Bell’s partners with racial justice initiative

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Black is Beautiful beer label Courtesy Bell's Brewery

Bell’s Brewery announced it joined the Black is Beautiful initiative, an effort to help bring awareness to the injustices people of color face daily.

The Black is Beautiful initiative originated with Marcus Baskerville, founder and head brewer at Weathered Souls Brewing based in San Antonio, Texas. Originally planned as a Weathered Souls-only release, Baskerville was encouraged to expand his reach and make the recipe and label artwork available to all.

“We all have some work to do, Bell’s included, and we are committed to that,” said Larry Bell, president and founder of Bell’s Brewery.” It starts on an individual level. We all have a responsibility to do what we can to continue this conversation and help drive real change.”

There are currently more than 700 breweries from across the globe committed to the initiative.

Bell’s version of the Weathered Souls Imperial Stout recipe will be released in 6-pack bottles exclusively at Bell’s General Store in downtown Kalamazoo and Upper Hand Brewery Taproom in August.

Upper Hand Brewery is a division of Bell’s Brewery located in Escanaba.

“Our mission is 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 are asking for all breweries and brewers far and wide to raise a glass with us in unison and participate in this collaboration,” a statement on the Black is Beautiful website reads.

Bell also will make donations to two local Black-led organizations: the Kalamazoo NAACP and Face Off Theatre.

This collaboration brew is not part of Bell’s Celebration Series. That series, which empowers different groups within the company that makes Bell’s what it is, will continue later this year with another beer designed and brewed by Bell’s employees.

The next release, which will come from and celebrate Bell’s Black and African American employees, will be released in the fall.

Previous brews have celebrated International Women’s Collaboration Brew Day, the LGBTQ+ community and veterans.

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