ATLANTA — There are only a few Black-owned breweries in the country, and Atlanta is home to one, where the entrepreneurs previously serving rhymes are now selling hoppy drinks and hope.
It's officially been one year of business for Atlantucky Brewing owners and Nappy Roots rappers Skinny DeVille, whose real name is William Hughes and Scales, whose real name is Melvin Adams, Jr. Their business model is fused with Black history and the standard for modern-day customer service.
"George Washington Carver thinking, with Chick-fil-A service," Skinny said, describing the foundation of their business. "So we try to give you great service and be innovative with the beers we make and how we make them."
When Skinny and Scales' tour was canceled during COVID-19, the two decided to master brewing beer, a process started by African women in the 11th Century.
"Craft beer is something that started in ancient Mesopotamia and Egypt, and we lost that during the transatlantic slave trade," Skinny said.
Even though the two are well-known in the music industry, starting their business wasn't easy. For most Black business owners, Skinny said, funding and financing are some of the largest hurdles. He added that Atlantucky received support getting started from another local brewery, Monday Night, by simply sharing their equipment.
"Information and knowledge is king, and you should pass that along as best you can," Skinny said.
Atlantucky takes giving back to the community seriously, with many of its beer proceeds going to community programs and initiatives. Its "Bluff" beer supports an after-school program in Vine City.
"As an entrepreneur, you should open up those resources that you have created to people that might need that as well," Skinny said.
Stop in during Black History Month to toast the release of Atlantucky's new ale, named Brown Skin Lady, which will pay homage to the African women who started brewing beers, teas and other fermented drinks centuries ago.