Tyler Smith is poised to open Arizona's first Black-owned brewing company, Kitsune Brewing Company. Smith began pushing towards his own brewing company when he connected with Matt Wright and Marshall Norris of the Simple Brewing Company. Together, the trio put together an imperial black IPA that helped raise money for Black Families and Child Services of Arizona, a nonprofit in Phoenix. As Smith spent time around Wright and Norris, he began to learn more about the business and began thinking about expanding his own operation.
"After spending a week or two with them, I realized I didn't know as much as I thought I did," Smith said.
Learning the ropes of the brewing industry, Smith has crafted his own "Black Is Beautiful" beer and earned two tanks within the Simply Brewing Company in Phoenix. With his brewing company, he hope to break down barriers within the industry.
"There's a slight stigma that Black people aren't really craft beer drinkers," Smith said.
"So my goal is just to say hey, we are out there and there's a new seat at the table."
Smith's beers will be available at locations in the Phoenix area before the end of the year. Moving forward, he hopes to increase Black representation within the brewing industry while opening his own beer and ramen restaurant.
"It's another cool step to hearing voices that aren't always heard," the company owner said.
"As the rise of craft beer grows, we're opening that door to show there is room for everybody."
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