By Bobby Tanzilo Senior Editor/Writer Published Jun 10, 2020 at 3:15 PM

Much like the All Together IPA worldwide collaboration to help raise money for service industry workers during the coronavirus shutdown, a new Black is Beautiful stout is being made by nearly 450 brewers worldwide to benefit "local foundations that support police brutality reform and legal defenses for those who have been wronged."

Created by Marcus Baskerville of Weathered Souls, a black-owned craft brewery in San Antonio, Texas, a number of Milwaukee-area breweries have already signed on to make and sell the beer, including 1840 Brewing, 3 Sheeps, Broken Bat, Company Brewing, The Fermentorium, Lakefront, Racine Brewing, Tank 8, Third Space and Vennture.

The project was launched on Monday, June 8.

Since then, breweries in more than 43 states and 11 countries have signed on, as have brewers in  places as far-flung as Japan, Rwanda, Brazil and the Netherlands.

Weathered Souls is sharing the recipe and label art and asking participating brewers to:

  • Donate 100 percent of the beer's proceeds to local foundations that support police brutality reform and legal defenses for 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

"Weathered Souls will personally be giving part of our proceeds to the Know Your Rights Campaign," writes Baskerville, founder and head brewer at Weathered Souls, on the project website. "As much as we want this to be about raising money, the real issue is bringing education and information, which will bring forth change to a system that has fractured so many families and has been broken for decades.

"This platform and collaboration is about understanding and supporting people of color and inclusion."

The recipe, writes Baskerville, is meant to, "highlight the different hues and shades of black," and uses Cascade hops along with a grain bill that includes two-row malt, flaked oats, dark chocolate malt and black malt, as well as two kinds of caramel malt.

That sounds rich and creamy and, yes, beautiful.

Also, writes, Baskerville, it's "designed to be a moderately high ABV." About 10 percent, to be more specific.

"Brewing Black Is Beautiful Stout allows us to use our voice to continue the conversation about racial inequality and police brutality," says 1840 Brewing's Kyle Vetter.

"It also allows us to invest proceeds into our community to help uplift those affected by these systemic issues. We are in the midst of the most important civil rights movement of our time, and we want to do whatever we can to stand in solidarity and support change."

1840 will tinker the recipe slightly, says Vetter, who is donating the proceeds to Teens Grow Greens.

"We will be flavoring the stout in some way. Weathered Souls encouraged the participating breweries to add their own twist to the recipe. We will likely use cacao nibs and a blend of nuts, although we have not finalized that decision. We will be brewing it on Wednesday of next week with a release date scheduled for the third weekend in July."

Nothing tastes better than beer for a good cause.

Bobby Tanzilo Senior Editor/Writer

Born in Brooklyn, N.Y., where he lived until he was 17, Bobby received his BA-Mass Communications from UWM in 1989 and has lived in Walker's Point, Bay View, Enderis Park, South Milwaukee and on the East Side.

He has published three non-fiction books in Italy – including one about an event in Milwaukee history, which was published in the U.S. in autumn 2010. Four more books, all about Milwaukee, have been published by The History Press.

With his most recent band, The Yell Leaders, Bobby released four LPs and had a songs featured in episodes of TV's "Party of Five" and "Dawson's Creek," and films in Japan, South America and the U.S. The Yell Leaders were named the best unsigned band in their region by VH-1 as part of its Rock Across America 1998 Tour. Most recently, the band contributed tracks to a UK vinyl/CD tribute to the Redskins and collaborated on a track with Italian novelist Enrico Remmert.

He's produced three installments of the "OMCD" series of local music compilations for OnMilwaukee.com and in 2007 produced a CD of Italian music and poetry.

In 2005, he was awarded the City of Asti's (Italy) Journalism Prize for his work focusing on that area.

He can be heard weekly on 88Nine Radio Milwaukee talking about his "Urban Spelunking" series of stories.