Memphis breweries participate in Black is Beautiful beer project, a brew that calls for change

Brewing up social justice in the Bluff City

MEMPHIS, Tenn. (WMC) - A new way to fight racial inequality will soon be on tap in Bluff City.

Several Memphis breweries are crafting a new brew that calls for change.

"It’s really about unity, it’s about bringing people together,” said Clark Ortkiese, founder of Crosstown Brewing Co.

The special stout beer coming to breweries in Memphis is part the Black is Beautiful project, started by Weathered Souls Brewing Company based in San Antonio.

On the projects website the goal is clear, “raise awareness for the injustices people of color face daily.”

As soon as the founder of Beale Street Brewing heard about the project he reached out to all of the Bluff City breweries and the response was swift.

"So they emailed back, replied back, 'Absolutely how can I help? What do I need to do. We want to do it, we want to be a part of it,” are the responses Kelvin Kolheim, founder of Beale Street Brewing received.

The project asks breweries to make a stout beer and donate 100% of the beer's proceeds to a local foundation that supports police brutality reform.

Wiseacre, Beale Street and Crosstown brewing companies are working together and all proceeds will go to the same organization.

“We chose through MICAH, they have a special task force just that handles police brutality right here in Memphis,” said Ortkiese.

All three founders agree that this is the time to take action.

“You can’t just post something you gotta do something, well we’re brewers, we brew beer and that’s the thing that we can do so that’s why this project made perfect sense to us,” said Ortkiese.

"It’s no longer okay to just say, 'We think this is wrong,’ it’s time for people to take action and do something about it,” said Kellan Bartosch, founder of Wiseacre Brewing.

The founders of Wiseacre, Beale Street and Crosstown will start brewing their stout beer on the 26th and hope to have to it ready to serve by July.

Meddlesome, Memphis Made and Ghost River are also participating in the project.

If you’d like to learn more about the project click here.

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