“Less than 1 percent of breweries are owned by minorities,” Isaiah Smith noted. “We wanted to pick up the torch and see what we could do.”
To that end, Creature Comforts created a brewing residency program earlier this year, in which each member of the Our Culture team partnered with a corresponding staffer from Creature Comforts.
“Diversity and inclusion has become what we pursue,” said Fenwick Broyard, vice president of culture at Creature Comforts. “When you use the word equity, you’re talking about ownership. Not just a seat at the table, but at a table of your own.”
Footman-Smith, Our Culture’s head of operations, said that, as a brewery in the planning stages, it was important to observe how some of the more successful breweries in metro Atlanta operated.
“We’ve been trying to continue to build our brand,” she said, “so that when we do come into the market, we’re ready, not only as a brand, but as a company that makes quality beer.”
Radford had a chance to work closely with Creature Comforts’ marketing team and witness firsthand the recent opening of the company’s new DTLA brewery and taproom in Los Angeles.
“Flying to L.A. to see how you go about opening a business from the ground up was pivotal,” Radford said. “I’ve learned so much, and continue to learn what makes a brewery successful.”
For the launch of Seeds Take Up the Soil, Our Culture partnered with BrewGether, a nonprofit that aims to increase the connection between agriculture and the craft beer industry, and also helps fund Black-owned farms in Athens and Atlanta.
“We have a history with Our Culture, and when they worked with Creature Comforts, it was a perfect match,” said BrewGether founder Dennis Malcolm Byron, also known as Ale Sharpton. The organization is selling Seeds Take Up the Soil glassware to support the cause.
“Using local agriculture was a main priority of mine early on,” said Blake Tyers, a founding member of the Creature Comforts brewing team who is active in recipe development, using local ingredients. “We use DaySpring Farms wheat for Athena, our year-round German-style wheat beer.”
“The farm is the front line,” Isaiah Smith said. “From the soil to the glass is what we’re trying to cultivate. It’s really about the community and our culture.”
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