Ferment, Threshold, and Breakside release Black is Beautiful Beers this Friday

Black is Beautiful header

The nationwide Black is Beautiful beer campaign supporting the social justice movement has proved just as resilient as the ongoing protests. From our overview of the campaign which has had over 30 Oregon breweries (thousands nationwide) participating, many new releases and twists on the Stout recipe have arisen from the dark. That includes three new and very different takes on Black is Beautiful beers that are coincidentally dropping this Friday, August 14th from Ferment Brewing, Threshold Brewing & Blending and Breakside Brewery.

Black is Beautiful is based on an original Imperial Stout by Weathered Souls Brewing, but each participate in the program has the option of making it their own. So far we have seen some breweries hem closely to the original recipe and others break out and do something very different. So while they all have the same name and the same can or bottle packaging with small changes, the beers can be very different.

The three new offerings this week all break out of the mold while supporting local organizations doing important work.

Threshold Brewing’s Black is Beautiful Mole Stout labels

Threshold Brewing & Blending Mole Stout

Threshold Brewing & Blending is the small one-year-old brewery in the outer Portland eastside’s Montavilla neighborhood. Threshold was among the first Oregon breweries to sign-up in participation of Black is Beautiful but their version is one of the later to be released as it drops this Friday, August 14th at their tasting room.

Brewer and co-owner Jarek Szymanski gave their BiB recipe the Mexican mole style treatment by adding guajillo peppers, cocoa, vanilla and cinnamon. A light hand with the spice additions and a little extra mellowing in the tank resulted in the type of balanced high abv stouts you’ve come to expect from Threshold.

“Addressing and dismantling racial and societal inequality at its very roots has never felt more possible than at this time. Thank you to Weathered Souls for instigating this meaningful project and providing us and our industry a real way to support change.”

The BIB mole-style imperial stout is available in 16 oz cans and on draft beginning this Friday at Threshold’s Montavilla taproom, as well as at select bottle shops in the Portland area. They’re donating all proceeds to the Urban League of Portland.

Ferment Brewing Imperial Coffee Stout

Hood River’s acclaimed new Ferment Brewing throws their hat into the Black is Beautiful ring with an Imperial Coffee Stout. This rich and complex take on BiB is loaded with caramel notes, deep roasted malt character, and a twany bright bite from a cold steep of Nossa Familia’s Mathilde’s French Roast. Cans of BiB Imperial Coffee Stout will be released at the brewery this Friday, August 14th with limited distribution.

Ferment Brewing has committed to donating 100% of the proceeds of Black is Beautiful to the Urban League of Portland to support its efforts empowering African Americans and others to achieve equality in education, employment, health, economic security and quality of life.

“In this important time in history, it is our responsibility to stand up for equality, be actively anti-racist and help to continue this movement until true change is made,” said Dan Peterson, Ferment Brewing Brewmaster. “We are grateful to be able to express our love and support for the Black Lives Matter cause through this beer.

Ferment Brewing Co.’s BiB Imperial Coffee Stout is available in 16oz cans from the brewery on Hood River’s waterfront, or in limited distribution in the Hood River and Portland areas at local bottle shops.

Breakside Brewery v1 & v2 Piloncillo and Barrel-Aged Blends

Breakside stepped up to the plate this year with two different versions of Black is Beautiful beers, one draft-only and the next being released in cans this Friday August 14th. The former is an Export-style Stout brewed with piloncillo and available now at Breakside Milwaukie

Both Breakside BiB beers will raise funds for The Okra Project, which is a collective that seeks to address the global crisis faced by Black Trans people by bringing home cooked, healthy, and culturally specific meals and resources to Black Trans People.

Breakside BiB Version 1 is an effort spearheaded by production brewer Terence Hofstad. With his take on Black is Beautiful he opted to take a familiar route into an Export-style Stout, but spiced things up with the latin-inspired flavors of the Mexican brown sugar piloncillo. This raw and unrefined product was made from purple sugarcane that has notes of molasses, smoke, and rum. You can find that draft-only 7% abv and 42 IBU V1 release on tap at Breakside Milwaukie and NE Dekum pubs right now.

Version 2 of Breakside’s Black is Beautiful is a 10% ABV and 45 IBU beast that showcases a trifecta of barrel-aged dark ales in various spirit barrels. From the dark corners of the Milwaukie production facilities barrel rooms, Breakside barrel master Dan Hynes has blended beers from 16 different casks made up of bourbon, rum and brandy barrel aged beers.

The various components:

  • 63% 18-month Russian imperial stout in Heaven Hill Bourbon barrels
  • 19% 17-month barleywine in House Spirits Rum barrels
  • 6% 17-month barleywine in 2nd use Clear Creek Apple Brandy barrels
  • 6% 16-month old ale in Heaven Hill Bourbon barrels
  • 6% 7-month imperial schwarzbier in 2nd use California brandy barrels

On the nose, Version 2 is very Bourbon and stout forward, with the brandy and rum components bringing out rich oakey barrel flavors, creamy chocolate, red grape and nougat. The beer is closer in flavor profile to a strong and smooth chocolate Porter with the finer characters of a sipping spirit best enjoyed with a book by a fire or a Netflix and chill session.

16oz cans of Breakside’s V2 Black is Beautiful beer will be released this Friday August 14th from the taprooms.

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