Black is Beautiful - One Year Later
This last year has been one of massive growth and change in the brewing world. In May of 2020, the issue of police violence in the United States boiled over and Black people’s struggle became a world-wide issue. This led to discussions of race, equality, and diversity throughout the world, including the brewing industry.
Marcus Baskerville of Weathered Souls in San Antonio, Texas is one of the few Black owners and head brewers in the United States. After witnessing the events of last year, he created the Black is Beautiful program for other breweries.
The team at Weathered Souls created a base recipe but gave creative freedom for other breweries to create whatever they liked from that base. They provided art and concept design giving only these requirements:
Donate 100% of the beer’s proceeds to local foundations that support police brutality reform and legal defenses to those who have been wronged
Choose their own entity to donate to local organizations that support equality and inclusion
Commit to the long-term work of equality
A Lasting Impact
Since June 2020, over 1,200 breweries in all 50 states and 22 countries have participated in the Black is Beautiful program. Many launches of these brews sold out and people turned up in droves to participate. With such amazing support, many breweries were able to extend their Black is Beautiful to stores like HEB and Walmart. The Black is Beautiful movement has had a lasting impact on the industry.
Meridian Hive’s Black is Beautiful
Meridian Hive is a proud participant of the Black is Beautiful movement. As a classified winery, we are unable to produce beer on our premises, but we were eager to join the cause. The Meridian Hive Black is Beautiful bottle was our take on the rich stout beer recipe that Weathered Souls provided.
Black is Beautiful is a rich, full-bodied mead using black-currant and blueberries for a smooth and juicy finish. Our first launch of the limited release bottles was so successful that it sold out within 10 minutes. Due to this incredible response, we produced another round of bottles and sold out in less than an hour. We were so grateful that our wonderful customers showed up to support this cause!
As a company, we chose to donate the proceeds to the Austin Justice Coalition who “serves people who are historically and systematically impacted by gentrification, segregation, over-policing, a lack of educational and employment opportunities, and other institutional forms of racism in Austin.”
As we approach the year anniversary of the release of Black is Beautiful, we remind ourselves of the impact of this campaign. We were fortunate enough to form a relationship with Marcus and the team at Weathered Souls.
In March 2021, they released a collab bottle to their membership club with Jester King using the barrels that we aged our Black is Beautiful mead in. This continued effort to grow and support each other is a lasting impact of this movement in the brewing industry.
We were honored to be a part of this collaborative effort and will continue to promote the message.