We had the good fortune of connecting with Carl Roaches, Jr. and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Carl, what was your thought process behind starting your own business?
The thought process behind starting For The Culture was to meet a perceived lack of inclusion in the craft beer industry. Overwhelmingly, the demographic of craft beer drinkers presents as White and male. There is nothing inherently wrong with this on one hand; however, it also means there is a good chance there are people who end up not experiencing the deliciousness of craft beer because they are simply not aware that it is an option.
For our organization, being comprised of men and women of color, we are acutely aware of how limited awareness is of craft beer in our communities. People of color, by and large, only associate beer with “Big beer” brands, and/or malt liquors. As an organization, we would like excite, educate, and entice persons of all races, ethnicities, genders, and sexual orientations to give craft beer a try, and to see whether beer might be a libation option after all.
Please tell us more about your business. We’d love to hear what sets you apart from others, what you are most proud of or excited about. How did you get to where you are today business-wise. Was it easy? If not, how did you overcome the challenges? What are the lessons you’ve learned along the way. What do you want the world to know about you or your brand and story?
At the moment, For The Culture is a collection of glorified home brewers. Since Hurricane Harvey in 2017, we’ve decided that we can be our own force in the craft beer industry. The journey has been long and arduous. Admittedly, one of the largest initial challenges was simply figuring out where to start. Thanks to antiquated Prohibition-era laws, beer is one of most difficult industries to enter. High initial capital costs, complex laws, and consumer’s ever-changing palates create such a complex maze to navigate that even Daedalus would be proud. It has required learning on the fly in ways that can make your heads spin at times.
Now, we’re at the part of our journey where we are looking for a location so that we can start the process of getting our doors open. Thanks to Covid, we’ve more-or-less had to halt our search during the 2020 calendar year. However, as the year has concluded, we have renewed our search for a suitable brewery home. That aside, another huge challenge for us has been learning to best communicate with one another. We all have different personalities and opinions. At times, communicating in such a way that everyone feels validated in their point of view can be tough. To overcome this, we have prioritized weekly conversations. This allows us to express varying points of view, without allowing too much time for individual group member’s minds to run wild with negative thoughts.
We have also learned first-hand that the most well-intentioned plans rarely go as intended. We’ve learned a lot about patience in the face of adversity. Attempting to keep pushing forward when so many factors outside of your control come into play is hard. Sitting back, so to speak, has allowed us to continue to plan, as well as continue to work on a variety of beer flavors. For the Culture Brewing wants the world to know that everything we do is to promote the beauty of the craft beer culture. Craft beer is a thing that every person can enjoy; some just don’t know it yet. We want to be a driving force to bring beer to every individual, regardless of whether they believe it is for them! With a little more time, we hope to be Houston’s premier brewery, doing it “For The Culture”!
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
I would take them to The Breakfast Klub for a brunch of Chicken and Waffles. The Johnson Space Center would be an outing, followed by the Moody Garden Holiday lights and Ice sculptures later that evening. The next day we would take in art and Houston history at the Project Row Houses. For dinner we would go to the original Carrabas’ on Kirby. Lastly, I would take them on a brewery hopping tour of some of our favorite breweries. We’d start in Humble at Ingenious, and drive over to 11 Below. Then we would make another quick stop at Senate Avenue Brewing. We’d drive into town to visit Astral Brewing. Lastly, we would stop at Equal Parts brewing in order to conclude the day. A few other places that we would try to squeeze in, if time allowed, would be the Turkey Leg Hut and the Original Frency’s Chicken on Scott street.
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
Of course God is the first shoutout, because we feel without him, we wouldn’t have even made it this far. Secondly, we want to thank our family and friends who have been with us along the way. It’s hard enough attempting to manage a household with spouses and children, but it’s an extra level of complication when you’re also trying to manage relationships with your business partners at the same time. We are grateful that they continue to understand. To that end, I’d like to give name recognition to every one on the team. Co-Founder – Jonathan Brown, Co-Founder – Devon Daniel, Co-Founder – Miguel Rodriguez, Co-Founder – Jeffrey Brown, II, Co-Founder Jia LeBlanc, Co-Founder – Ashley Brown, Co-Founder – Jeanine Abuahmaud, Digital Marketing – Jennifer Brown, Marketing – Rodney Waites, and Tech Guru – Tosh Villery. Also, a special thanks to Michael “Mufasa”Ferguson. Being a Master Brewer, he brings so much knowledge, wisdom and expertise to our organization. Additionally, he has helped us bypass several pitfalls with his guidance. That’s why we affectionately call him “Uncle Mike”. Lastly, we want to give a huge shout out to the Houston craft beer scene. It is one of the most welcoming and quickly diversifying scenes in the country! There is good beer and good times to be had all around!