The crowded, competitive path into the distillery community is no walk in the park for Black entrepreneurs.
Today, the spirits industry is represented by fewer than 50 minority-owned craft distilleries, and the challenges for them mount high. From funding to marketing, small Black-owned brands have struggled to gain respect for a seat at the table, but the marathon continues.
Timothy Irving Jr., owner and creator of The Original Irving Whiskey, was inspired by his family’s history of making moonshine in segregated rural Georgia. As a small business owner, Irving still faces the burdens of being a Black owner.