The craft beer scene is one of inclusion and acceptance, a community that embraces diversity at every turn. So with the current unrest in our nation, it’s no surprise that the craft beer community, namely San Antonio’s Weathered Souls Brewing, has again rose to occasion in an effort to foster true change for good, with the Black Is Beautiful beer initiative, a collaborative effort amongst the craft community and its customers to bring awareness to the injustices that many people of color face daily.
To date, nearly 1,000 breweries have joined the cause. One-Eyed Cat Brewing has joined the cause and now you can add three more local beer institutions, Resurgence Brewing, Big Ditch Brewing and Thin Man Brewery, to the ever-growing list.
For the Black Is Beautiful initiative, Weathered Souls offered an open source imperial stout recipe and called on their brewing peers to collaborate in unison for equality and inclusion amongst people of color. All proceeds from the purchase of these releases will be donated to local funds that support police brutality reform and legal defenses.
Resurgence, Thin Man and Big Ditch will be releasing their individually brewed versions independently on July 11.
Big Ditch’s version was brewed with eight different malts and then was conditioned on Ghanaian cocoa, toasted marshmallow, and milk sugar. Limited bottles and draft (10%) will be available at Big Ditch.
“This collaboration is really all about the local organizations we will help fund to drive changes in racial and economic disparity in our area: Partnership for the Public Good, VOICE Buffalo and Open Buffalo,” Big Ditch President Matt Kahn says. “I am glad we get to collab with two other great Buffalo breweries in this initiative and that we can stand together in solidarity on this important issue.”
“Craft beer, in general, is lacking in cultural diversity. As stated by Weathered Souls, this program is intended to ‘bridge the gap that’s been around for ages and provide a platform to show that the brewing community is an inclusive place for everyone of any color.’ We welcome the chance to be part of any program that increases diversity within our industry and promotes equality within our community.”
Resurgence brewed theirs with lactose and then aged it on Butterfinger candy pieces, cocoa nibs and hot fudge. Limited draft (9.3%) will be available at the brewery.
“Resurgence Brewing is proud to participate in the Black is Beautiful initiative,” Resurgence President Jeff Ware says. “Joining our fellow brewers to raise awareness only strengthens our brewing community and the communities we live in.”
Thin Man used British malt, oats & a blend of caramel malts for notes of espresso, dark chocolate, toffee & roast. A limited run of cans (10.5%) will be available.
“We had met some of the fine folks from Weathered Souls Brewing at a Juicy Brews beer fest in Pittsburgh a while back and ended up getting along great with them,” Thin Man Director of Sales Mike Descarfino says. “When they started the Black Is Beautiful initiative, we wanted nothing more than to help spread their message about this important initiative, not only within the craft beer community but our local community as well. We’re proud to have teamed up with Big Ditch and Resurgence to show that Buffalo stands with our friends at Weathered Souls. We hope that we can spread this message through the beer and our great community.”
100% of proceeds from each brewery will be donated to Partnership for the Public Good, VOICE Buffalo, and Open Buffalo.
Partnership for the Public Good is a community-based think tank that provides research and advocacy support to a broad range of partners. Each year, their partners use a democratic process to create a Community Agenda: ten ways that state and local government can act to improve Buffalo Niagara in the coming year. One of PPGs missions in 2020 is to implement a Law Enforcement Assisted Diversion (LEAD) program to reduce arrests and racial disparities, in partnership with the City of Buffalo, the Erie County District Attorney, the Erie County Departments of Health and Mental Health, and community organizations. LEAD gives police officers an alternative to arrest in incidents driven by poverty, mental health, or substance use and prevents harm to individuals in need of services.
VOICE Buffalo’s mission is to faithfully bring forth social justice and equity in our region through organized, collective action. Their core focus is improvements to accessibility, disparities for immigrants, economic equity for Black businesses, and criminal justice reform.
Open Buffalo’s mission is to advance racial, economic, and ecological justice through skill building, network connecting, and activating leadership opportunities. Their goal is for all communities in Western New York to thrive free from discrimination and poverty. Open Buffalo accomplishes their mission via leadership development and advocating for equitable economic development for communities of color, immigrants and refugees, the LGBTQI community, senior citizens, women, and those who are differently-abled.
“It will be really interesting to see the collective total raised by our industry in support of this cause, as it looks like over 1,000 breweries will be participating across the globe,” Kahn adds. “Locally, I think the Law Enforcement Assisted Diversion Program (LEAD) program that the PPG is working on is really critical. LEAD gives police officers an alternative to arrest in incidents driven by poverty, mental health, or substance use and prevents harm to individuals in need of services. This program is all about helping people in need, which everyone should be able to support. I’m hoping our donation furthers progress on the program at least a little bit.”
More information on the Black Is Beautiful beer initiative can be found at https://blackisbeautiful.beer. If your favorite brewery hasn’t yet signed on, tag Weather Souls on social media and the brewery with #BlackIsBeautifulBeer.
Brian Campbell is co-founder and Brand Manager of the Buffalo Beer League, and writes the weekly Buffalo Beer Buzz column. If you have beer news that should be included in the Beer Buzz, Brian can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org, on Twitter (@buffbeerleague), Instagram (@buffalobeerleague), and Facebook (@thebuffalobeerleague).