‘Black is Beautiful’: San Antonio brewery spreads message of equality with worldwide craft beer campaign

Weathered Souls co-owner Marcus Baskerville starts worldwide campaign with ‘Black is Beautiful’ stout beer

Weathered Souls Brewery co-owner Marcus Baskerville launched a campaign to highlight injustices and inequality. Hundreds of breweries from across the country and around the world have signed on to support the campaign.

SAN ANTONIO – Weathered Souls Brewery co-founder and owner Marcus Baskerville knows what it's like to be racially profiled.

“I’ve had experiences where I've been riding through a neighborhood and been pulled over because I don't look like I belong there,” said Baskerville.

In a recent interview with KSAT, he recalled an experience when he was younger and racially profiled after he helped someone who had been stabbed at a party by taking him to a hospital.

WATCH: Extended interview and bonus footage with Baskerville made specifically for the KSAT-TV streaming app. Download it in the app store on your Apple TV, Roku, Amazon Fire Stick or smart TV.

“We were basically treated as suspects of a crime, taken to the police department, held in a cell, handcuffed,” said Baskerville. “And it’s like why? We legitimately saved this man’s life. It’s real. People that don’t have to experience that every day, they’ll never understand.”

(Image provided by Marcus Baskerville.)

Baskerville is not surprised George Floyd's killing has sparked a national movement. He believes this type of change is long overdue.

“People are fed up. We need change. We expect equality. If it's not given to you, we do come from a country where we have taken everything that we have,” said Baskerville.

It’s this cause that prompted Baskerville to think about how he could share his voice. He’s one in a very small group of black owners in the brewery industry so he came up with the Black is Beautiful campaign.

(Image provided by Marcus Baskerville.)

“The whole Black is a Beautiful platform is to highlight the injustices and inequalities of people of color and to basically call upon the brewing industry, which has been great at supporting other causes and contributions,” said Baskerville.

Baskerville originally created the stout beer for one of the brewery's weekly releases, but spoke to the co-founder of an Austin brewery and felt the platform could have a larger reach.

"I was trying to figure out a way as a black business owner how I can put my best foot forward and assist with the message and the mission of equality,” said Baskerville.

Hundreds of breweries, some from as far away as Japan, the Netherlands and Brazil, have signed on to brew Black is Beautiful and spread Baskerville’s message. The feedback from the San Antonio community has been overwhelmingly positive.

“I think San Antonio has actually been really great as far as the acceptance of people of color dealing with certain backgrounds and certain professional positions,” said Baskerville.

Weathered Souls Brewery, which is located on the near North Side on Embassy Oaks, will begin selling Black is Beautiful in July.

Purchases will support Know Your Rights Camp, which was launched by former NFL player Colin Kaepernick.

The other breweries participating in the campaign agreed to support an organization working toward equality or police reform.

Baskerville takes pride in being a black business owner, but said there are still hurdles people of color have to overcome to be treated equally and without prejudice.

“It is a serious issue and it’s not a political issue at this point. It’s more of a humanity issue,” said Baskerville.

On demand, in-depth perspective. It’s the goal of a new digital KSAT show we’re launching this week. KSAT Explains will debut with an episode focused on the unrest we’ve seen across the country, a look at how protests have played out in our city and an examination of what it means to be Black in San Antonio.

The weekly, in-depth show will work to extensively and exhaustively dive into one topic per episode.

About the Authors:

RJ Marquez is co-host of KSAT News Now and reports for Good Morning San Antonio. He's been at KSAT since 2010 and covered a variety of stories and events across the San Antonio area. He also covers the Spurs for on-air and digital platforms, including his Spurs newsletter. RJ has reported stories for KSAT Explains.

Valerie Gomez is lead video editor and graphic artist for KSAT Explains. She began her career in 2014 and has been with KSAT since 2017. She helped create KSAT’s first digital-only newscast in 2018, and her work on KSAT Explains and various specials have earned her a Gracie Award from the Alliance for Women in Media and multiple Emmy nominations.