Balcones makes ‘Black is Beautiful’ beer to brew change

Published: Sep. 10, 2020 at 3:52 AM CDT|Updated: Sep. 10, 2020 at 10:06 AM CDT
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WACO, Texas (KWTX) - An internationally revered whiskey maker in Waco is now brewing beer, and its new release is trying to send a ‘stout’ message about diversity and equality..

“It’s chewy, a lot of chocolate nodes, some marshmallow, it’s sweet, it’s a big beer for sure," said Eric Kukla, Director of Retail Operations for Balcones Distilling.

A big beer with an ever bigger purpose, he says.

“I think in these times if you have a platform and you have the ability to promote change--you have to take it," said Kukla.

Balcones Distillery is known worldwide for its award-winning whiskey, but in February is started brewing beer, too.

It’s latest release “Black is Beautiful” is a hot topic that’s becoming a hot commodity.

“I think we’ve already sold out of about half the batch," said Kukla. "We made about 53 gallons.”

On Friday, Balcones started selling the single barrel-aged imperial stout (9% ABV), joining hundreds of other breweries around the globe which are using dark beer to brew deep change.

“Within the brewing community there is a not a great amount of diversity, so I think there really is that desire for brewers, ya know," said Kukla.

All of the proceeds will go to the Cen-Tex African American Chamber of Commerce.

“Our Board, President and team were very excited to hear the news that the distillery was offering a product that promotes a message of equity and had chosen to donate proceeds from the sales to CTAACC,” said Rachel E. Pate, Vice President of Economic Development. “Balcones' generous donation will be invested in our Cen-Tex Minority Business Equity fund to support other local, small businesses of color in receiving access to capital for business relief grants and micro-loans. We are continuing to fundraise toward our goal of $100,000 to assist businesses. The equity fund application launch is planned for early fall.”

Kukla says, by selling the beer, they’re already seeing direct benefits including new customers.

“It is people that are A: not only interested in the beer, but the cause behind the beer," he said. “It’s great to see the community come out.”

Kukla anticipates they’ll sell out of the only batch by the end of the week, however, they may make it an annual release.

It’s $13 for a 32oz growler.

Balcones is open for retail sales from 12-8pm Mon-Sat.

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