Eamoni Collier wants to lead the charge in bringing more diversity to the craft beer industry.
Collier is the owner of Urban Garden Brewing, the first Black woman-owned beer company in Washington, D.C., according to local WTOP News. She started her business in 2022, following early efforts to brew her own beer using ingredients from her uncle’s backyard in District Heights, MD, the outlet details.
When looking at the demographic of owners in the craft beer market, Collier is greatly in the minority. According to a survey by the Brewers Association (BA), 22.6% of craft brewery owners are women, and just 1% are Black. By setting up shop in D.C., which is predominantly Black, Collier is pushing for more people who look like her to have a seat at the table.
“Diversity and inclusion is important, especially when we’re talking about ownership and equity,” Collier told the outlet. “We deserve a piece of the pie. Those numbers have to change. And we have to begin the process starting here, right? You know that this is the nation’s capital.”
While Urban Garden Brewing has a growing community, Collier shared that a challenge has been not having her own brewing setup. However, she’s looking to raise $20,000 to cover legal requirements and permitting since “she’s getting close to signing a lease in the Fort Totten area.” In the meantime, she has contracted with local breweries to create her beer in small batches.
Another part of what keeps Collier persevering through struggles in the industry is to represent for more women to join in.
“I think a lot of people aren’t aware of how beer even started,” Collier said. “Beer started with women. We were the first brewers. And I think beer has come a long, long way from its roots and it’s left a lot of people out. So I think it’s just important because there’s a whole world in craft beer, and I think it’s important that people are welcomed into the community to find their own passions.”