The Black Beer Experience.
What is it you might ask? Well, it isn’t just an experience, but something Shani Glapion started back in 2018 becoming serious for her in 2019. How it started, some may wonder? It actually started out of having a good time and a suggestion.
“It started with cheap dates in Atlanta. I would go to Groupon and see cheap brewery tours for me and my wife. One of the ones we went to was Sweetwater Brewery. We went, and we fell in love with the brewery and it became our thing. I looked up from the beer one day and thought that why are we the only ones Black that are at the brewery. I did some research and looked at some people in Nashville and did not see any of us. I was telling my wife that and she said, ‘why don’t you just create it?’.” Glapion continued, “it started as a meetup group and now we have events to introduce people to craft beer. My main thing is our history with alcohol isn’t healthy, but craft beer you can do food pairings with them, trade them, and I want more Black people involved with it. This is something I like to do and if I can get more Black people to do it then cool.”
What started out of a good time became something Glapion grew passionate about, hosting a few events in Nashville with her group. With the Black Beer Experience though, it is about more than just drinking.
“My main thing is our history as Black people with alcohol isn’t healthy, but craft beer you can do food pairings with them, trade them, and I want more Black people involved with it,” Glapion said. “This is something I like to do and if I can get more Black people to do it than cool.”
Glapion’s goal is to grow The Black Beer Experience in Nashville, but she will not stop there. The goal is much bigger than Nashville. “I would like Black Beer Experience to have Black Beer Experience meetups and pairings and expanding it to different cities. My next step is to expand to Atlanta. Make it into a social group and take it off Facebook and just everyone be able to share their experiences with craft beer.”
While creating the Black Beer Experience, Glapion has not stopped growing herself either, as she aims to create and grow the Black Beer Experience and wants to make herself the best she can be.
“I am looking to be a beer consultant with restaurants to develop their beer menu and train staff on serving craft beer and I am also a member of the Road to 100, which is 100 women of color working to get their cicerone, which is a trained professional, working in the hospitality and alcoholic beverage industry, who specializes in the service and knowledge of craft beer.”
Along with the Black Beer Experience and working to become a certified cicerone, Glapion also took her talents and her passion and raised awareness of police brutality.
“I was a part of brewing The Black Is Beautiful beer with Jackalope. The Black is Beautiful initiative was a worldwide initiative with over 1000 breweries participating to bring awareness to police brutality and the injustices that people of color face daily and raise money for police reform,” explained Glapion. “That initiative kicked off after George Floyd’s murder.”
To find out more about the Black Beer Exchange, there is a website coming. As for now though, check out The Swig podcast Glapion has every Thursday night serving brews and views and there is a website coming as well.
Glapion is making her mark on Nashville and bringing Black Girl Magic to the craft beer world.