If there’s one thing you probably know about Voodoo Brewery, it’s that we’re not the type of craft beer franchise that is afraid to stand up for what’s right. We’re all about justice in all its beautiful forms, and we do what we can to spread good vibes in our brewery franchise locations, as well as throughout the community of craft beer drinkers, with our mind-blowingly delicious brews and a laid-back vibe that welcomes people from all walks of life with open arms. In fact, if there’s one thing we love more than beer, it’s the amazing people who come into our brewpubs from far and wide to share it with us!
So when we heard about the Black Is Beautiful initiative to help end racial injustice once and for all through a shared love of people and great beer, you’d better believe we wanted in. Our craft beer franchise is but one component of an entire network of beer retailers raising awareness about the injustices people of color face every day through the shared love language of beer.
The Black is Beautiful initiative is a collaborative effort amongst the brewing community and its customers, with a mission to bridge the gap that’s been around for ages and provide a platform to show that the brewing community is an inclusive place for everyone of any color. We’re proud to be part of this initiative and are committed to doing our part to end systemic racism once and for all by participating in this collaboration.
Brewed by Weathered Souls Brewing Company, an independent San Antonio, Texas-based craft brewery, Black Is Beautiful is a stout recipe created by African-American head brewer and brewery co-owner Marcus Baskerville. Brewers who participated in the initiative, including Voodoo Brewery’s Master Brewer Curt Rachocki, were invited to place their own spin on the Black Is Beautiful stout base, creating a unique product that featured each brewery’s personal flair.
“With the current tensions that are rising, we thought that it was of grave importance to start the Black Is Beautiful initiative,” states Baskerville in an open letter to craft beer enthusiasts on the Black Is Beautiful website. “We took a stout recipe and decided to call on our peers in the brewing industry to collaborate in unison for equality and inclusion amongst people of color.”
Our craft beer franchise, along with other participating brewers across America, donated 100 percent of the proceeds from the sale of Black Is Beautiful beer to local foundations of their choice that support police brutality reform and legal defenses for those who have been wronged by the system. Voodoo Brewery donated the proceeds from our sales of Black Is Beautiful to ACLU Pennsylvania and the Black Business Relief Fund of Pittsburgh, which was started by Cocoapreneur to alleviate the financial burden for Black-owned Pittsburgh businesses that sustained damage in the wake of the George Floyd protests.
“America unfortunately has a history of marginalizing people who aren’t white and so obviously there’s a great awakening going on right now,” stated Andy Hoover, ACLU Pennsylvania’s Director of Communications, adding, “People are challenging systemic racism and so the fact that brewery recognized that we are doing that work and that we’re doing it effectively, we really appreciate that,”
Apart from wanting to help the brewing community take a stand for social justice, our craft beer franchise wanted to collaborate with Black Is Beautiful as a way to help educate fellow brewery fans and beer enthusiasts about systemic racism and learn more about what they can do to show their support.
“Right now I know in the brewing industry in particular, it’s not particularly a diverse group, and I think it’s a great starting point to educate and increase awareness,” Voodoo Brewery CEO Matteo Rachocki told reporter Brianna Andrews in a TV interview with Erie News Now. “It’s super important to us to be involved in things like this- it’s part of what giving back as a business owner is.”
Voodoo Brewery was one of 1,037 breweries across all 50 U.S. states and in 20 countries that participated in the Black Is Beautiful initiative. We’re happy to say that Black Is Beautiful beer was a huge hit and is now completely sold out. We’re proud to have participated in this amazing project and hope that the contributions we were able to make thanks to our kickass fans can help make a difference in the fight against racial injustice and police brutality.
We always say that one of the best things about our craft beer franchise is having the chance to give back to the community, and we’re stoked that we were able to do it through our first love- BEER. With the support of our Franchise Owners, our fans, and the communities we’re lucky enough to be part of, Voodoo Brewery will always be on the lookout for fun new ways to make a difference in our corner of the world.