Discover 10 Black-founded distilleries

13th October, 2020 by Nicola Carruthers

Black blenders, distillers and entrepreneurs have all made major contributions to the spirits industry. To celebrate Black History Month this October, we put the spotlight on 10 distilleries established by Black pioneers.

Matugga Distillers’ founders Paul and Jacine Rutasikwa

The first proven documentation of African-American involvement in the industry is Nearest Green, an enslaved Black man who taught Jack Daniel how to make whiskey in the late 1800s. The legendary story of Nearest Green was brought to life more recently by author and entrepreneur Fawn Weaver, who honoured him with an American whiskey brand and a namesake distillery in Tennessee.

Today, Black people continue to innovate in the spirits industry with distillers experimenting with ingredients such as hemp or infusing their products with smoke.

From a Scottish rum producer to a grain-to-glass distiller in Colorado, US, there are a number of distilleries operated or founded by Black people across the world. We’ve listed just 10 but there are many more.

Click through the following pages to learn more about 10 Black-founded distilleries.

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