According to a 2019 survey by the Brewers Association, only 4% of the breweries in the US are owned by Native Americans or Alaska Natives. Between a history of economic and social discrimination and the stereotype that Indigenous people are more pre-disposed to alcoholism than others, there are many obstacles that make it difficult for Native people to found their own breweries. That, however, does not deter the Indigenous brewers shaking up the field today. Take the Yurok Tribe’s Mad River Brewing in Blue Lake, California, for instance. Despite constant pushback, Mad River has operated for over 30 years with plans to expand to San Fransisco’s Oracle Park this year. “I want people to understand that we are here. We are a modern people. We are here living a normal life just like everyone else,” says Mad River’s CEO Linda Cooley. Learn more about her and other pioneering brewers at Yes Magazine.
Image courtesy of Morgan Crisp