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.

Cellarmaker Brewing, San Francisco

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

View this post on Instagram

Cellarmaker Brewing Company believes deeply in the furthering of equality and inclusion for people of color and is committed to the amplification of black peoples’ voices. We are deeply honored to be a collaborator in the industry wide brewing of Black is Beautiful. @weatheredsoulsbrewing of San Antonio, Texas started Black is Beautiful 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. Cellarmaker will donate 100% of the proceeds from the sales of Black is Beautiful to the Anti Police-Terror Project (@antipoliceterrorproject), a Black-led, multi-racial, intergenerational coalition that seeks to build a replicable and sustainable model to eradicate police terror in communities of color. They support families surviving police terror in their fight for justice, documenting police abuses and connecting impacted families and community members with resources, legal referrals, and opportunities for healing. Our version of Black is Beautiful is an original imperial stout recipe that leans heavily towards the realm of what we would call a Black Barleywine. The recipe is structured to highlight rich flavors of toffee, burnt sugar, molasses and milk chocolate which we believe is the perfect accompaniment to the adjuncts of peanut butter and cocoa nibs from @cruchocolate resulting in a silky, dessert-like beer reminiscent of Snickers bars, peanut butter cups and brownie batter. We encourage you to keep Black is Beautiful cold and DRINK FRESH. Black is Beautiful is available next week through mail delivery in California as well as pickup at our House of Pizza in San Francisco. Keep an eye out for this afternoon’s announcement of our weekly mail order online presale. #blackisbeautiful #equalityforall #justiceforall #weatheredsoulsbrewing #antipoliceterrorproject

A post shared by Cellarmaker Brewing (@cellarmakerbrewing) on

Cooperage Brewing, Santa Rosa

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

East Brother Beer Company, Richmond

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

View this post on Instagram

While our feed might have returned to normal, our commitment to social justice hasn’t changed. We’re happy to join thousands of other brewers around the world in releasing our very own #blackisbeautiful beer. Our Imperial Stout (10.5% ABV) has a luscious texture. Notes of chocolate, coffee, and deeply roasted barely with classic English hops. We’re donating 100% of the proceeds from this beer to Richmond-based @safereturnteam Their vision as an organization is to empower and increase the visibility of all those that have been impacted by the criminal justice system as a whole. We look forward to sharing more details about this incredible organization in the next few days.

A post shared by East Brother Beer Co. (@eastbrotherbeer) on

Ghost Town Brewing, Oakland

Imperial Stout benefitting the Anti Police Terror Project.

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.

How to Help

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

For more on Marin:

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, 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.