Second Chance alum launching new beer op

All My Friends Are Rappers owner contracting with Creative Creature Brewing on soon-to-debut brand

The name of his fashion brand may be All My Friends Are Rappers, but entrepreneur Kemet Ackee also has a number of good acquaintances who, like him, are brewers. He met the majority of them after signing on to work on the production team at Second Chance Beer Co. in 2021. Positivity, gregariousness and an ambitious work ethic led to him also taking on roles as a beertender and brand ambassador for the Carmel Mountain Ranch business. All the while, he continued working on the aforementioned clothing company, which he launched during the pandemic, mere months after closing out a nine-year stint in the U.S. Army

“During my transition back into civilian life, I decided to create a business,” says Ackee. “I wanted to build something that I could incorporate my friends into; a brand that supported creativity, art, positivity and community. All My Friends Are Rappers is about having love and passion for your craft.”

Kemet Ackee
All My Friends Are Rappers founder Kemet Ackee

With headgear, shirts and outerwear offering fashionably nostalgic nods to old-school music as well as Ackee’s Army ties and Spring Valley stomping grounds, AMFAR, as it is commonly referred to, has made a name for itself. Some of that notoriety has to do with a Kölsch-style ale called All I Want, which Chula Vista Brewery and Second Chance released in 2022 and 2023 in honor of Black History Month. 

Ackee’s high-profile involvement with that meaningful beer afforded him visibility and a handful of print and on-camera media opportunities which allowed him to expand his business’ reach. So, too, did a trio of collaboratively conceived beverages he worked on with San Marcos’ Creative Creature Brewing. The first was Sir Hops A Lot Hazy IPA, which was followed by a grape hard seltzer called Grape Dogg crafted as a liquid ode to musical artist Nate Dogg, and a green-apple sour dubbed BIG that was dedicated to Biggie Smalls.

Ackee has remained in the industry, representing Second Chance at events and tastings while tending bar at Creative Creature, but he recently returned to the production floor at the latter as the first step in establishing his very own beer brand. That entity shares the name and communal ambitions of his fashion business, and will seek to achieve a number of ambitious goals using beers contract-brewed at Creative Creature.

The first of those creations, AMFAR IPA, is currently in fermentation tanks. It will be released next month on draft and in cans with camouflage label-art at Creative Creature’s tasting room. The beer will also be available at a number of retail accounts where Creative Creature beers are sold.

Contract-brewing AMFAR IPA means a lot because it is our first step in the brewing industry on our own. Black ownership is minimal in the beer industry. As the owner of a black- and veteran-owned beer brand, I plan to make beer for anyone who will take a break to enjoy some and educate more people of color about craft beer.”

Kemet Ackee, Founder, All My Friends Are Rappers

This beer and the production of those that will follow are but the first step in Ackee’s craft-beer venture. He is currently pursuing a degree in Hospitality Management at Grossmont College, with intentions of transferring to San Diego State University. While he has experience planning, marketing, setting up, tearing down, hosting and staffing public events through his work as a clothier and beer-brand ambassador, his current studies will provide him the education needed to effectively operate an eventual AMFAR taproom.

But before he notches his journey of a thousand miles comes the proverbial first step. AMFAR IPA’s release party will take place at Creative Creature’s taproom on Saturday, May 25, and will include food vendors, games, performances from local musical artists plus an AMFAR apparel drop. For more information on the event as well as future beers and developments, Ackee says to sign up for the company’s newsletter online or follow AMFAR on Instagram.

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