Black Chicago entrepreneurs Damon Patton and Jamhal Johnson launch Moor’s Brewing Company

How did you decide to work together on creating this brand? 

Jamhal:  I got a phone call from Damon. We always talk business, ideas, strategy, things that we can do to enrich ourselves, our families and our communities. So, he called me one day said, “I think we should do beer.” Immediately, I agreed and we both went to work to create a brand that celebrates our community and our culture. We wanted to put our postmodern art twist to it, wanted to create a brand that resonated with African Americans and the community at large.

Damon: For me, it was born out of reading that only 1% of the African American community has ownership in the beer craft industry. That was really daunting. So, out of almost 10,000 breweries around the country, there’s maybe 70 that are Black-owned. I immediately thought that Jamhal and I could sell beer. When I realized that there weren’t a lot of Black companies doing this, I recognized an underserved niche. So, that’s kind of where it started for me, just making sure we have representation in this industry.

What are the flavor profiles of your beers?

Damon: One has a 5% ABV, which makes it a lighter drinking beer. We made it for the summertime in Chicago. The flavor profile on it is like key lime. With a green papaya in the front, you’re going to get … a lemongrass finish on that one. It’s excellent for chicken, pizza, or Italian beef. The other one is our IPA. It’s a 6.7% and almost has a pretzel doggy front to it. Then, in the back, you’re gonna get a hint of honey sweetness. It’s from honey malt that we use to sweeten this particular beer. It’s not done with lactose or any other weird sweetener. That one’s a little bit heavier. The black can is a full-body beer, but it drinks really light. The gold can is a medium body beer, but it’ll smack you in the face.

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