Black Is Beautiful: Local Breweries Join the National Movement to Brew for Good

Beer isn’t always the answer to life’s problems, but sometimes it can help in unexpected ways. 

After the murder of George Floyd in Minneapolis, Marcus Baskerville, founder and head brewer of Weathered Souls Brewing Company in Austin, TX, wondered what he could do to help. 

Enter the “Black is Beautiful” beer collaboration. What started as a single beer recipe has become a collaboration of more than 1,000 breweries across the country to help raise funds for police brutality reform and to increase awareness of the daily injustices faced by the BIPOC population.

Dozens of California breweries have signed on to lend a hand and brew their own version of the Black Is Beautiful stout and to donate 100% of proceeds donated to a deserving nonprofit. Each brewery is encouraged to take the basic recipe and get creative with it, so that each brew showcases one of the many different shades of black and brown that a beer can take.

There are also a number of events centered around the effort. On September 4th at 5 p.m.East Brother will be hosting its second Pride & Purpose Community Forum series, with Tamisha Walker Torres, Executive Director of the Safe Return Project, along with current and past men and women who have worked with the SRP. The conversation will focus on the criminal justice system, reintegration after incarceration, and how communities can foster forgiveness and support success. Join them on East Brother’s Facebook page.

Here’s a look at some of the participating local breweries, the unique approach they’ve taken with their own Black Is Beautiful beer, and the organization they’re supporting with the proceeds. 

Almanac Beer Co., Alameda

Imperial stout supporting Black Lives Matter and the National Black Farmers Association.

https://www.instagram.com/p/CEAizHlgVtS/

Cellarmaker Brewing, San Francisco

Imperial stout with peanut butter and cocoa nibs, supporting the Anti Police Terror Project.

Cooperage Brewing, Santa Rosa

Imperial stout benefitting Legal Aid of Sonoma County and Peoples Breakfast Oakland.

https://www.instagram.com/p/CBEGN-jFizs/

East Brother Beer Company, Richmond

Imperial Stout with notes of chocolate, coffee, roasted barley and classic English hops; supporting the Safe Return Project.

Ghost Town Brewing, Oakland

Imperial Stout benefitting the Anti Police Terror Project.

https://www.instagram.com/p/CDAXhaHILWg/

HenHouse Brewing Company, Santa Rosa

Imperial stout with pecans, blackstrap molasses, brown sugar and vanilla; supporting Black Lives Matter and the Anti Police Terror Project.

Iron Springs Pub & Brewery, San Rafael & Fairfax

Stout aged in Woodford Reserve bourbon barrels; benefiting Re:Store Justice.

Pond Farm Brewing, San Rafael

Imperial stout supporting Play Marin.

https://www.instagram.com/p/CC9de3TJhoR/


How to Help

There are so many local businesses that need your help right now. For more ways to support local businesses, go here.


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Karl KlockarsKarl Klockars is a Chicago-based author and writer, focusing on food, drink, travel, and culture. Karl’s work has appeared in publications including Chicago Magazine, Thrillist, PCMag, Time Out Chicago, AskMen, Chicagoist and the AV Club. His book, Beer Lovers Chicago, tells the story of the Chicagoland craft beer landscape, from breweries and brewpubs to beer bars and craft-centric restaurants. He’s also the co-founder and main writer for GuysDrinkingBeer.com, regularly recognized as one of the nation’s best craft beer websites. He’s appeared as a guest on numerous radio shows, TV news programs, and podcasts; consulted on programs for the BBC and American syndication and spent a few years hosting morning radio shows and podcasts.