Nov 20, 2021
In summer 2021, Jamaal Lemon, Brian Alberts, Mike Stein, and Peter Jones worked together to publish Tek Cyear uh de Root, an article series that explored the way beer history and culture merged with systems of racial oppression in the 19th-century Charleston Schützenfest. In that series we mentioned an even earlier example of the same phenomenon, a brewery owned by Edmund Egan in the 1770s.
Egan’s brewery ran on the labor of six brewers, two coopers, and seven other Black workers, all enslaved, but most historical representations of Egan minimized this fact so much that bringing it up again started some conversations. One of the biggest breweries in both Charleston and South Carolina is Edmund’s Oast Brewing Company which, you guessed it, is named after Edmund Egan.