Black Woman-Owned Craft Beer Brand Headed to New York Walmart Stores

By Sameer Rao Feb 24, 2016

A craft brewery owned by a Black woman—one of only a few in a business dominated by White men—just got a major boost via a new distribution deal with Walmart.

Starting next month, The Harlem Brewing Company will be shelved in 39 Walmarts across New York state next month. The Root spoke to owner Celeste Beatty, who referenced the success of singer Patti LaBelle’s pies when she said, "I hope it turns into a Patti pies situation."

Beatty’s brewery, which is based in Harlem, makes beers with names like "Sugar Hill Golden Ale" and "Harlem Renaissance Wit." The company reached out after seeing her in a segment on MSNBC, plus local stores had been receiving customer requests. The North Carolina native also said that Walmart did not ask her to lower her prices. At present, a six-pack of Harlem Brewing Company’s beer sells for between $10 and $12.

This year, she will be teaching a course about the African roots of brewing at City College of New York, and she hopes to move into a new West Harlem space. "I really want to get more people in the communities we serve to get involved in this industry," she says. "It’s so much a part of our culture and history, and I am so happy to give what I can to share that."