Black is Beautiful

Craft Beer in the Revolution. Black is Beautiful.

Videos of George Floyd’s horrific murder at the hands of a Minneapolis police officer sparked calls for police reform and support for black lives across the world.  Many businesses offered their support through large donations and statements of solidarity, including the craft beer industry.  Craft beer has created a community that has used its platform to support many movements in environmentalism and community activism.  At this moment where the nation is coming together to protect black lives, the movement in craft beer is being spearheaded by Marcus Baskerville of Weathered Souls Brewery, an independent brewery in San Antonio, TX and the Black is Beautiful Campaign.

Earlier in 2020, Craft Beer came together with the All Together Campaign, which offered support to folks in the hospitality industry during this time of COVID-19.  Likewise, Black is Beautiful is a collaborative effort that invites breweries to produce the recipe and donate all proceeds to local funds that are committed to criminal justice reform and the defense of black lives.  The recipe is published on the Black is Beautiful website, and logos and marketing materials are readily available as well.  

Black is Beautiful is a far-reaching collaboration.  As of July 1, 2020, breweries in all 50 states and 17 countries have committed to producing Black is Beautiful.  30 of those breweries are in my home state of Oregon.  Homebrewers can join in on the movement, as the recipe was also published for a 5-gallon system here and my take is here.  If you do opt to homebrew it, please also consider donating your time and money to appropriate causes and organizations.

Breweries coming together to support the Black is Beautiful cause is significant, since craft beer is a white-dominated industry. The lack of diversity in craft beer reflects economic barriers against BIPOC in our country, employment discrimination, disinterest in brewing craft beer for hotter climates and regions with higher black populations, hangovers from Prohibition, leading to a long and unfortunate history of racism in craft beer and brewing.

The widespread reception of Black is Beautiful may be a sign that craft beer, like the rest of white society, is slowly opening up to anti-racism, as long as we all remain committed to doing the work of anti-racism for many years to come.

The beer will be an imperial stout, clocking in at 10% ABV.  The recipe calls for flaked oats and all shades of dark malts.  The result should have a creamy mouthfeel, substantial roasted coffee and chocolate notes, and a nice boozy kick typical of a high alcohol beer.  I am looking forward to trying a few versions of the recipe, knowing that all proceeds will be supporting racial justice and continued work toward equality.

Jenna wants to call out that 32 breweries in Oregon are participating:

10 BARREL BREWING

Portland/Bend, OR, USA

2 TOWN’S CIDERHOUSE

Corvallis, OR, USA

BDSM BREWING COMPANY LLC

Hillsboro, OR, USA

BINARY BREWING

Portland, OR, USA

BLOCK 15 BREWING CO.

EUGENE, OR, USA

BONEYARD BEER

Bend, OR, USA

BREAKSIDE BREWERY

Portland, OR, USA

BUOY BEER COMPANY

Astoria, OR, USA

CASCADE BREWING

Portland, OR, USA

CLAIM 52 BREWING

Eugene, OR, USA

CRUX FERMENTATION PROJECT

Bend, OR, USA

ECLIPTIC BREWING

Portland, OR, USA

FERMENT BREWING COMPANY

Hood River, OR, USA

FORT GEORGE BREWERY

Astoria, OR, USA

GIGANTIC BREWING

Portland, OR, USA

GREAT NOTION BREWING

Portland, OR, USA

HOP VALLEY BREWING

Eugene, OR, USA

LEIKAM BREWING

Portland, OR, USA

LEVEL BEER

Portland, OR, USA

LITTLE BEAST BREWING

Clackamas, OR, USA

MIGRATION BREWING

Portland, OR, USA

MOONSHRIMP BREWING

Portland, OR, USA

PELICAN BREWING COMPANY

Pacific City, OR, USA

ROGUE ALES & SPIRITS

Newport, OR, USA

SASQUATCH BREWING CO.

Portland, OR, USA

SKY HIGH BREWING

Corvallis, OR, USA

STORMBREAKER BREWING

Portland, OR, USA

THE ALE APOTHECARY

Bend, OR, USA

THREE MUGS BREWING CO.

Hillsboro, OR, USA

UNICORN BREWING

Portland, OR, USA

VON EBERT BREWING

Portland, OR, USA

WORTHY BREWING

Bend, OR, USA

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