First local Black-owned brewery owner: ‘Set out to make really good beer’

Jerrod Fisher and his two business partners — Mike Meholick and Greg Cason — opened Huber Heights-based Alematic Artisan Ales, the Dayton-area’s first Black-owned brewery, in February 2019.
Jerrod Fisher and his two business partners — Mike Meholick and Greg Cason — opened Huber Heights-based Alematic Artisan Ales, the Dayton-area’s first Black-owned brewery, in February 2019.

Credit: JIM NOELKER

Credit: JIM NOELKER

‘If I can be an inspiration to someone else of color...then you know, that is a good feeling.’

Jerrod Fisher and his two business partners — Mike Meholick and Greg Cason — opened Huber Heights-based Alematic Artisan Ales, the Dayton-area’s first Black-owned brewery, in February 2019.

The brewery is located at 6182 Chambersburg Road in Huber Heights.

The brewery and tap room is housed in 4,000 square feet of space in the Huber Center just off Brandt Pike (Ohio 201). Alematic specializes in craft beers, including small-batch ales, lagers and sours, and will also make its own wines and ciders.

In February as part of Black History Month, the Dayton Daily News is featuring Black business owners and telling about their successes and the obstacles they face.

The Alematic  brewery and tap room is housed in 4,000 square feet of space in the Huber Center just off Brandt Pike (Ohio 201). Alematic specializes in craft beers, including small-batch ales, lagers and sours, and will also make its own wines and ciders.
The Alematic brewery and tap room is housed in 4,000 square feet of space in the Huber Center just off Brandt Pike (Ohio 201). Alematic specializes in craft beers, including small-batch ales, lagers and sours, and will also make its own wines and ciders.

Credit: JIM NOELKER

Credit: JIM NOELKER

We asked Fisher, 34, about the importance of Black History month and how it shapes his perspective.

Q: Why is it important to have diversity in business ownership?

A: In general [having] a culturally diverse range of businesses in the community also provides so many more different perspectives than if everything was owned just by one single sect of the demographic. So, we set out to make just really good beer and if I can be an inspiration to someone else of color who has ambitions to start something for themselves, then you know, that is a good feeling”

The Alematic  brewery and tap room is housed in 4,000 square feet of space in the Huber Center just off Brandt Pike (Ohio 201). Alematic specializes in craft beers, including small-batch ales, lagers and sours, and will also make its own wines and ciders.
The Alematic brewery and tap room is housed in 4,000 square feet of space in the Huber Center just off Brandt Pike (Ohio 201). Alematic specializes in craft beers, including small-batch ales, lagers and sours, and will also make its own wines and ciders.

Credit: JIM NOELKER

Credit: JIM NOELKER

Q. What is the Black Lives Matter message, to you?

A. The Black Lives Matter movement as a whole is really something that should be common sense, whether it is media or people who are opposed to it, trying to throw all these different concepts and ideas out there to confuse the message, and you know, in the end, the whole movement are saying that people should be outraged if there is a killing of an innocent person of color. And so the opposite thing people like to say is that all lives matter, but the reality is well, if you say that then you also have to agree that black lives are included

Q. What can we do to improve race relations?

I think to improve the situation that we have in the country, more than anything, is that people have to be willing to learn that the path forward in life is not to have enemies or create enemies. If all demographics of people are on the rise, then ultimately that pulls everybody up with them, and so [it’s] really more about everyone willing to come together.”

The Alematic  brewery and tap room is housed in 4,000 square feet of space in the Huber Center just off Brandt Pike (Ohio 201). Alematic specializes in craft beers, including small-batch ales, lagers and sours, and will also make its own wines and ciders.
The Alematic brewery and tap room is housed in 4,000 square feet of space in the Huber Center just off Brandt Pike (Ohio 201). Alematic specializes in craft beers, including small-batch ales, lagers and sours, and will also make its own wines and ciders.

Credit: JIM NOELKER

Credit: JIM NOELKER

Q. Kind of like in the brewery business, right?

A: There’s so many breweries opening across the country at one time and a lot of people often ask, ‘Why do other breweries help other breweries in so many ways?’ And in general we all have the belief that the rising tide raises all ships, and so if breweries are gaining popularity as a whole, that’s good for all of our individual businesses. And so, the same thing with America, if all demographics of people are on the rise, then ultimately that pulls everybody up with them. So it’s not about finding enemies or someone to blame for something, it’s really more about everyone willing to come together.

Q: How does it feel to be one of the few minority businesses in the area?

Having a culturally diverse range of businesses in the community also provides so many more different perspectives … We set out to make just really good beer and you know, since diversity, especially in the craft beer scene is something that they talk a lot about right now, we get a lot of questions like ‘What’s it like being a black owned brewery?’ And you know on one hand I imagine it’s just like being a white-owned brewery. But at the same time, I think for me, if I can be an inspiration to someone else of color who has ambitions to start something for themselves, that is a good feeling.

Note: This interview was edited for brevity.

The Alematic  brewery and tap room is housed in 4,000 square feet of space in the Huber Center just off Brandt Pike (Ohio 201). Alematic specializes in craft beers, including small-batch ales, lagers and sours, and will also make its own wines and ciders.
The Alematic brewery and tap room is housed in 4,000 square feet of space in the Huber Center just off Brandt Pike (Ohio 201). Alematic specializes in craft beers, including small-batch ales, lagers and sours, and will also make its own wines and ciders.

Credit: JIM NOELKER

Credit: JIM NOELKER

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