The founders of Vine Street Brewing Company are looking to revitalize Kansas City, MO.
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Coleman had previously worked at the Boulevard Brewing Company in 2013 as a guest representative. At that point, he had little understanding of the various types of beer.
“I tried maybe a Boulevard Wheat or something,” Coleman told KCUR-FM. “I really didn’t know the difference between any of the styles, or what was possible with beer.”
Ultimately, his curiosity surrounding the historical significance of beer, which he traced back to the Black community, pushed him to start a business in the sector.
“When I first discovered that beer was an African invention, that really blew my mind,” Coleman explained to KCUR-FM. “The ancient Egyptians were an evolution of that. It goes tens of thousands of years back in time. African women were essentially the first brewers.”
Now, Vine Street Brewing exists to honor the cultural heritage of beer and Kansas City. Coleman is joined by co-founders Elliott Ivory and Woodie Bonds Jr., who initially had hesitations about brewing beer.
“This was not the plan. I used to tell people that I would never brew beer. That wasn’t my thing,” Bonds said, via the company’s website.
“We are going to add a new element to Kansas City’s most famous street,” expressed Coleman to KCUR-FM. “There should be no reason why a street that’s internationally renowned became one of the more blighted streets in downtown. So what we do can really set a great standard for the future.”
They are already putting their words to action as their space sits adjacent to Warren Harvey Art Gallery and The Prospect KC, a nonprofit providing healthy food alternatives to east side neighborhoods to resolve homelessness, poverty, and hunger.
“I think this brewery can be a place where people come together from both sides of Troost and the state line. So, for all of the folks who are looking to do projects in the jazz district, this is a path forward,” Coleman said, according to KCUR-FM. “It’s an opportunity that’s going to be great for the city.”