Black Lives Matter--the beer community strives to raise awareness and participation
The Black Is Beautiful beer initiative, started by Weathered Souls Brewing Company cofounder Marcus Baskerville, is a worldwide brewing project that highlights the need for equality and the injustice faced by people of color.
The San Antonio, Texas, brewer, who is African-American, wanted to mobilize the brewing community and the wider world around the issue of racial injustice and make some moves toward including more diverse people in an industry that has not traditionally been known for nonwhite populations.
The collaboration beer Weathered Souls has proposed is a stout, which will carry the name Black is Beautiful. Weathered Souls will provide the recipe for the stout base, while industry partners will donate their services toward graphics and marketing.
The beer community has stepped up in the recent past around initiatives to aid brewery and hospitality workers displaced by the worldwide COVID-19 pandemic (The All Together project) and following the wildfires in California in late 2018 (the Resilience Pale Ale project).
Baskerville is asking the participating breweries and beermakers to do several things, according to the Black is Beautiful website: First, to donate 100% of the beer's proceeds to local foundations that support police brutality reform and legal defenses for those who have been wronged; to choose their own entity to donate to local organizations that support equality and inclusion; and to commit to the long-term work of equality.
As of mid-June, 824 breweries in all 50 U.S. states and 13 countries have committed to the Black is Beautiful stout collab.
Whatever your "local" is, they should be participating in the Black is Beautiful project: Please look for updates at your favorite brewery, taproom, or brewpub. Enjoy the stout but while you're drinking it, think about the moves you can make in your own life, in your own community, in the world at large to promote antiracism and education on racial justice and empowerment.