Black Spirits: Exploring Black-Owned Spirit Brands
When the world erupted in protests for George Floyd, I knew that as a Black woman, business owner and a master bartender I had an obligation to educate and support my people more than ever. Black lives will ALWAYS matter!
I took a break from social media to process this trauma and strategize for the future. The outcome was to focus on building up my community and continue to educate myself and others. As part of my renewed business plan, I decided to start supplying, aggressively supporting, and spreading my knowledge of Black-owned spirit brands.
Here at BarsByBanks, we believe in elevating our community by providing creative, inclusive and responsible bartending services. Supporting Black-owned spirit brands fosters economic empowerment within the Black community. By showcasing Black-owned spirit brands, Bars By Banks is contributing to increased representation and diversity in the beverage industry, which has historically lacked it. Our effort aims to level the playing field for Black entrepreneurs.
This guide features Black-owned vodka, whiskey, bourbon, rum, tequila and gin brands sold in the United States with links to their websites.
Vanessa Braxton, the founder and a Brooklyn native, is the first African-American woman to own and operate a vodka brand that is nationally distributed in the United States.
Founded by Chanel Turner in 2009, she became the youngest woman and the first African American woman to own and operate a vodka brand.
Created by a married couple in Atlanta, this vodka contains hand-squeezed organic lemons and gets its name from being affectionately referred to as the 'bomb lemonade' by friends and family.
Founded in 2016, St Royale vodka's mission is to 'educate consumers on healthier consumption by connecting real people with real ingredients.
Created by DC native Kevin Larkai, this USDA-certified premium organic vodka is crafted with style and elegance in mind.
DC native Carmelita Hilliard founded Look Vodka in 2018 after recognizing the underrepresentation of minority women as suppliers in the alcohol industry. She created her own vodka brand specifically for women of color.
Black-Owned Whiskey and Bourbon
Greenwood is a premium rye whiskey brand with four Black founders. It takes its name from the Historic Greenwood District neighborhood in Tulsa, Oklahoma, also known as 'Black Wall Street.' Additionally, the brand donates a portion of its proceeds to charities that provide educational resources for young, diverse entrepreneurs.
Founded by Tia and Sean Edwards, Fresh Bourbon's master distiller is the first Black master distiller in Kentucky since slavery.
Chaunci King's liquor company, Royalty Spirits, introduced Rex Whiskey in 2017. She is the first African American woman liquor owner in the Pacific Northwest. The mission of this Portland, Oregon brand is to 'produce products of rich taste, high quality, and longevity'.
Founded by Victor, Bryson and Chris Yarbrough from Louisville Kentucky, Brough Brothers became the first African-American-owned distillery in Kentucky. They were lucky to release their first whiskey product in 2020 right before the COVID-19 pandemic.
This Tennessee premium whiskey brand is inspired by Nathan 'Nearest' Green, the first known African-American master distiller.
Founded in 2018 by Jason Ridgel, Guidance Whiskey is available in stores in Tennessee and Georgia.
Ten to One rum was founded by Marc Farrell, a Trinidad native and MIT alum.
Launched in 2018, HH Bespoke Rum was created by Harlem Haberdashery, a Black-owned fashion boutique located in Harlem, New York. HH Bespoke gives back to the community by donating to charities such as the Boys & Girls Club of Harlem, Food Bank of New York, Harlem Hospital Center, among others.
Founded in 2014, Ou-Oui Premium Liquor is currently available in Georgia and Alabama.
Anteel Tequila is the world's only Coconut Lime Blanco Tequila. Co-founder Nayana Ferguson, a survivor of both Pancreatic and Breast Cancer, aims to educate people about the benefits of tequila and challenge the stereotypical perceptions of what tequila represents.
Founded in 2012, their mission is to 'deliver the finest top-shelf agave spirits available.' Revel gives back to charities and non-profits by participating in their events and providing product donations.
Talero Tequila is an ultra-premium organic tequila made from organically grown agave. The brand is also certified by Bioagricert, the leading certification body for international alcoholic beverages.
Founded by Mr. Luvuyo Jongile and Mrs. Nodumo Jongile, Mayine translates to 'let it rain.' Mayine gin is the first Black-owned gin brand in Africa.
Founded in 2013 by Chris Montana, Fitzgerald Gin is sold in Minneapolis, MN.
After not being able to find a tasty gin, the founders decided to create their own. Ingenious' mission is to 'uphold their core values of honor, courage, commitment, and integrity in every bottle they produce.'
This California wine brand is owned by Robin and Andrea McBride. McBride Sisters Wines is now the largest Black-owned wine company in the United States. They also produce other wine lines, She Can and Black Girl Magic.
Founded by Donae Burston, this brand donates a portion of its proceeds to nonprofits that serve 'underrepresented and underserved' communities.
Love Cork Screw was born after a devastating flood destroyed Chrishon's Chicago art and wine bar. The brand also supports underrepresented communities.
Michael Lavelle is an acclaimed wine company born from a deep passion for the rich history of wine and a commitment to filling the gap in providing culturally relevant wine craftsmanship aimed at millennials and minority audiences. Their mission is to make high-quality wine accessible to both wine enthusiasts and newcomers.
Over to you
We hope you had a great time exploring this guide and uncovering some fantastic Black-owned spirit brands. Show your support for Black entrepreneurs by sipping these Black-owned spirits. If you try them, please let us know down below. Let's raise our glasses to supporting Black-owned spirits and fueling economic empowerment in the Black community. And, of course, always remember to savor responsibly! Cheers!
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