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Brockton Beer Co. brings unique flavors and culture to brewing

Spotlighting Massachusetts' Black-owned breweries
Spotlighting Massachusetts' Black-owned breweries 02:39

BROCKTON - Five friends in Brockton are trying to diversify the brewing industry by creating unique flavors on tap at the Brockton Beer Co..

"Barley, wheat and oats," said Julian Miller, explaining what goes into a batch of beer.

The science behind the drink has always fascinated Miller, but the patrons are oftentimes surprised to see him in the Brockton Beer Co. brewhouse.

"You don't see a person of color all the time - back here - who actually produces it," he said.

Julian Miller brews a batch of beer for Brockton Beer Co. CBS Boston

From light lagers and New England IPAs to sours and stouts, Brockton Beer Co. started with five friends, including Eval Silvera.

"We would have our board game nights with like 10 of us, like just sitting around the table having a few drinks, having some beers," Silvera said.

They were all from diverse backgrounds: Canada, Jamaica, Haiti and the Philippines. When the city of Brockton wanted to revitalize its downtown, Silvera and his friends wanted to bring their sense of community to Main Street, steps from the historic Liberty Tree - a major stop of the Underground Railroad.

"You go to some of these breweries, and I love the beer that they were making, but, obviously, you look around and there weren't a lot of folks that looked like me," Silvera explained.

It's true. Out of 233 breweries in Massachusetts, just five are Black-owned, according to the Massachusetts Brewers Guild.

Getting started, Silvera said, was challenging.

"I think it's access to capital," he said. "It's not always easy to get a loan as someone that's a person of color."

The group crowdsourced from the community. Small donations added up, making a big impact. Now, these brewers have tapped into their customers and their flavors reflect their cultures, using flavors like mango and calamansi in their beers.

Silvera began home brewing years ago. At his taproom, he wants to introduce the Black and Brown community to craft beers.

"Outside, it's predominantly white, I mean we all know that. But here, it's like people are more engaged, and kinda surprised to see me," Miller said.

This is how Silvera and his crew believes they can diversify the craft beer industry. By giving more people a taste of what they can do.

"They get a chance to kind of see who we are, not just from the beers that we make, but just culturally, who we are as well," he said.

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