A Maine brewery putting its skills towards supporting racial equity and justice in the state.
Allagash Brewing will release the new stout Black is Beautiful as part of a nationwide effort among brewers to engage with racial equity issues. Several other Maine breweries have released the beer.
Brewmaster Jason Perkins says it’s part of the company’s responsibility to support their community.
“You know we’re a small state here for sure, but we have the same issues here as we see across the country and we wanted to take this opportunity to take a stand as a company and use this as a fundraiser for a couple great causes in our community,” he says.
Perkins says Allagash is trying to supporting suppliers who are people of color. The brewery worked with new Mainer farmers through the organization Cultivating Community to source some ingredients.
“Like any farmer they need people buying their stuff to continue to grow their crops and grow their business, so it was a nice little add on to the project that was a cool part of it,” he says.
Perkins says the project has opened up doors for Allagash to possibly use more of those ingredients in future beers.
Proceeds from Black is Beautiful will be directed to Indigo Arts Alliance and Maine Inside Out, both Black-led organizations working to establish racial equity.
Maine Inside Out director Joseph Jackson says he’s thankful for the support and the money will go immediately into the community.
“For them to support us and use some of their proceeds to support us and the work that we’re doing, definitely shows the value the company has not only around community organizing but how their community is doing,” he says.
Jackson says it can be a model for other companies.
“I hope that what we learn is that when you are in a community and you’re doing business in that community you have a responsibility to give back to that community and support initiatives that are trying to lift people up,” he says.
Jackson says the proceeds will help also smooth out financial and organizing challenges brought on by the coronavirus this year.
Allagash's Black is Beautiful will be released Friday.