For the first time in its history, the Brewers Association, the not-for-profit trade association dedicated to small and independent American brewers, has issued six event grants relating to diversifying the beer industry.

The events are taking place in Richmond, Virginia; Cleveland, Ohio; Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania; Brooklyn, New York; Denver, Colorado; and Boston, Massachusetts.

Closest to our fair city is Richmond’s HeART and Soul Brew Fest which takes place July 27th at the HardywoodPark Craft Brewery. The description of the event reads “HeART and Soul Brew Fest exposes a new audience to the local craft beer industry through urban music, urban art, craft beer, and soul food. The festival brings more than 20 black-owned restaurants and food vendors to Hardywood Park Craft Brewery.”

This will be the fourth Heart and Soul Brew Fest hosted by Hardywood, and other notable fests were born before the BA’s event grants, too. Returning this time with monetary support for the BA are Fresh Fest in Pittsburgh and Beers With(out) Beards in Brooklyn. The local tie-in being Fresh Fest featured DC’s Sankofa Beer Company ( and Beer With(our) Beards featured Theresa McCulla, Historian of the American Brewing History Initiative.

For those looking to get more involved in the local level consider familiarizing yourself or volunteering with DMV black restaurant week or the DC Brewers Guild.

Editor’s note: This article has been edited to correct an error. It originally stated that this is the first year of the HeART and Soul Brew Fest, not the fourth.