Montclair Brewery Celebrates Black History Month With Craft Beer and Music

Montclair Brewery announces they will release several new and returning craft beer styles in honor of Black History Month.The line-up includes various beer styles that are connected to the African diaspora and Black History makers, such as former slave turned abolitionist, Harriet Tubman and Baseball Hall of Famer, Larry Doby. The beer series available in their tap room and at select distribution partners will be released throughout the month of February.

“We try to incorporate our culture into the beers all year round and that is our point of difference as far as breweries go; however in February for Black History month, we go above and beyond since that’s an extra special time for us,” says co-owner and general manager, Denise Ford-Sawadogo. Taproom activities such as Black History Month themed trivia and Fridays’ live musical performances will also tie into the month-long theme.

Montclair Brewery’s Black History Month craft beer series include new styles such as the “Tubman Railroad Strawberry Ale” to honor the courageous Harriet Tubman and the Underground Railroad that she and other abolitionists made famous during slavery. It is said that strawberries were Harriet Tubman’s favorite treat and this beer is a strawberry ale to honor her. Watching the recent film “Harriet ” by director, Kasi Lemmons, gave me a deeper understanding of how unbelievably strong and courageous Harriet Tubman was, I immediately knew that we had to develop a drink in her honor” says Ford-Sawadogo.

The brewery is also crafting a new beer in honor of former Negro League and American League baseball star, Larry Doby. Doby was the 2nd player to break baseball’s color barrier– 11 weeks after Jackie Robinson. In 1998 he was inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame for his impactful contribution to baseball on and off the field. Doby settled in Montclair where he and his wife raised their children and where he later died in 2003. “When we learned that this year marks the 100th anniversary of the Negro Baseball Leagues, we knew this was the year to do something to honor the league and its players,” says co-owner and head brewer, Leo Sawadogo. “Doby having lived in Montclair, like his colleague and friend, Yogi Berra, made it easy to select him as the player to honor with this special beer,” continues Sawadogo. For many years Doby lived in Robinson’s shadow, by being 2nd in a few other accomplishments. The beer style that is being developed in Doby’s honor will also be one that is sort of in the shadows of more popular styles, but is promised to win over crowds, as Doby did with his remarkable baseball career. This special beer is expected to be released during the 2nd half of February.

Montclair Brewery will also highlight several returning styles as a part of the Black History month series which it first introduced last year. Those styles include “The Motherland”, which is a gluten-free beer made from sorghum, which is the traditional style of beer brewed in Africa, and the “Baobiere” Golden Ale, made from the unique fruit of the African Baobab tree, also known as the “tree of life” and which contains remarkable nutrients and natural vitamins. “Barton’s Bush Coconut Stout” which has proven to be a year-round taproom favorite is inspired by Ford Sawadogo’s family’s heritage in Bartons, Saint Catherine’s, Jamaica and its coconut groves. The Barton’s Bush Coconut stout is brewed with all natural coconut puree and chocolate and caramel malts delivering a tropical sweetness to this full-bodied ale. The MB Pecan Pie Stout will also make a return appearance during the month. A former African American slave from Louisiana in 1876 gave birth to the technique widely used to grow pecan orchards, giving a special connection to pecans and Black History.

Throughout the month, Montclair Brewery’s taproom will also offer activities tied to Black History Month such as Black History Month themed “Taproom Trivia” on Wednesday, February 19th. The Friday live music line-up includes R&B and Pop singer, Jeiris J Cook on Feb. 7th, Reggae band, Exodus Supreme will be singing rock-steady, reggae and calypso on February 14th, Hip/Hop and R&B artist, Euphony will be performing on February 21st, and Rasha-Jay and her Alternative Rock band will help close out Black History month on February 28th.

For more information, visit Montclair Brewery on its website: www.montclairbrewery.com, or on Facebook and Instagram.