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Legacy of African American Brewers and Distillers

Did you know Virginia was home to the first Mint Julep? Join Debra Freeman, host and creator of Setting the Table podcast, as she gives you the exclusive scoop on the highlights of her research for her upcoming book, which explores the impact of African American brewers and distillers in Virginia and the United States. Sip a Mint Julep and enjoy some nibbles during the talk.

Since America’s inception, African-Americans have been vital to every cornerstone of this country’s culinary history, from barbecue and fried chicken to creating Southern food as a culinary genre, and just about everything in between – including alcoholic beverages.

Lost Spirits will delve into the impact that African-Americans in distilling and brewing have made in Virginia and in the United States, including the stories of enslaved women brewers and enslaved men who distilled for their owners without recognition, Black women moonshiners across the country during Prohibition, the incredibly creative mixologists of the 1800s who created drinks we still partake of today, and will also spotlight current day mixologists, brewers, and distillers that are changing the face of spirits today. Registration includes a Hailstorm Julep cocktail and light nibbles.

Class includes Garden Admission during our extended hours.  Enjoy time in the Garden before or after class.  

All programs are subject to change.

Register Member $40

Register Non-Member $48

Wednesday, June 28, 2023
6:00 pm - 7:00 pm
Event Details

Debra Freeman Lost Spirits: Legacy of African American Brewers and Distillers About the instructor

Debra Freeman is a food anthropologist, podcaster and writer, and writes about Black foodways throughout America, but particularly in Virginia and the greater South. Freeman is the host and creator of Setting the Table, the critically acclaimed podcast that explores Black culinary history. It was named by Apple Podcasts as “one of the shows we loved in 2022”, listed as a podcast to listen to by Tasting Table, and Texas Monthly wrote “[the podcast] explored topics they wished they had covered.” Freeman was recently named as a Black Women in Food, a Snailblazer by Slow Food USA, and one of the Most Powerful Richmonders of 2022. Her written work can be found in outlets such as Eater, Conde´ Nast Traveler, Food52, Modern Farmer, The Local Palate, Plate Magazine, Epicurious, Garden and Gun, Pit Magazine, Gravy, Southern Grit Magazine, and Gastro Obscura, and she has been a cultural commentator for BBC Radio.