Harlem Brewing Company

New York

Our Story:

Working with a Ben & Jerry's ice cream social venture and homeless shelter by day and learning to home brew by night taught me a lot of about making good and doing good. When I was encouraged to turn my passion for brewing into a business, I wanted to make good beer and make a difference by supporting local charities mainly through product sponsorships but also by cross-marketing and spreading the word about the important work they were doing and in turn the good beer we were making. I remember reaching out to Ben Cohen, founder of Ben & Jerry's to ask if he thought I could create a social venture with beer. He said anything was possible. Knowing first hand that Harlem needed more than just another bottle of beer in the already crowded liquor store market; a well known minister challenged me to find even greater meaning in my tasty cause. Somewhere during the journey I decided to focus on building a brewery in Harlem and my son joined me. The plan included a hands on brewing education program with a focus on science, recipe formulations, marketing and sales. We have held on to that dream for more than 15 years and have brewed upstate for 13 of them. Year after year we've sold beer in areas where no one ever heard of craft beer, we've had 100s of tastings in local restaurants, schools, churches, tail gates, from New York to Los Angeles, from Maine to Louisiana. We've shipped beer to China, Japan and England. Sugar Ray Leonard, President Clinton, Maya Angelou, Gayle King, Tony Bennett, have all tasted our flagship Sugar Hill Golden Ale. We've opened Broadway productions including Raisin in the Sun, Fela, Motown, Cat on Hot Tin Roof, Ghost and many others. We received recognition from the Clinton Foundation, Entrepreneur of the Year, Local Hero and letters of support from so many organizations. In July 2011, Mayor Bloomberg's announcement the winning proposal for the Taystee Bakery project and plans to move Harlem Brewing's production from upstate to Harlem. Today, we just want to brew. We have been offered space and the support is very enthusiastic. We are seeking funding and are opening to s strategic partnership to create a Harlem Brewing experience for the community and visitors alike. Cheers!

Our Approach:

We want to create a Harlem Brewing Experience that supports community and craft for locals and visitors. Make good beer and do good too! We would be open to creating a coop brewery and share space with others brewers or opening on a smaller manageable scale and building up to a larger facility. We would work with Columbia University and City College Chemistry, Architectural, Art and Marketing programs and incorporate education at every level. We would create employment for the local community. We would have an exchange program. We would also work with local community gardens and restaurants.

Featured Products:

  • Sugar Hill Golden Ale

    A medium bodied blonde ale with a hint of citrus and just enough hops. 6% ABV

  • Harlem Renaissance WIt

    A spicy wheat ale brewed with cumin, coriander, grains of paradise and orange peel. Very light hops, hint of orange flavors, 5.8% ABV

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