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Three Med City breweries participating in “Black Is Beautiful,” international social justice effort

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ROCHESTER, Minn. (KTTC) -- Certain businesses around the globe are collaborating for a social justice initiative that involves drinking beer.

It's called the Black Is Beautiful Initiative, and three Rochester breweries, Little Thistle Brewery, Thesis Beer Project and Forager Brewery are participating.

"It's to bring awareness to the injustices people of color are facing every day," said Steven Finnie, Owner of Little Thistle Brewing.

More than 900 breweries across 17 countries have signed up.

"With everything going on with the movement in Minnesota and throughout the world, we want to do everything we can to be supportive, and have a voice and have everyone know that we do not stand for racial injustice," said Annie Henderson, Forager Brewing Owner.

The idea was created by Weathered Souls Brewing, a Black-owned business in Texas.

The Black is Beautiful Initiative is a collaborative effort amongst the brewing community and its customers, in an attempt to bring awareness to the injustices that many people of color face daily. 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."

Black is Beautiful

Each participating brewery is sent the base Black Is Beautiful beer recipe, and then they can add to it as they see fit.

"To use different shades of black malt to represent different kinds of colors of skin. People were allowed a lot of freedom to make this beer but it's going to be big with chocolate oats, coffee oats, and high alcohol," Finnie said.

100 percent of the proceeds from the drink support a local organization of the business's choice.

We are giving our funding to the NAACP locally," said Henderson.

Finnie said Little Thistle is supporting two organizations, the Rochester for Justice, leadership through basketball program and the Black Emotional and Mental Health Collective. The organization is located in Vermont and Los Angeles.

Moving forward Forager and Little Thistle with say they will continue to do their parts for social justice, and let people of all races know they are always welcome at their establishments.

"Since we opened we want anyone to feel comfortable here," Henderson said.

"It is a safe space for multiple groups and the unified thing is that people can come and drink beer but it is a place where anyone can come and feel comfortable. We kind of have an obligation to do this," Finnie said.

Forager said its Black is Beautiful Beer should be finished brewing by next week.

Little Thistle expects its brew to be done in a couple of weeks.

KaMaria Braye

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