Los Angeles will soon have its very first Black-owned brewery, and the 14,000 square-foot facility will reside in Inglewood. Founders Beny Ashburn and Teo Hunter have come a long way since the beginning of their brand, which was born on social media seven years ago. Ashburn and Hunter’s Crowns & Hops started as a lifestyle brand, curating digital content and meet-up events. The window of opportunity continued to widen as the brand’s following grew, and their events were attracting more and more people. “There were more people making money and getting brand awareness from our events than even us,” said Hunter. “It was one thing to project the beer that we love, but after the event, it was over. And afterwards, everyone would continue to patronize those businesses at our events.”
So, Ashburn and Hunter decided to get in on the fun.
“In starting on social media, that was really for us to find our community. We started curating content and events that actually physically brought people together. At the core of who we are, we’ve always been connecting with our community,” says Ashburn. “As we transition from just social media and talking about it, we now have enough of that foundation to physically be about it as well.”
Ashburn and Hunter were cultivating spaces online, and offline, where Black creators and businesses owners could build community, collaborate, and support one another. The same can be expected as they transition from the digital space and makeshift meet-up locations, to an Inglewood storefront location. As a Black-owned brewery, in an industry where color is not so common, Crowns and Hops will continue to represent equity and Black inclusion. Inglewood’s Crowns & Hops Brewing Co. is anticipating a mid-to-late 2022 opening.