We here at a Minibar Delivery, today and everyday, stand in solidarity with the Black community. Firstly, we pledge to fight for racial equality by taking a stand against the systematic racism that plagues our society. Above all, Minibar Delivery refuses to be complicit in silence. Additionally, we remain committed to frequently highlighting and supporting brands and businesses created and led by Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC). Minibar Delivery also desires to be authentic allies and stray away from performative allyship.
Minibar Delivery believes we must focus our efforts on supporting small businesses especially those within minority communities. Supporting Black businesses, we contend, translates into supporting Black communities. Given that Black individuals are not afforded the same economic and career opportunities as their white counterparts, it is important, as conscious consumers, to act upon this notion. By diverting purchasing power to BIPOC communities, consumers can work towards decreasing the racial wealth gap, promoting job growth, and holding large corporations accountable for increasing racial diversity within their workplaces.
Today, Minibar Delivery promises to continue supporting BIPOC business leaders in the alcohol industry. In this article, we commit to this promise by highlighting ten of our favorite Black-owned alcohol brands, and the leaders behind them.
Fawn Weaver : CEO of Uncle Nearest
The creation of Uncle Nearest 1856 was in honor of the first known African American master distiller in the country Nathan ‘Nearest’ Green. Green was a former enslaved person credited with teaching Jack Daniel how to distill whisky. Fawn Weaver, eager to acknowledge the first African-American master distiller, created the Tennessee whiskey brand in July 2017. Since its 2017 debut, the whiskey has won 75 awards and earned the title of the most awarded new American whiskey in United States history.
Nicki Minaj & Mona Scott-Young: Owners of MYX Fusions
Rapper Nicki Minaj and television producer & reality star Mona Scott-Young are co-owners and creators of MYX Fusions. Minaj and Scott-Young created this brand to revolutionize the way people drink wine. Consequently, this alcohol brand produces a line of Moscatos and Sangrias in a variety of flavors and sizes.
Donae Burston: Founder & CEO of La Fete du Rosé
Donae Burston, at the advent of La Fete du Rose, wanted to create a drink that was accessible to those from all backgrounds and walks of life. Additionally, Burston founded this rosé label on the basis of sustainability and philanthropy. Therefore, he commits to donating a portion of proceeds from each sale to programs that serve youth in underserved communities. In 2016, he won the zero pesticides label award for his adherence to sustainable agriculture.
Marc Farrell: Founder of Ten To One
Marc Farrell, born and raised in Trinidad and Tobago, created Ten To One, to elevate the image of rum. The liquor’s association with the sugary Daiquiri, Farrell believed, had done the spirit a disservice. Therefore, Ten To One’s founder utilized different distillation methods and different provenances through a single blend to produce a contemporary gin still that remains rooted in Caribbean culture. The rum’s name is a reference to the 10 countries in the original Caribbean Federation and meant to emphasize the ideals of community.
Andrew Hueston Mack: Founder of Maison Noir Wines
In 2007, Andrew Hueston Mack founded his street culture inspired brand of wines, Maison Noir in Willamette Valley, Oregon. His wines, initially created for top New York restaurants, are garage wines, or those with a small production size. Today, the sommelier continues creating his wines to showcase the individuality of each respective site and terroir.
Paul Ryan Elliott: Founder of Loft & Bear
In 2014, Loft & Bear founder Paul Ryan Elliott created a craft vodka brand in a downtown Los Angeles loft. Elliott had always desired to have his own business. Also, he desired to add racial diversity to the distillery space. His mission, however, did not stop there. Elliott created Distill. Drink. Donate initiative which helps those experiencing homelessness to get back on their feet.
Shawn “Jay-Z” Carter: Owner of Armand de Brignac
Armand de Brignac, also known as “Ace of Spades”, is a French champagne brand produced by Cattier. The birth of Armand de Brignac was in 2006. The brand first gained popularity when Jay-Z featured the champaign in his music video, “Show Me What You Got”. Previously, Jay-Z had supported another champagne brand, Cristal, but after racist remarks from the managing director of Cristal’s parent company the rapper diverted his support to Armand de Brignac. In 2014, Jay-Z acquired the brand and today he remains the sole owner.
John Legend: Owner and Curator of Legend Vineyard Exclusives (LVE)
In 2015, singer, songwriter, and actor John Legend fulfilled his dream of launching a wine label with LVE. Legend Vineyard Exclusives is a collaboration with Jean-Charles Boisset of Raymond Vineyards. As of 2020, the LVE collection includes a French Sparkling Rose, Cotes de Provence Rose, Chardonnay, Red, Cabernet Sauvignon, and a limited edition 2016 Napa Valley Blanc de Blancs.
Deneen, David, & Coral Brown: Founders of Brown Estate Wine
With its debut in 1995, Brown Estate Vineyards became the first Black-owned estate winery in Napa Valley. The Brown parents, Bassett Brown and Marcela Brown, invested in and rehabilitated the 450 acre property in 1980 and their children, Deneen, David, and Coral Brown, harvested for the estate’s first zinfandel in 1996. Today, their wine label includes a Cabernet Sauvignon, Chardonnay, Petite Sirah, Rose, Merlot, Sauvignon Blanc in addition to their original Zinfandel.
Chris Montana: CEO and Owner of Du Nord Craft Spirits
In 2013, Chris Montana opened the Du Nord Craft Spirits Delivery in South Minneapolis. In fact, this milestone made him the first Black individual to own a micro-distillery in the United States. Today, Montana and the rest of Du Nord are committed to diversifying this industry. For example, he is committed to actively recruiting women and racial minorities to the distillery. Most recently, in the wake of 2020’s riots, Du Nord created a riot recovery fund, which supports BIPOC’s Minneapolis businesses affected by the riots.