At Dewey Beer Co., something is brewing for the greater good.
In collaboration with the Southern Delaware Alliance for Racial Justice (SDARJ), the brewery will release its new Black is Beautiful M&M stout later this summer and donate 100 percent of the profits to SDARJ.
The creation of Black is Beautiful, with hints of marshmallow and chocolate, is in response to the Black Lives Matter protests sweeping the country, offering a show of solidarity and demonstrating the brewery’s commitment to the cause, says Brandon Smith, co-founder of Dewey Beer Co.
“We couldn’t [just] be someone [who] appears to do the right thing—we needed to break the silence and hope that others would join our efforts,” Smith says. “[When] we saw a social media post from several of our brewery friends from around the country, posting about this brand-new, spontaneous open-ended Black is Beautiful collaboration started by Weathered Souls Brewing Co. in San Antonio (Texas), we knew that would be our best way to first get involved.”
Since 2015, SDARJ has strived to educate communities about the impact of racial injustice within and beyond state lines. With this collaboration providing a platform for the movement, SDARJ and Dewey Beer Co. hope that this and other efforts will not only bring awareness to the cause itself, but also initiate change within the community and the system and inspiring other businesses to contribute.
“Since the murder of George Floyd, we have been gratified to see so many businesses, organizations and individuals step up and ask what they can do [and] how can they help end racial injustice,” says Don Peterson, chair of the outreach committee for SDARJ. “So many people are coming to realize that racism is an issue that must be addressed by everyone—not just people of color.”
Smith, along with Dewey Beer Co. co-founders Mike Reily and Scot Kaufman, met with SDARJ’s board of directors and members of its Enough is Enough initiative. Together through the new beer they aim to raise awareness about the movement, the daily injustices faced by Black Americans and the need for police reform. But they took it one step further from a new stout, by making the changes needed for further support inside the business, as well as provide reflection onto themselves as to how they can improve in response to the changing times in preparation for the future.
“We always thought we were doing the right thing, as people and as a business,” Smith says. “[But] change starts with us as individuals and [as] a business. We hope that taking an active step forward that will make it easier for others to say enough is enough and demand racial equality.”
The partnership is part of a larger movement to educate people about racial inequity, Peterson says.
“For 400 years there has been a systemic intentional movement to marginalize people of color in our society,” Peterson says. “The work before all of us is to first recognize where that racism exists and then begin to dismantle it. We hope this is just one more step toward raising awareness and enlisting the support of everyone to find ways that they individually and collectively can help end racism.”