Saturday, April 27, 2024

Black Viking's Zingabier

There are more craft breweries in the United States than ever before, with an estimated 9,500 such breweries across the country. Those breweries produce a diverse range of beers, from light session beers to weighty barleywines. The diversity of beers is not really matched by the diversity of brewers. Only about ten percent (10%) of the brewers are persons of color and other historically underrepresented groups.  

Diversity, equity and inclusion have been reaching into the craft brewing movement.  Some of the breweries owned and/or operated by African-Americans, Hispanics, women and others have staked a name for themselves. One example of a large craft brewery is Brooklyn Brewery. Garrett Oliver serves as Brooklyn's head brewer; and, while he could be in the running for the most interesting person in the world (in my humble opinion), he has overseen some amazing beers, such as the Soriachi Ace and the Black Ops. More locally in my area is Union Brewing, which has firmly established itself among the Charm City breweries (in Baltimore Maryland).  Union produces some solid beers, such as the Duckpin double IPA.

Relatively recently, the first African-American owned and led brewery opened its doors in Montgomery County, Maryland. The brewery is Black Viking. The brewery was started by Shaun Taylor, the head story teller, and Jamil Raoof, the head brewer. One of their first beers that I have seen on store shelves is the Zingabier, a Golden Ale brewed with ginger and honey. (The name zinga comes from the Latin word for ginger.)

The Zingabier pours true to its style, with a densely golden color. The aroma of the beer hints at some floral notes, as well as its primary ingredients, both the honey and ginger. Those primary ingredients shine through more in the flavor of the beer. As I took sips, I could note the ginger in the taste. The honey probably came through more as some of the sweetness in the taste and the finish. 

The Zingabier may become the flagship beer for Black Viking. It is definitely a remarkable start for the new brewery. Right now, distribution is limited to the State of Maryland and the District of Columbia. However, they have big plans. In the meantime, if you see a six pack of the Zingabier on a store shelve, I strongly recommend you buy it. 

Until next time...


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