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Kamal Hosein at NYC Beer Week

Source: Jennifer Cunningham / Jennifer Cunningham

More Than 75 Breweries Participate In Annual Celebration Of All Things Beer

Kamal Hosein said he’s been a beer geek long before craft beer became a buzzword.

The 36-year-old bar and taproom manager at the Kills Boro Brewing Company in Staten Island, NY, knows his IPAs from his stouts and his ales from his pilsners.

“I’m all about being cool and drinking good beer,” Hosein said. “I was into craft beer when it wasn’t the cool thing to do.”

Hosein – whose brewery has a standout double IPA called “Slight Of Hand” – is among a growing number of African-Americans who are entering the craft beer industry.

Hosein joined several hundred revelers Saturday at the NYC Beer Week’s opening bash at the Brooklyn Expo Center. The 11th annual event is a celebration of all things beer, bringing brewers out from all over New York City, state and the country.

“It’s a chance to hang out with people who brew the beer that we drink all the time,” Hosein said. “The craft beer out there is awesome.”

The number of African-Americans both brewing and consuming craft beer has steadily grown in the last few years, according to the Brewers Association, a craft beer advocacy group. People of color made up nearly 20 percent of new craft beer drinkers between 2015 and 2018 according to the association, and new online collectives like Black Brew Culture are linking up black beer makers with fans.

But there’s still a way to go to make craft beer more inclusive, and that’s something that’s not lost on Hosein.

Sometimes “when I go to breweries and I go to beer bars, people look at me like I wandered in the place,” he said. “But when I get to chopping it up with the brewers, they know what I’m talking about.”

NYC Beer Week runs through March 3rd.



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