LANSDALE — A national beer campaign is coming to Lansdale as Round Guys and Well Crafted brewing companies join forces to produce a signature brew for a good cause.
The Black is Beautiful beer recipe was first created by Weathered Souls Brewing Co., of San Antonio, Texas, with the goal of gaining a following across the country. The initiative aimed to “bring awareness to the injustices that many people of color face daily,” and showcase how the “brewing community is an inclusive place for everyone of any color.”
According to the Black is Beautiful campaign website, participating breweries should adhere to the following guidelines:
- 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.
Scott Rudich, co-owner of Round Guys Brewing Company in Lansdale, said he found some brewers expressed their reservations online about how it could be "potentially problematic for brewery to take on a Black Lives Matter or a Black is Beautiful beer."
“I just said, ‘We’ve got to do this. We’ve got to at least come out and say this is just as important as anything else, and not be standing there wondering if people who have more racist views are gonna be upset with us as a brewery,’” he said. “That’s not who we are. Let’s do the right thing.”
Rudich added that he had a conversation with Shaykh Anwar Muhammad, president of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People’s Ambler branch, about diversity more than one year ago after attending a forum hosted by the Brewers of Pennsylvania. The organization’s Ambler branch covers communities within the North Penn, Upper Dublin and Wissahickon school districts.
Organizers first began making plans around June 5, according to Rudich, who made the announcement last month during an event recognizing Juneteenth in downtown Lansdale.
Rudich, and Well Crafted Brewing Company’s Head Brewer Rick Soloman are expected to begin making the 8.7 percent ABV Oatmeal Stout on July 10, with canned beverages available for sale later this month at the Lansdale-based breweries. Round Guys Brewing Company is at 324 W. Main St., and Well Crafted Brewing Company is at 310 Madison St.
Rudich expressed his thanks to Zuckerman Honickman, Deer Creek Malthouse and Horizon Label LLC. for donating materials.
A four-pack of Black is Beautiful beer is expected to cost $15, he said. Proceeds will benefit the NAACP’s Ambler branch. Rudich added that those interested will be able to soon donate online. Contributors could also spend $50, with $35 going directly to the NAACP.
While Rudich said he anticipates raising between $4,000 and $5,000 based on beer sales alone, he’s calling on area residents “to go above and beyond with personal donations.”
Muhammad said he’s thrilled with the partnership and the funding will be instrumental to create more programming opportunities for the organization.
“It means a whole lot of help,” Muhammad said. “It means we can do a whole lot of things that we weren’t able to do prior to this.”
Rudich said his goal for bringing the Black is Beautiful beer to Lansdale will be the start of something much bigger.
“What I’m hoping is that eventually through this process there becomes a Black-owned brewery in Lansdale,” he said.
Rudich added that his company has been in talks with the Ambler branch of the NAACP to launch an apprenticeship program.
“There’s a lot of opportunities to work in the craft beer industry, especially in Pennsylvania, and if we can start to bring this to fold and get folks interested in craft beer that maybe don’t know about it, it just provides more opportunity for new initiatives, new Black-owned businesses and a greater pride in what we started nine years ago,” Rudich said.
While this remains a nationwide initiative, Rudich said he hopes the localized effort will demonstrate how “Lansdale is a community that works together and brings people in,” as development continues to evolve.
“Everybody in Lansdale’s saying, ‘they need to put this here, they need to put that there,’” Rudich said. “Well the ‘they’ are individuals who want to invest in the culture and the community or Lansdale, and if we can show that all are welcome, there can be more than just The Black Reserve Bookstore.”
“There could be more businesses that come in and flourish and help within the community to build our diversity, and show that’s what Lansdale is, and that’s what I hope,” he continued.