San Antonio brewery faces social media backlash for not disclosing proceeds for ‘Black is Beautiful’ campaign

Ricardo Garcia of Back Unturned Brewing Co. now says he’ll soon disclose where the proceeds were sent

Back Unturned is San Antonio's newest brewpub

SAN ANTONIO – A San Antonio brewery received backlash on social media after the owner of Back Unturned Brewing Co. was accused of not disclosing where proceeds from a social justice initiative were sent.

Last Summer, Marcus Baskerville, the co-founder and head brewer of another San Antonio-based beer maker, Weathered Souls Brewing Company, started the Black is Beautiful Campaign. It’s a collaborative effort to raise awareness for the injustices people of color face and raise funds for police brutality reform.

Baskerville, who is Black, created a stout beer recipe for Black is Beautiful and gave permission to other breweries to use the recipe to brew and sell the beer, with their own name and packaging.

Baskerville and Weathered Souls asked participating breweries to donate 100% of the proceeds to local organizations that support police brutality reform and equality and inclusion.

Hundreds of breweries from across the country and around the world joined the initiative, including Back Unturned. The donation pledge for Black is Beautiful is posted online, but it does not require a legal contract to participate.

(Image provided by Marcus Baskerville.)

On Thursday, Baskerville posted a text message exchange on his personal Facebook between he and Ricardo Garcia, the owner of Back Unturned.

In the text message exchange, Baskerville says he asked Garcia to clarify and show proof of where proceeds from Black is Beautiful were going. He also asked where a percentage of the sales from the batch made by Back Unturned was sent.

Garcia responded by saying he was working with a “black business owner” and that he did not “feel the need to disclose percentages or anything of that sort.”

That prompted a strong response in the local brewery community on social media, with many users criticizing Back Unturned for what they described as not acting in good faith.

Many users also said they were blocked on social media platforms after they publicly called out Back Unturned.

KSAT contacted Back Unturned via direct message on Facebook for a comment.

Garcia messaged KSAT, saying he is in contact with Baskerville to resolve the situation.

He added that they are going to share a full disclosure post on social media sometime on Friday.

An individual with the handle @coachjt247 said on Instagram he received proceeds from Garcia. He posted the following video on Friday.

A spokesperson for Weathered Souls said they do not plan to take any legal action and will work with Back Unturned to make sure the money goes to the proper cause and initiatives.

Baskerville also posted a statement on Facebook on Friday that read, in part:

“People came out in full force to support the initiative and I absolutely love that, but on the other hand we do not want to crucify someone or bring a negative light to Black is Beautiful. Because of that, we have chose to work directly with the brewery involved to help them right their wrong and make sure that the donation amount promised will be given to a charity or organization that fits within the initiatives’ goals and mission.”

See more about Weathered Souls brewery in the video below.

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.

About the Author:

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.