Harlem Brewing Co., taken from Twitter

The Harlem Brewing Company is a Black-owned beer brewing company that owner Celeste Beatty hopes will inspire other Black entrepreneurs to get into the beer-making industry.

Beatty started her business in her Harlem apartment. She began brewing five-gallon batches of craft beer after graduating from the North Carolina HBCU Shaw University. After starting her small operation, Beatty fell in love with the art of beer making. For 15 years, the Harlem Brewing Company has been trekking along, but next month the company will be on shelves in 39 local New York Wal-Marts.

Currently, the entrepreneur is making and growing her own ingredients. She grows hops in her backyard and on a farm in upstate New York.

“I’m actually getting pretty deep into it,” she says in an interview with The Root. 

Her beer is a reflection for her love of Black culture and history. Names like Sugar Hill Golden Ale, Harlem Renaissance Wit and Strawberry Hard Cider is the epitome of creativity that tips a hat to the past. Just take a look at her ad. She recruits blaxploitation and Everybody Hates Chris actor Antonio Fargas as a man looking for the perfect beer:

Wal-Mart became interested in her beers after seeing one of her interviews on TV.

“I didn’t really know that Wal-Mart was really a crafty retail place, but I’ve had a chance to talk to them, and I have noticed, not only with the beer, [that] a lot of their produce and other products come from local markets. So it was encouraging to see that, because … what I hear is so much of their stuff comes from China,” she says.

Beatty said her six-packs cost between $10 and $12.

With the new deal, Harlem Brewing Co.’s sales are estimated to increase by as much as 20 percent, which Beatty hopes she can leverage to supply other Wal-Mart stores out of state, reports the New York Post.

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