The Black Lives Matter movement has spread from protests across the country to the back room of a Colorado Springs brewery.
That’s where brewers at Cerberus are making a new pastry stout, called “Black is Beautiful” that will raise money for a local organization leading the Black Lives Matter fight. The dark beer will also send a message about the “injustices people of color face daily,” according to the brewery’s Facebook page.
The idea comes from Marcus Baskerville, the founder and head brewer of Weathered Souls Brewing Co. in San Antonio. Cerberus and Metric Brewing will both tap the beer as part of a collaborative initiative with craft breweries across the country.
“It is our mission to bridge the gap that has been around for ages and provide a platform to show that the brewing community is an inclusive place for everyone of any color,” Baskerville wrote on Facebook. “We are asking for all breweries and brewers far and wide to raise a glass with us in unison and participate in this collaboration.”
Breweries across the nation and world — about 1,500 in total — answered the call. Weathered Soul provided their base recipe for a stout and invited brewers to get creative.
As soon as Josh Adamski, a brewer and co-owner at Cerberus, heard about the "Black is Beautiful" beer, he was in.
"We couldn't not do something," he said.
This isn't a first for Cerberus. In 2018, it brewed the Resilience IPA in collaboration with Sierra Nevada Brewing Company to raise money for the Camp fire that hit northern California. Earlier this year, Cerberus teamed up with Metric to make a beer benefiting their employees affected by the coronavirus.
As George Floyd protests continued around the country, Carrie Simison, Cerberus' brand ambassador, said the brewery wanted to take a stand.
“As a brewery, you don’t necessarily think there's' something you can do at first,” Carrie Simison, Cerberus' brand ambassador, said. “At the end of the day, we can do something and get (the message) in front of a lot of people.”
One goal of the beer is to raise funds for police brutality reform and legal defense for those who have been wronged, Baskerville wrote. Weathered Soul’s beer will raise money for the Know Your Rights Campaign.
But it’s about more than money.
“The real issue is bringing in the education and information so that change can be brought to a system that has fractured so many families and has been broken for decades,” Baskerville said. “This platform and collaboration is about understanding, inclusion and supporting people of color. We ask that you please stand with us to create something that has never been seen before and show the world the brewing community is one of a kind.”
Cerberus will release its “Black is Beautiful” beer, made with chocolate and peanut butter notes, on July 3.
When it's tapped, Simison hopes the beer gets people, who "might not think they're activists," thinking about the Black Lives Matter movement.
"When someone comes in and asks about the beer, it gives our staff a way to start a conversation," she said.