2021 40 Under 40 award recipient: Terry Rostic

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Terry Rostic. Courtesy 616 Media

Terry Rostic, 38

Founder, CEO/Community relations leader

Black Calder Brewing Company/Mary Free Bed Rehabilitation Hospital

By co-founding Michigan’s first Black-owned brewery, Terry Rostic said he was most proud that his creative abilities have brought people to the craft beer industry who typically have been ignored or who didn’t feel welcome.

“My life is now centered in working to bring people together and inclusion,” he said. “I have been able to do that in an industry where, out of 8,000-plus businesses, less than 70 look like me or are from my culture. I have been able to authentically represent my own community, including others who have initiated a much-needed conversation. I like to think of myself as a catalyst in the West Michigan craft beer scene.”

Despite being let go from a previous position as human resources project manager at Rockford Construction in 2019, Rostic said it was a great moment for him to focus on his dream of starting a brewery.

“It was devastating at the time and hard to process, but my faith carried me through,” he said. “In less than a year after that unexpected news, I started the first Black-owned brewery in Michigan, and I’ve sold out of every beer my partner and I created.”

Rostic also serves as community relations leader for Mary Free Bed, where he led COVID-19 response teams and tracking during the height of the pandemic.

“What I thought was a dire moment when my role was eliminated at Rockford Construction turned out to be what might be my biggest professional break, because it made me hungrier for success, and it allowed me to see how difficult times can be turned into something better.”

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