During these unprecedented times, the hospitality industry needs leaders like never before. Josh Davis is an industry veteran with over 15 years of experience and he is also the founder of Brown And Balanced which started as an event at Portland Cocktail Week and Camp Runamok and has since built into a stand-alone entity.
At the core of Brown and Balanced is the mission to share talents and stories of Black and Brown food and beverage professionals and the projects they’re developing through digital content. Davis just dropped a big announcement about Brown and Balanced that starting on September 4th, 2020, he will be going LIVE on Portland Cocktail Week’s Facebook channel in partnership with Campari America and Thirsty.
As he describes it, “think In Living Color and Mad TV meets Charlamagne Tha God meets Black and Brown Bartenders. BOOM.” And we are so here for any sentenced that is punctuated with a BOOM.
When quarantine and lockdowns swept the nation, Brown and Balanced hosted a series of Happy Hours over on Instagram featuring bartenders, servers, and cocktail enthusiasts from all over the U.S. to share their stories and backgrounds. After taking time to rest and restore, Brown and Balanced is coming back to continue conversations.
Davis shares, “When we started, the climate in the US was tense and, I was not in the best mood, but your support and those conversations got me through and pushed me to think about how I could put my energy towards making a change in my community. REST IN PEACE, GEORGE FLOYD. ARREST BREONNA TAYLORS’ KILLERS. I took a break on Instagram to work on those changes in my community and go back to school, but I heard your calls to bring back Brown and Balanced, and I’m listening.”
Daily programming will launch at 5 PM Central Time on Brown and Balanced’s Instagram sharing the stories of some familiar faces that you know and some you may not yet but Davis and the team feels you should.
Also, one Friday each month, there will be a featured special program to highlight different perspectives from the Black Hospitality Community talking issues that matter. Confirmed for the series, Mia Love will be talking about financial health, Parris Broadus is going to share her experiences as a parent in the industry, Keyatta Holder Mincey Parker is exploring home gardening and so much more. There will also be a hand-selected bartender featured each week that should be on your radar That bartender isn’t going to just be featured in our interview, they’ll also be featured here on Thirsty.
Words from Josh Davis on Brown and Balanced 2020
What was your inspiration for this new Brown and Balanced series?
My inspiration for this series stems from the fact that when I started bartending way back in 2005 when I would visit cocktail events, or see things online I RARELY saw anyone who looked like me. Fast forward to 2017 when we started B&B and the representation started to become better, but now in 2020 all across the country, there are SO MANY people who are leaders in the industry stepping up and becoming household names. So why not add more “ seasoning to the gumbo” and find more talent who can pick up the reins and continue to push the culture forward.
How did you decide whom to reach out to be a part of this next evolution of the series?
I decided the same way I pick the bartenders for B&B. Nowadays, because of COVID and social distancing, I use the internet and social media to meet and connect with other Black bartenders who are all very talented in their own ways but maybe haven’t received the national recognition that they deserve. So why not put them right in front of everyone and we all can see just how dope they are!
Since we can’t physically be together, why was it so important to launch a virtual series right now?
The world is going virtual. And in the world going virtual, I noticed that I saw a lot of the same people being put on platforms, and no surprise to me, no one looked like me. So I started the B&B Happy Hour conversation series on IG (it’s coming back soon guys.. Stay tuned) to show that as diverse an industry we actually do have, these are some of the faces and stories WE ALL ALSO NEED TO KNOW.
What advice do you have for people who want to better support Black and brown communities in the bar world?
The only advice I have for people is this: don’t just be a keyboard warrior. Really get out and get your hands dirty and do the research and work. It is not my responsibility to educate anyone else on what’s going on with Black and Brown communities. Quit posting things on the internet for likes… DO THE DAMN WORK! It’s a very informative document that I along with my team created that is linked on my Instagram (@BrownAndBalanced & @Mrmixologist) that you can download and has everything you need in it.
And REMEMBER to keep up with all of Campari America’s industry-focused events and education by following @CampariCommunity on IG or signing up for their email list!
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