About a year after the “Black Is Beautiful” project kicked off, I’ve finally been able to update with a new beer, one more by a local Black-owned brewery. “Black Is Beautiful” is a collaboration of 1,200 brewers in 50 states and several countries, organized by Black-owned Weathered Souls Brewing of Texas, to raise awareness of and funds to support programs in the Black community.
This is the 17th iteration of the “Black is Beautiful” project I’ve had. You can search the name to fund my previous reviews, until I finally get around to updating my reviews index.
This rendition is by Funkytown Brewery, one of a new batch of Black-owned startup brewers in town. Funkytown is currently making beer at Chicago’s Pilot Project Brewing.
Their Black is Beautiful is a milder version of the imperial stout recipe, at “only” 7.1% abv, made with blueberries and Madagascar vanilla.
Proceeds for this beer go toward The Gray Matter Experience, which helps high school students become entrepreneurs in the Chicago area and across the country.
This pours into a dark beer, of course, under a thick tan head, but with big bubbles to help bring it down swiftly. The main nose I have is of the vanilla, which gives the impression of a barrel aged beer, but minus the alcohol fumes. There’s also some chocolate impressions from the roasted malt.
The taste returns to its stout roots as it were, with a nice chocolate roast malt dominating the palate. The vanilla slips in on the side. These flavors make it a little hard to pick out the blueberry. Maybe it’s there mostly as a bit of fruit tartness. The fruit and vanilla turn out to be understated, making this stray away from pastry stout territory and more of a bright, cocoa and vanilla stout.