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Army veteran diversifying San Diego's craft beer industry

Posted at 6:24 PM, Feb 24, 2022
and last updated 2022-02-24 21:26:49-05

SAN DIEGO (KGTV) — A dream realized for a San Diego Black business owner breaking into the craft beer industry.

Kemet Ackee is launching his first beer this weekend and hoping others follow in his footsteps to further diversify the city's beer scene.

"Its called all I want Hoppy Kolsch," said Ackee.

The Army veteran moved back to San Diego in the last few years, and decided he wanted to get into the craft beer industry, eventually landing at Second Chance Brewing.

"They support everything that we're doing and I think myself is a great fit in their company," said Ackee.

When he approached the owners about making a beer for Black History Month, they said absolutely.

"We made 480 cans, 10 barrels, and we'll have it on tap during the release," said Ackee.

The beer release is a collaboration between Second Chance, Ackee's apparel company — All My Friends Are Rappers— the non profit "Paving Great Futures", and Chula Vista Brewery.

Second Chance Brewing owner Timothy Parker said he wanted to support a fellow veteran and Black entrepreneur.

"That's a big deal and whatever I can do to be a part of it help him along the way that's what I'm gonna do," said Parker.

Parker also sees firsthand the need to diversify the craft beer industry. Recent brewers association statistics show that 76% of workers in production staff are white, as are 89% of brewery owners.

"Hey we are here, we do drink craft beer, and what you're gonna see is people like Kemet getting more into the craft beer scene," said Parker.

Kemet is poised to make the most of the support he's gotten, and hopes he's an inspiration to the black community looking to make craft beer their career.

"Being someone that's at the forefront of it is a great thing. I hope that many others are aware of what we're doing in craft brew industry and want to be a part of it," said Ackee.

The "All I Want" release party is Saturday, February 26, from 5 p.m. to 10 p.m. at Chula Vista Brewery, located at 871 Showroom Place.