Coastal Bend Breweries Join Black Is Beautiful Initiative
By Jessie Monsivais
As people around our nation speak out against continued acts of racism and injustice, one Texas brewery is rallying craft beer communities to take action. Weathered Souls Brewing Co., a local brewery out of San Antonio, Texas founded by Marcus Baskerville, is calling out for breweries around the country to join in supporting foundations involved in police brutality reform and legal funds for those who have been victims of racial injustice.
The Black Is Beautiful Initiative is a collaborative effort among beer communities to band together to make a positive change. Participating breweries will receive a recipe for an Imperial Stout and custom design packaging labels. Weathered Souls Brewing is encouraging participating breweries to donate profits from the beer to local organizations that advocate for justice and equality.
"As someone who has personally dealt with the abuse of power by the police, this recent turmoil the country is facing has hit home for me," Baskerville wrote on the initiative's website. "As I write this, I contemplate how the country can move forward, how we as the people, can create change, and what it will take for everyone to move forward with a common respect for one another. For us, we feel that this is our contribution to a step."
Baskerville posted to Facebook Wednesday night to announce over 550 breweries had signed up so far. Three of our very own local breweries are using their products to join the initiative. B&J’s Pizza, Rebel Toad, and Lorelei Brewing Company will craft unique Imperial Stout brews that will be available for purchase in July, and will benefit organizations such as the Texas Association of Black Personnel in Higher Education-Corpus Christi (TABPHE-CC), MAP of Texas, and the Institute for Criminal Justice Training Reform.
"We feel it is important to be present for our community, and to listen. Just starting to step out of the whirlwind of COVID-19, it was heartbreaking seeing communities fall into grief from current events," shares Lorelei owner, Laura Criser. "We will use the Black Is Beautiful Stout recipe, but add our own twist on it by creating a chocolate raspberry stout. Something we love about legends of merfolk, there are legends and stories from all over the world, every culture and every color, this is beautiful."
Rebel Toad owners, Hector and Nathali Cavazos, say they plan on making two different beers. One following the original recipe and the other a hazelnut brew unique to the Coastal Bend.
“We believe that our whole community is family, whether the Coastal Bend or the brewing community across the world,” shares B&J's Pizza. “We believe brewing beer and enjoying beer is something that can bring everyone together. We feel it is important to support that type of equality in the world.”
The mindful initiative of Black Is Beautiful serves to deliver education and information to bring forth change to a broken system that has fractured many Black families and communities. The support, funds, and crafted beverages from these local breweries, and all others around the country, highlight the beautiful diversity in our communities with creative symbolism through a crafted Imperial Stout.