A Mesa brewery is one of the more than 700 breweries taking part in the Black Is Beautiful Initiative.
The Beer Research Institute at 1641 S. Stapley Drive is participating in the initiative that was started by Weathered Souls Brewing in Texas.
The Black Is Beautiful Initiative is a nationwide effort where breweries donate 100 percent of a special, stout-based beer’s proceeds to local foundations that support police reform and legal defenses for those who have been wronged.
“We’re involved in this project because it’s the right thing to do,” said Matt Trethewey, B.R.I. owner and co-founder. “We need to band together as humans and denounce racism in all its forms.”
“It’s simple for us, really: We want everyone to be treated equally, and right now, we just don’t live in that world. If we can create some awareness about a message of inclusion, equality and love, then I feel good about doing that,” Trethewey added.
B.R.I. will begin selling their beer on-draft and in cans to-go on July 17.
They will donate proceeds to the Arizona Chapter of the ACLU, a nonprofit organization that fights to defend individual rights in Arizona through litigation, legislation, and public education.
“I can’t think of a better cause to make a donation to than an organization that supports and defends the rights we have as humans that are outlined in the U.S. Constitution,” Trethewey said.
The Black Is Beautiful Initiative offers an Imperial Stout recipe created by Weathered Souls Brewing Company, but participating brewers can add their own twist to the beer.
The other Arizona breweries taking part in the Black Is Beautiful Initiative, so far, include Dark Sky Brewing Co. and Wanderlust Brewing Company in Flagstaff, Sedona Beer Company in Sedona, Singin’ River Brewing Co. in Florence and Huss Brewing Company in Tempe.
B.R.I. brewed its first batch of beer in 2003. “It wasn’t great, but we drank it and it sparked a passion that eventually morphed into The B.R.I.,” the company says on its website.
It also boasts of being “a gathering place for craft beer drinkers in and around Mesa” and being “the place you want to be with your family, your friends and a pint of your favorite beer.”
In addition to tap beers that are primarily Hop Forward IPAs and Belgian beers, B.R.I. offers assorted harder beverages. It also sells beer in cans with four-pack options to-go as well as beer flights.
The made-from-scratch menu, which also offers to-go items, includes offerings such as sriracha-wrapped bacon, putine, mac ‘n cheese and several different sandwiches. It also includes a bacon bread pudding, a house-made bread pudding layered with vanilla beans and candied bacon.
B.R.I. has become so popular with beer lovers that the brewery has a line of merchandise that it said “is getting stronger and stronger.”
“We got shirts, baseball tees, flannels, brew shirts, hats, skateboards, pins, glassware, coffee mugs, sun glasses and koozies,” it brags on its Facebook page.
B.R.I. is following social distancing and requiring customers to wear masks inside the establishment.