NEW YORK — One of New York City’s solely Black-owned craft breweries brings more than beer to the group. Harlem Hops continues to develop its mission to give again.
HBCU graduates Kevin Bradford, Kim Harris and Stacey Lee Spratt opened Harlem Hops with a shared ardour for a chilly brew. They found their innate affinity for appreciating the craft is ancestral, with the earliest recognized brewing casks found in Egypt.
“We were the founders, the creators of the original American Lager recipe, but we don’t get this credit anymore,” Harris advised CBS2’s Jessi Mitchell on Thursday. “I think our ancestors want that story told, and we’re here to yell at every chance we get.”
The bar options lesser-known manufacturers, from companies completely owned by girls and individuals of shade.
“It’s not just Black-owned,” mentioned Bradford. “We’re supporting all small breweries, all small batch.”
“We want to support the little guy,” added Harris. “We want to promote and give them the voice, and that’s why we don’t have these large brands in our space.”
The business stayed profitable by pivoting throughout the pandemic, providing drinks to-go, and constructing sufficient of a buffer to present Harlem Hops scholarships to Harlem college students attending HBCUs, like they did.
“These young people that are walking up and down the street see Black entrepreneurs and they know that they can do they see a mirror image of themselves,” mentioned Spratt.
The three had assist in their endeavor by the United Way’s Together We Thrive program, created to fight the disproportionate impact of COVID-19 on Black companies.
“We connected them with a mentor,” mentioned director of small business and workforce growth Stefanie Alleyne, “and then, after that, it’s really just been a matter of making sure they have opportunities so they can continue to expand their consumer base.”
Expansion plans transcend the bar, as the trio seems to be to carry their brews to connoisseurs throughout the nation.
“We’re really looking at growing Harlem Hops in many different places and spaces,” mentioned Spratt.
“It’s an opportunity for us to give back to every community that we’re going to be in,” added Harris, “and that’s what’s more important for us.”
Harlem Hops is open each afternoon and night on Adam Clayton Powell Jr. Boulevard between 133rd and 134th Streets.
Have a narrative thought or tip in Harlem? Email Jessi by CLICKING HERE.