Made In NYC Celebrates Black History Month Inclusive and Indigenous: Island to Island Brewery

Made In NYC Celebrates Black History Month Inclusive and Indigenous: Island to Island Brewery

Friday, February 22 2019 11:20 am

As the first brewery in Flatbush, Brooklyn since the end of the prohibition era and one of two commercial brewers of “Jun” in the US, Island to Island is broadening the scope of fermented craft beverages. Championing the use of indigenous American ingredients from Canada to Argentina the Caribbean to Mexico, Island to Island delivers recipes with an undeniable New York taste.  

To know Island To Island Brewery is to know the land as our ancestors did.  With brews such as Ginger Whine, Origine People Power Beer and Indian Brut IPA, Founder Danii Oliver has created a concept uniquely her own. Attempts to categorize or label her business are ill-informed because as a Central American Arawak she does not fit in any box preconceived by brew masters or societal influence. “People call me black because of my skin tone then leave my business out of anything that is not black, which becomes discriminatory without intentions to do so.” says the Island to Island Head Brewer. What she hopes to convey with Island To Island Brewery is that diversity is not limited to the skin tone of the operator, the owner or staff members.

Nurturing and health are at the heart of her business, having grown up between St. Martin, the French West Indies, and Queens, NY, with a matriarchal heritage. That’s why beyond serving drinks, Taproom 642 holds extensive and inclusive programming. Taproom 642 regularly hosts monthly Pride events and “Bashment Without Borders”, a soca and reggae party to raise donations for the Fianza Fund, a community group focused on helping migrants detained in New Mexico and the far west Texas area. Danii also opens her doors to expectant mothers who might normally feel unwelcome in a bar or brewery scene. New moms are invited to come and relax, unwind, drink up, mingle, and share with one another. Tastings for natural prenatal recipes, non-alcoholic fermented beverages, and breastfeeding support drinks are served during the expecting mother’s nights.

All craft beverages are made from the fusion of Arawak Caribbean and modern North American craft brewing techniques. Ingredients are native or locally sourced in New York state from the raw honey in the Jun (a non-alcoholic probiotic beverage) to the flagship cider Purple Reign, made with apple, sorrel, and cayenne pepper. Most brewing takes place in the cellar of Taproom 642 on Rogers Ave. in Flatbush, Brooklyn.

“I didn’t come up through the homebrew world, I came up through the health world. So I want to brew beers that inspire me through the ingredients and help people have a good time while bringing people together. I’m not interested in beer that marginalizes people. As many people as there are on the planet, that’s as many styles of beer that there are.” — Danii Oliver

Be sure to catch Danii on March 2, 2019 for Island to Island’s Annual Craft Beer and Jerk Wings Fest, during NYC Beer Week, hosted at 642 Rogers Ave. in Brooklyn NY.