First and foremost, Sip Magazine condemns racism in any form and we wholeheartedly support the Black Lives Matter movement.
We have been hesitant in making a statement, solely driven by the desire to respect our place in this conversation. We are here to listen and learn, and we strive to be better. But we cannot be silent to stand up for what is just and fair, and we wish to do it the best way we know how: in storytelling.
We’d like to take this time to share the stories of a handful of Black movers and shakers in the PNW, from brewers, winemakers and cidermakers to owners and influencers that you as a citizen of the Pacific Northwest can support. By following on social media, subscribing to e-newsletters, becoming a member of their club and purchasing their products, you are supporting diversity, equity and inclusion. And drinking a delicious beverage made by talented hands.
Over the next two days through our Facebook and Instagram stories, we will be sharing the stories of nine Black producers and drinks influencers that should be on your radar and why.
Abbey Creek Vineyard | Owner/winemaker
In 2008, Faustin became the first Black winemaker and vineyard owner in the state of Oregon. Completely self-taught and fully hands-on, Faustin planted his 15-acre vineyard himself along the eponymous Abbey Creek, crafting wines like a late harvest Gewürztraminer and Pinot Noir. At The Crick, Abbey Creek’s homey and comfortable tasting room, Faustin’s vibe is “pinkies down,” laidback with speakings humming R&B and hip-hop hits. He also produced “Red, White & Black,” a documentary following four BIPOC winemakers for an inside look at the diversity challenges in the global wine industry.
Taste: 2018 Rosé de Pinot #OoooWeee, Oregon
Frichette Winery | Co-owner/winemaker
A flip of a coin determined Shae and Greg Frichette’s future. When debating to stay in South Carolina (Shae’s home) or move to Washington (Greg’s), the latter won and the couple and their son moved out West. Launching Frichette near Greg’s hometown of Pasco, the limited production winery focuses on bold Red Mountain reds and now makes about 2,000 cases. After attending the Celebration of Black Women in Wine, Shae was inspired to create her own label focusing on softer, even more approachable wines, releasing her own brand, Sashay. Shae is also an avid writer, community educator and founder of the Benton City Wineries Giving Garden Project which grows food and provides financial donations to local food banks.
Taste: 2017 Merlot, Red Mountain
Freeland Spirits/The Barreled Bee | Distiller/owner
Portland native Hedgmon colors outside the lines. She brewed at the now-defunct Coalition Brewing (best known for its innovative CBD beer) where she ran the homebrewing program. Shortly after she brewed at Ground Breaker, a gluten-free brewer, and started gaining a reputation for her dessert-style beers, like a red velvet chocolate stout. After distilling at McMenamins’ Edgefield, she moved on to the all-female-run Freeland Spirits in Portland and she also co-runs SheBrew, a beer fest that showcases women brewers and supports LGBTQ+ causes. In her “spare” time, she handcrafts barrel-aged honey as The Barreled Bee.
Taste: Edgefield Distillery Coffee Liqueur
Metier Brewing | CEO/co-founder
Rodney Hines co-founded Metier Brewing as a connection to community and way to start a conversation. With beer as a conduit, Washington’s first Black-owned brewery offers social action with a side of suds, from a taproom chalkboard that allows customers to pay it forward by purchasing a beer for a future customer to offering internships for women and people of color, supported by sales of the Black Stripe coconut porter. Founded by enthusiasts, Metier also bottles a pale ale featuring Major Taylor, the first Black world champion cyclist, with proceeds going to Cascade Bicycle Club’s “Major Taylor Project” that provides access to bikes to kids in Seattle and Tacoma.
Taste: Russian Imperial Stout
André Hueston Mack
Maison Noir Wines | Owner/winemaker
Now a nationally acclaimed sommelier and Oregon grape-focused winemaker, André Hueston Mack’s first major credential was the Best Young Sommelier in America by the prestigious Chaine des Rotisseurs. This award gave him the opportunity to work as a sommelier at Thomas Keller’s world-renowned The French Laundry in California, then to Keller’s equally famous Per Se in New York City, where Mack managed a 1,800-selection, award-winning wine list. His new book, “99 Bottles: A Black Sheep’s Guide to Life-Changing Wines,” is his lifelong love story with fermentation. He also runs the bottle shop Vyneyard and “ham” bar, & Sons Hamlet, both in Brooklyn.
ABrewsC | Brewing consultant
Annie Johnson is an award-winning brewer, who is now an independent brewing consultant with her new company ABrewsC. Prior to that, she ran the show and develops the recipes for PicoBrew, a Seattle-based homebrew production company and creator of the first automatic, all-grain homebrewing appliance. In 2013, Johnson won the prestigious American Homebrewers Associations‘ Homebrewer of the Year award, becoming the first woman in 30 years and the first African American person ever to win the award. The year before that, she won Pilsner Urquell‘s Master Homebrewer Competition, where master brewer Vaclav Berka said the beer tasted like he was home. Johnson regularly and actively speaks and educates on her knowledge of beer.
Urban Connoisseurs | Founder
Marcia Jones launched Seattle’s Urban Connoisseurs in 2011 with a mission “to affect sustainable growth in the Black vintner community by increasing the number of Black vintners in the U.S. and abroad,” specifically by 50% within the next 10 year. She is raising the bar and raising awareness by building this community, establishing a scholarship fund for aspiring Black vintners, producing the documentary “The Black Winemakers’ Story” and through public advocacy. Jones also consults on the wine business, distribution and sales and marketing.
Seattle Cider Co./Republic of Cider | Cidermaker
After graduating from college in the heart of Oregon Wine Country, Monique Tribble took her hobby of wine tasting next level by working in the tasting room at Lange Estate Winery and quickly moving back into the cellar. From there, she worked in production for Firesteed and a winery in Arizona before seeing what other fruit she could ferment. The answer was cider and she jumped on as the head cidermaker at Wandering Aengus Ciderworks before moving up to Seattle to take the role as lead cidermaker at Seattle Cider Co. and run the cider show at Republic of Cider. Her aspirations are set on one day opening her own operation, honoring her late grandparents whom she pressed apples with in her childhood.
Taste: Republic of Cider Smile of the Buddha Citron Ginger
44° North Vodka | CEO
The vodka market is a crowded one. Thankfully for Ken Wyatt, co-founder of Boise’s 44° North Vodka, he knew that market well having worked for beverage titans Pepsi, Remy Martin, USA, Moët Hennessy and Anheuser-Busch/In Bev. Focusing more on vodka made from a place, Wyatt and the team zeroed in on potato vodka — Idaho! — with local flavors like Rainier cherries and nectarines from Idaho’s Sunnyslope. Today, the brand is in 45 states and still growing.
Taste: Mountain Huckleberry Vodka