The roots of beer run deep, going back to before America’s beginning. Unfortunately, some of these roots have damaged our beer culture. But, people are tearing down the bad and rebuilding for good. To discuss this, Mike talks with Jamaal Lemon, award winning writer for Good Beer Hunting, good friend of DC Beer, and long-time pourer of beers in the DMV.
Jamaal tells us an important story about the roots of American beer culture, starting in South Carolina at a festival called Schützenfest. Schützenfest was a German gun and beer festival, originally designed as an inclusive event to bring together slaves from West Africa and German immigrants. But as time went on, Schützenfest became an event full of exclusion and racism, driving these two groups apart. Jamaal shares how he investigated this history to show how its racist tradition lived on today and how beer culture can move on from it. Jamaal also explains the importance of Gullah Geechee culture in beer and food, the ongoing effort to tear down American beer inequalities and rebuild something better, and how he has confronted whitewashing in beer culture in a way that allows people to learn and move forward.
Check out Jamaal’s full catalog of work on Good Beer Hunting.
Read or listen to Jamaal’s work on the history of Schützenfest, Black Endurance, and Beer Culture in Old South Charleston: