Weathered Souls’ co-founder and head brewer Marcus Baskerville is the only Black brewer in Texas, a state that is home to upward of 380 brewers, he told FOX Business.
At the beginning of 2020, he created the Black is Beautiful initiative aimed at raising awareness of the injustices that many people of color face each and every day. As part of this initiative, the brewery donates a portion of the proceeds of its Black is Beautiful stout to local foundations that support social justice
“Weathered Souls not only was able to do something to drive the conversation but also backed it up with a commitment to their community,” Walmart craft beer merchant Adrienne Freeman said.
With help from one of the nation's largest retailers, Baskerville said that his small-scale brewery will now be able to "amplify" its message to a "wider market" that it otherwise wouldn't have been able to reach.
"It is an amazing opportunity to get 'Black is Beautiful' out to storefronts across the nation," he said. "You look at just what type of small brewery we are ... we didn't have distribution means to pursue outside of our local market."
The Black is Beautiful stout will be distributed to roughly 300 Walmart stores nationwide through March this year. It will also be available year-round in Texas-based stores, Walmart said.
However, even before teaming up with Walmart, the brewery began to package the recipe so other breweries could brew it as well. The only stipulation was that they had to "donate a portion of the beer’s profits to organizations working to support diversity and fight injustice in their local communities," Walmart said.
To date, Weathered Souls already has nearly 1,200 breweries worldwide participating in this initiative, Baskerville said.
He said it's an "anomaly" to be a Black man in the "caucasian-driven brewing industry." He noted there are fewer than 70 Black-owned breweries across the nation.
Knowing this, he said it's even more important to "have that voice of diversity, that voice of inclusion and that voice of equality."
Baskerville opened Weathered Souls in 2016 and has been brewing various drinks ever since, including the Hardwood Classic, a pilsner whose name is a nod to basketball, and a hazy IPA called Who's Got the Juice Now?