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A black woman-owned brewery, the first of it's kind for Minnesota, is in the works

One woman is hoping to open the first black woman owned-brewery in Minnesota.
One woman is hoping to open the first black woman owned-brewery in Minnesota. 01:58

MINNESOTA— After getting burned out in her career as a pharmacist, Brittney Mikell turned to another passion; homebrewing, before rising to the ranks of assistant brewer at La Dona Cerveceria in Minneapolis.

"I'm a huge dreamer," said Mikell.

But Mikell now has even bigger aspirations: To become the first black woman to own a brewery in Minnesota.

"The brewing industry isn't very diverse in our state and in general as it stands," said Mikell.

Of the more than 200 breweries in Minnesota, just a handful are owned by women or people of color.

With her Bubble Line Brewing Company set to open early next year, Mikell said she is here to help fill that gap in the industry, while in turn, helping craft brewing survive and thrive.

"We tend to get a lot of innovation and a lot of new thoughts when there's diversity involved in the picture. I think that as the brewing world matures because it's been around for a little bit, that innovation piece is going to be really important," said Mikell.

Plans also include a brewery location in the heart of St. Paul's historically-black Rondo neighborhood, near where she lives.

"We don't have a community destination. We don't have places for folks to just go and hang out," said Mikell.

Inside the brewery, Mikell envisions plants and flowers, a warm escape in a cold Minnesota winter, with kid-friendly spaces and apprenticeships for brewers of color.

There will be beer, also non-alcoholic lemonade and lattes.

"We have a honey crisp apple blonde ale that I'm super excited about," said Mikell.

Mikell plans to use her brewery space to teach others how to brew at home, just one more way she says she hopes to diversify the face of brewing.

"You can be any demographic yeah you can be any kind of person and brew," said Mikell.

An initial crowdfunding effort raised more than $20,000 in less than a week. Mikell said there will be another crowdfunding effort to be announced in the coming days, looking for $500,000 in donations.

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