Central Ohio’s First Black-Owned Brewery Crafted Culture Opening in Gahanna
Anthony Perry didn’t set out to be the first Black brewery owner in Central Ohio, but it’s a title he now holds as Crafted Culture Brewing Company opens its doors in Gahanna.
Perry has been a part of Columbus craft brewery industry for several years, and found himself to be one of a few Black individuals in the space.
When he first searched for statistics on diversity in the industry, of the 7,300 plus craft breweries in the U.S., less than 60 were Black-owned, but Black dollars accounted for 12% of the industry’s $27 billion in revenue. Perry found himself asking why Black individuals owned less than 1% of the profit, but made up over 10% of the revenue.
The lopsided math inspired Crafted Culture’s tagline.
“Let’s beer the change we want to see in the community,” Perry says.
After the brewery for which he’d been sales manager closed, Perry had been working on plans for his own operation. At the encouragement of friends, he decided to take the leap and make things happen, tapping brewer Zac Baaske to turn his beer dreams into beer reality.
“I have a wild imagination and he has the technical know-how to make my imagination come to life,” Perry says.
The tight-knit local beer community led Perry to Crafted Culture’s new home.
“When people heard I was trying to find a space, they were sending us different listings on a regular basis,” Perry says.
Crafted Culture will take over the former home of Kindred, 505 Morrison Rd. in Gahanna.
“It was important I was on the east side of town when I opened up,” Perry says.
A Columbus native, Perry grew up on the east side and spent his middle and high school years in Gahanna. Initially, the east side he was picturing was the space between Bexley and Whitehall.
“I think it’s best to put beer in a community you want to reach,” he says.
As a Black man working in the industry, he aims to bring the craft brewery experience to Black neighborhoods.
“In order to get what you like as a Black consumer, you have to leave your neighborhood to get it,” Perry says.
That Black spending power leaves the neighborhood, creating a domino effect of challenges. Perry says that instead of teaching his sons to grow up and move out of the ‘hood, he would rather teach them to rebuild it – hence beer the change.
Perry sees Gahanna as a welcome pit stop on the way to his inside-270 east side dreams. It’s not really a question of if, but when.
For now, Gahanna will give Crafted Culture its first brewing facility and taproom. Perry says they’ll build on the space’s good bones and put a little bit of their flavor on everything.
The taproom will have 12 handles, six to eight of which will always feature Crafted Culture’s brews. Some of the early house pours will likely be their Bliggidy Black Milk Stout and Culture Vulture IPA. (Crafted Culture is currently brewing at Endeavor as they wait for their system to be set up.)
Imbibers can expect big flavors in some of the brewery’s other beers. Perry worked with Baaske to participate in the Black is Beautiful beer initiative, crafting a Blackberry Molasses Stout. A cinnamon braggot was another creation, and they are toying around with other combos like a strawberry cognac cream ale, and putting the flavors of a vanilla wafer cake into a beer.
“We’re going to have a lot of fun over here,” Perry says.
The remaining taps will be reserved for a rotating mix of other Black- and minority-owned breweries. Perry plans to reach out to the other Black-owned breweries in the state, as well as local minority-owned operations like Wild Ohio Brewing and Mad Moon Cider.
Representation will extend to the wine and food selections at Crafted Culture. Perry is working with a group of Black sommeliers to curate a wine list featuring Black-owned wineries. The brewery will also host minority-owned food trucks from around Central Ohio all week long.
“We want to make sure that we are the stage that all these minority brands get to stand on,” Perry says.
Crafted Culture will host a number of soft opening events through the month of February, with regular hours slated to begin on February 27. Crafted Culture will be open from 3 – 10 p.m. weekdays, 12 – 10 p.m. Saturday and 12 – 8 p.m. Sunday.