SHAWNEE, Kan. — Breweries around the country are uniting and raising their glasses for change.
Courtney Servaes, owner of Servaes Brewing Company, is one of 10 brewery owners in the metro serving Black is Beautiful, a stout beer.
“It’s really about celebrating diversity,” Servaes said.
More than 1,000 breweries, in all 50 states and at least 20 countries, are making the beer to bring awareness to the inequality Black people face in the United States daily.
“White people are not dying in masses from police brutality right now,” Servaes said. “Black people are.”
The recipe for the beer originated from a brewer in San Antonio, Texas. Participating breweries can make their own variations, but they’re asked to use the Black is Beautiful logo. The proceeds support local groups fighting for equality, police reform and legal defenses.
Breweries also have the option to brew or sell their own beer for the cause, like KC Bier Company owner Steve Holle is doing. His brewery selling a farmhouse ale, called Der Bauer, to support the initiative.
“This is something we do a lot, our industry does,” said Holle, who also raised funds for the wildfires in California a few years back.
Before Holle got into the brewing industry, he worked in commercial real estate where he said he saw a lot of blatant racism toward minorities.
“I think that the African American community has been saddled with a lot of disadvantages and injustices due to racism and prejudice over the years,” he said.
A beer may not change the world, but Servaes and Holle said Black is Beautiful is about inclusion, understanding and supporting people of color.
“We need to treat people equally, be supportive of all groups and not let our internal prejudices that we grew up with or attitudes dictate how we treat other people,” Holle said.
Servaes will have Black is Beautiful available on tap and in cans next week. Der Bauer is already available at KC Bier Company.
Metro breweries participating in the Black is Beautiful initiative include:
- Lost Evenings Brewing Co. (Lenexa)
- Wind Shift Brewing (Blue Springs)
- East Forty Brewing (Blue Springs)
- Fields & Ivy Brewery (Lawrence)
- Servaes Brewing Co. (Shawnee)
- Red Crow Brewing Co. (Olathe)
- Transport Brewery (Shawnee)
- Crane Brewing (Raytown)
- BKS Artisan Ales (KCMO)
- KC Bier Co. (KCMO)
For a list of locations outside the metro or information on how to make and sell the beer, visit this site.