Black is Beautiful Imperial Stout

The death of George Floyd, at the end of May, that sparked continued anti-racism protests all over the world hit a nerve with us; we at Ghostfish wanted to do something. Some team members are protesting, others are volunteering for various organizations; but what could we do as a team? Brew beer, that’s what! 

Head Brewer, Reid Ackerman brought a brewery initiative, Black is Beautiful, to our attention. What started as a single brew by Weathered Souls Brewing Co., based in San Antonio, Texas, spread to a worldwide brewery collaboration. With a Stout recipe as its base, over 1,170 breweries in 50 US states and 22 countries developed their own unique versions of Black is Beautiful. 

At the root of the collaboration is fundraising for and awareness of systemic injustices that people of color face daily. Here at Ghostfish, Reid chose Social Justice Fund Northwest to be the beneficiary of our donation. 

Social Justice Fund Northwest supports organizations that use community organizing to reach their goals. This develops leadership from within the communities most affected by social inequities, resulting in long-term societal transformation. For more information, visit their website.

About Ghostfish Brewery’s Black is Beautiful Imperial Stout

With a deep dark brown color and velvety chocolate-colored head, Ghostfish Brewery’s Black is Beautiful Imperial Stout is rich and balanced with notes of chocolate and raisin accented with harmonious complexities of caramel, toasty malts, and coffee. It’s full-bodied and warming with a dry finish and lingering notes of raisin and chocolate. 

Grain bill: Pale millet, pale buckwheat, caramel millet, chocolate roasted millet, light crystal millet, medium roasted millet, dark roasted millet, flaked *Purity Protocol gluten free oats.

Hops: Mt. Hood, Columbus

Q&A with Ghostfish Brewing Company’s Head Brewer Reid Ackerman

Q: Tell me about the style of beer. 
A: Imperial Stouts are traditionally an English-style beer, with roots traced to English Porters in the 1700s. The modern craft beer era revived Imperial Stouts in England and it was popularized here in the states.

Q: Any special ingredients used in this beer? 
A: There’s a wider spectrum of malt roasts and flavors than what we typically use. We have not used much caramel malts, so it’s great to see the interplay of these roast styles – pale, light crystal, caramel, chocolate, medium, and dark roasts. We also sparingly use flaked oats as they are so important to achieve the mouthfeel desired in a gluten free stout. 

Q: What do you hope customers take away from drinking this particular beer? 
A: I hope folks will consider the importance and urgency behind this initiative. Why it is so important and what/who is necessitating it. As a white person, I ask myself what are the ways I perpetuate inequality, especially in small ways. I’m asking myself what I can do to help people of color gain an equal footing not only in the brewing community but overall society. Regardless of size; incremental or sweeping, efforts towards answering these questions can be progressed through collective action, which I invite people to consider. Let’s not judge others; let’s support others. 

*Purity Protocol: set of stringent standards for oats that minimizes the chance of cross-contact from gluten-containing grains like wheat, barley, rye, and triticale.

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