Marcus Baskerville is Weathered Souls’ head brewer and cofounder. He came up with the recipe for a stout called Black is Beautiful and the idea to donate a portion of the stout’s proceeds to organizations promoting social justice and community cohesion.
Then, Weathered Souls took it a step further. The business published the recipe so that other breweries could brew Black is Beautiful, too, as long as they committed to donate a portion of the beer’s proceeds to organizations working to support inclusion and fight injustice in their local communities.
Adrienne knew early on the stout was a good fit for Walmart. She felt confident craft beer drinkers would respond to the rich, malty stout. Moreover, she understood Weathered Souls’ commitment to social justice was in line with Walmart’s values, including the retailer’s commitments to supplier diversity and racial equity.
Up to that point, Black is Beautiful was mainly sold in bars and taprooms. To bring it to the retail market, Adrienne coordinated with Weathered Souls and eight other craft breweries:
The Black is Beautiful stout can be found in roughly 300 Walmart stores around the U.S. from February through March this year (and in 55 Walmart stores year-round in Texas). Weathered Souls and the eight brewers are brewing this beer to support diversity, inclusion and social justice. Walmart will also highlight Black-owned wine and spirits brands, such as Black Girl Magic Wine by the McBride Sisters, during this time.
As part of their strategy to provide a strong assortment of discovery items and provide store of the community merchandise, the Walmart adult beverage team has been on a journey to expand their local craft beer business. Over the past two years, they have added over 200 brewers to their portfolio and are set to add another 100 breweries starting in April.
“Innovation isn’t necessarily about finding the latest odd gadget,” Adrienne said. “It’s about finding the gaps in the category, what needs have not been met. Innovation is really about trying to find a solution for the customer.”
For more information on how to support Black-owned businesses, visit Walmart.com.