An Alarming Lack Of Representation In Charlotte’s Booming Alcohol Industry And Across The Country

CHARLOTTE, NC. — With less than 1% of the wine industry represented by people of color, Camillya Masunda wants to change that. She’s the founder and CEO of Ebony Wine and Spirits.

“It speaks on opportunity, and it speaks on being able to have access to places like the wine industry, not only the wine industry we’re talking about breweries, we’re talking about, spirits, we’re talking about the beverage industry,” Masunda says.

Masunda says people of color don’t have the same resources and access to be in the alcohol industry as they should have.

“It’s really a trickle-down effect because when you don’t have representation, you don’t have anyone there advocating for you and advocating for people who are coming from all walks of life, who are coming from all economic backgrounds.”

It’s the same with beer. According to a Brewer’s Association Survey, 1% of brewery owners are Black. Marques Nash is the general manager of Sugar Creek Brewing Company.

“I think that people of color offer a new flavor and perspective to this industry to what we make and brew here. I’ve added flavor to this industry, and things just taste better when you have collective minds from every culture all working towards one common goal, and that’s to make delicious beer,” says Nash.

To help spread awareness, he is unveiling his new beer “Hi-Top Heros” on February 11th for Black History Month.

“For me, I wanted to do something really special this year for my two daughters and for myself personally as I rock a high top for six years now probably and I found a lot of people of color find a lot of strength, a lot of courage in their hair that’s being able to express themselves through our hair.”

The Hi-Top Heroes will be in two kinds of beer: Hi-Top Hops and Hi-Top Berry.