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Forthcoming Inglewood Brewery Launches $100K Grant to Support Black-Owned Craft Beer

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Plus, Monte 52 calls it quits in Highland Park, Balinese food in Glendale, and the impact of LA’s rush to reopening

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Inglewood’s Crowns & Hops co-founders Teo Hunter and Beny Ashburn
Crowns & Hops co-founders Teo Hunter and Beny Ashburn
Courtesy of Crowns & Hops

Inglewood’s future Black-owned brewery Crowns & Hops launched a $100,000 brewery development fund last week called the 8 Trill Pils Initiative, which is designed to support Black brewers in the craft beer movement. It includes far more than just cash, with the helping hand of research, support, and backing from the UK-based brewery, BrewDog to help budding breweries.

The 8 Trills Pils Initiative goal is to help establish more Black-owned breweries and taprooms, and close the the color gap between craft beer professionals of color. According to Crowns & Hops owners Teo Hunter and Beny Ashburn, there are only 60 Black-owned craft breweries out of more than 8,000 craft breweries in the country.

The partners launched an IndieGoGo in March 2019 to raise money for the future site of Crowns & Hops. Five years prior, Hunter and Ashburn founded a local group to make craft beer more accessible to people of color by hosting beer tastings, with hip hop DJs in unconventional beer spaces like barbershops and beauty salons, as well as local breweries. The partners also produced the hashtags #BlackPeopleLoveBeer & #BrownPeopleLoveBeer.

In other news:

—It’s opening day for Long Beach’s beloved bakers Gusto Bread. The business used to operate from a converted home living room, and now resides in a retail bakery space.

—Francisco Flores, the founder of Pancho’s Mexican Restaurant, has died at the age of 89, according to the Long Beach Post. Pancho’s opened in Long Beach’s Pacific Coast Highway in 1966.

L.A. Taco profiled the two sisters operating a weekly Balinese pop-up called Bungkus Bagus, which operates in front of their Glendale home.

—Southern California Gas Co.’s Restaurant Recovery Program awarded $1,000 to $5,000 grants to a handful of Black-owned restaurants in Los Angeles including Watts Coffee House, Hot & Cool Cafe, Post & Beam, and Pip’s on La Brea. The money can be used towards payroll assistance, personal protective gear, and upgrades for energy efficiency.

—A man verbally attacked woman at Pico-Union restaurant El Taurino this week. The man hurled racist words at her for being Asian-American and police did not file a report, according to NBC-4.

—The Los Angeles Times outlined LA’s rush to open, with particular emphasis on government officials communication, or lack of, with restaurants.

—Highland Park’s Monte 52 has closed. A glance at Monte 52’s Instagram feed over the last few months reveals that the popular food counter has, characterized in one post, “hanging on by a sad thread.” The restaurant opened nearly eight years ago in back of La Tropicana Market on the corner of Avenue 52 and Monte Vista.