Latiesha Cook is the co-founder of Beer Kulture, introducing craft beer to urban communities and bringing a fresh take on the beer world.
Beer Kulture is a lifestyle brand that merges urban culture with beer. For years – inner cities have been bombarded with malt liquors and flavorless beer. The people, ultimately, think that this is what all beer is. Let me enlighten you; it isn’t. With close to 100 different styles and thousands of different brands that all have different aroma’s, flavors and hues, beer is much more than just a “yellow”, “flavorless” and “nasty” beverage.
As one of the oldest beverages in the world, we strive to paint a new narrative on what beer is, isn’t and what it can be while showing our communities that “This ain’t the beer that you’re use to.”
How did you get introduced to craft beer?
It’s quite funny how I got introduced to the craft. My partner was on his own journey which you will be able to read about in our new book “This ain’t the beer That You’re Used To”. But he also introduced me to beer as he was on his own journey. It started with Guinness. The first taste…. I thought it was disgusting. Dom was determined to find beer that I would like, so he started introducing me to fruit beers since I liked beverages that were sweet and fruited. I loved fruit beers, I progressed into really enjoying sours. The more I drank beer, the more my palate changed and as I tried new things I began to really enjoy beer and the different styles all together.
What are your goals with Beer Kulture?
Our goal with Beer Kulture is simple. We are inviting new drinkers to the party. There are People who don’t know about good beer, we want them to know that good beer is out there. And more than that, we want to make good beer available to them.
What has been the highlight of Beer Kulture for you so far?
The highlight with Beer Kulture for me so far is the facial expression of a new beer drinker every time we put them on to new beer. Our slogan so to say is “This ain’t the beer that you’re used to”. So every time we expose a new drinker to good beer and they express delight, shock and /or pure excitement – it’s almost endearing. It feels like a great accomplishment whether it’s one person or many.
What’s in the new book? Who’s the target audience?
“This ain’t the beer that you’re used to” A beginners Guide to Good Beer is written by my partner Dom “Doochie” Cook. The name explains it all. It’s a beginners Guide/ Memoir for folks who don’t know much about beer.
Because Beer Kulture focuses on “inviting new drinkers” to the party, we wanted to create something that they would be able to learn from, identify with and grow their beer knowledge.
What beers have you enjoyed lately?
Lately I’ve been crushing New Belgium’s Fat Tire, Amber Ale, Voodoo ranger IPA, Belgian White and Pilsner. They have a variety pack out and don’t judge me but after a long days work I want something good, clean and crushable. This variety pack has been doing the job for me lately.
Aside from my daily drinkers….. sign me up for anything Kolsch!
What do you think about the current state of craft beer? What’s going well? What needs improvement?
Like any industry, the craft industry can use some work. When I think about the beer that we all know and love, I think about variety, complexity, layers on tops of layers of flavor and depth. I’d like to think that the face of craft beer appears the same way. Unfortunately, it hasn’t always. But that’s changing.
As more and more Brewery’s and places of business open up, craft needs to start broadening the demographic of drinkers and those they employ. That’s where Beer Kulture has come into play ; and not just us but the collaborative efforts of many who have been putting in work on the ground level to push leadership, ensure growth and success of the craft.
So back to your question of “What needs work?”. The answer to that is, everything! But when you asked “What’s going well?”. The answer to that is also, everything!
Hard conversations are being had and work is being done. Shout out to the people. The owners, the workers and the consumers who make up the Kulture. We are shifting and shaping the look of craft beer and I’m loving it!
What is your favorite beer and food pairing?
Does dessert qualify as “food”? Haha Because if so, My favorite beer and food pairing is going to be Lindemans Kreik Cherry Framboise with chocolate cheese cake. Dom and I created a cherry lambic sauce for our Guinness cheesecake recipe and in short…. It’s freaking delicious!
But if we’re talking “food food” then give me a Lager and a set of fried wings any day to seal the deal! I’m easy to please!