Hoppy Hour Recap
The Black is Beautiful Initiative
The Black is Beautiful initiative was started by Marcus Baskerville from Weathered Souls Brewing in San Antonio, TX just a couple months ago. It is a worldwide “collaborative effort to raise awareness for the injustices people of color face daily and raise funds for police brutality reform and legal defenses for those who have been wronged.”
In response to the tragic death of George Floyd, Marcus wanted to use his platform as a brewery owner to do something. His idea to brew a beer and donate the proceeds was originally intended to be a local fundraiser that just his brewery would participate in. However, when he mentioned it to a friend from Jester King Brewery, he was told to go bigger! At that point Marcus wanted to recreate what he had seen Sierra Nevada do for the California wild fires, and what Other Half Brewing in New York, had recently done to help the hospitality industry due to Covid.
Check out the video below from when we had Marcus on our Hoppy Hour back on June 4, 2020. His interview is about an hour and 2 minutes in.
When Other Half Brewing found out, they shared with Marcus all the information they learned, doing their All Together Beer. Before he knew it, he was getting ingredient donations, a website created, and breweries from all over the world were reaching out to him.
The basic idea is, brew a beer, and donate all the proceeds. Basically, any brewery, that wants in, can download the base recipe, label, and logo from https://blackisbeautiful.beer/ . Then 100% of the proceeds are to be donated to a local nonprofit that supports Marcus’ mission. Equality, and inclusion.
The base beer is a 10% stout. Similar to Other Half’s All Together Beer, each brewery can put their own spin on it. Some have kept it classic, while others have had some fun with strawberries, chocolate, coffee, caramel, etc. When Marcus was on, he said there had already been talk about some barrel aged versions! So don’t expect this beer to be going anywhere anytime soon!
When we spoke with Marcus on June 4, 2020, they were already at 290 breweries, and we all gasped in shock at how quick that number rose from a couple days before! As of today, they are at 1,130 breweries, 50 states, and 21 countries. Weathered Souls alone, has already donated $2,000 to the ‘Know Your Rights Campaign’ and $20,000 to ‘100 Black Men of San Antonio.’
Breweries haven’t been the only ones to join in on the fun. Swag has been sold as well, and yes, those proceeds are also donated! From shirts to hats to glasses
With each brewery picking their own nonprofit to donate to, it makes it even more special. Western Collective in Idaho, chose a couple different organizations, one being their local Black History Museum. Tactical Brewing is a Veteran owned brewery in Orlando, and their Black is Beautiful proceeds are going to their local chapter of the National Association for Black Veterans. Another Orlando Brewery, Sideward Brewing, picked 2 nonprofits, one of which is based on brewing called the Michael Jackson Foundation. This foundation provides brewing education and career advancement for people of color. Michael Jackson, was not just the name of the most famous pop singer to have ever lived. He was also one of the most famous men in beer. In the 90s he even had a Discovery channel segment about beer! It was called the ‘Beer Hunter’ and can be found on YouTube!
So, what can we do an consumers to help make a difference?
- Buy and drink as much Black is Beautiful beer as possible.
- Find breweries on their website to locate said beer. blackisbeautiful.beer
- Ask your local breweries if they intend to brew Black is Beautiful.
- Speak up! Talk about these issues!
- Donate directly to organizations who are working for true equality for all! AND…
So, here’s to Marcus and Weathered Souls Brewery for making this world a better place with some delicious beer! Cheers!
Let us know in the comments some other ways that we can all help this initiative move forward.