HALETHORPE, MD. (WJZ) — The Guinness Open Gate Brewery in Baltimore County is now working with Black Marylanders to create new limited-edition beers that benefit social justice efforts.
The brewery began the Allyship Through Collaboration Series earlier this year, and partners with local black community members who create their own brews. been been releasing partners with local black Marylanders who are coming up with their own beers.READ MORE: There's Been An Uptick Of Depression Among College Students, What's Being Done To Help
“We’ve patterned with people who are activists or beer geeks… to make these really unique beers that kind of open up beer to maybe a new crowd,” said Hollie Stephenson, Head Brewer at the brewery.
The collaboration is also giving back to local minority communities. Every dollar made from selling the benefits Jobs Opportunities Task Force, a local nonprofit called that works eliminate barriers for low-wage workers.
“The proceeds will support our work in advancing our mission whether it’s in job training… [or] whether it’s to support the release of individuals who are incarcerated due to a costly cash bail,” said Caryn York, CEO of JOTF.
Some of the beers also have notes of flavors from Black culture like the first one in the series made by Jacquelyn Wonsey.
“What we wanted to do was to take an African-American staple dessert, sweet potato pie, and create it in beer form,” said Wonsey.READ MORE: Baltimore Man Keith Davis Jr. Whose Been Tried For Kevin Jones' Murder 4 Times Gets New Trial
Other ales in the series have featured the flavors of lemon pound cake, tangerine, hibiscus, ginger, cloves and orange peel. Each of the brews have already sold out.
“This beer is actually one that’s made by us and for us,” said York.
Upcoming flavors include a coffee German-Style Schwarzbier created by the JOTF team and a piña colada beer from Urban Oyster restaurant owner Jasmine Norton.
Collaborators hope the series will help bridge the racial divide both in the beer industry and throughout the Baltimore community.
“I think that projects like this one are what we need right now to start conversations and give people an opportunity to be heard,” said Wonsey.
Stephenson tells WJZ that beers in the series have been selling out quickly, sometimes just a few days after they are made available. The next release is scheduled to come out on May 13 and will only be available at the Guinness Open Gate Brewery, both on draft and in cans.MORE NEWS: Baltimore Mayor, Maryland Governor Meet To Discuss Strategies To Decrease Violent City Crime