The Manila-based Half Baked Brewing Collective is one of the 1,000+ craft breweries in 19 countries that participated in the global collaborative initiative #BlackIsBeautifulBeer. This initiative by Weathered Souls aims to raise awareness for the injustices people of color face daily and raise funds for local foundations that support police brutality reform; equality and inclusion; and/or long-term work of equality.
Weathered Souls created an open-source base recipe for an Imperial Stout complete with the design materials for any brewery around the world to interpret. The Texas-based brewery will personally be giving part of their proceeds to the Know Your Rights Campaign.
The brewers of the Half Baked Brewing Collective here in the Philippines, particularly Chris Crum, spearheaded this initiative by brewing their own Imperial Stout with a ton of vanilla beans and cacao nibs both soaked in Maker’s Mark Bourbon. The entire sales (not just profit) was donated to Boxing Out Negativity, an organization that empowers at-risk youth to realize the best within themselves in a safe and supportive environment.
For any questions about the #BlackIsBeautifulBeer initiative, you may reach Half Baked Brewing Collective through their Instagram account: www.instagram.com/halfbakedbrewing/
Half Baked Brewing Collective “Black is Beautiful”
Name: Black is Beautiful
Brewer: Half Baked Brewing Collective (Philippines)
Style: Experimental Beer (Base Stye: Imperial Stout)
This beer is being evaluated as an Experimental Beer (34C) with the Imperial Stout (20C) as the base style in the context of the 2015 Beer Style Guidelines of the Beer Judge Certification Program (BJCP). The most current version of the guidelines can be found on the BJCP website. This is considering that the bourbon was introduced in the beer through the vanilla beans and cacao nibs and not through any wood medium as with the Specialty Wood-Aged Beer (33B).
Black is Beautiful pours deep brown. A mocha-colored head is poured thick and foamy but settles down in the glass. As the head settles, a very enticing scent of vanilla can already be noted from a distance. More aromas of cacao and chocolate work hand in hand with the bourbon booze and licorice.
This beer lets its drinkers know that it is an Imperial Stout with its full body, low carbonation, and chewy and slightly syrupy mouthfeel. Interestingly, Imperial Stouts on their own are not usually syrupy. But since this was brewed with vanilla beans and cacao nibs soaked in bourbon, these may have contributed to that aspect.
The overall flavor balance favors the dark roasted malts and the special ingredients used. Prominent cacao maltiness and dark chocolate interact with the boozy bourbon flavor. Some heat akin to black peppers surfaces in the late end while alcohol and hints of purple grape tartness both add complexity to this beer. As to bitterness, it is moderately high reminiscent of dark chocolate bars with 90% cacao content. The aftertaste is puckery and very dry as impressions of cacao maltiness and black peppery heat leave lasting marks.
Very impressive. Half Baked’s interpretation of the Black is Beautiful goes big on the aromas and flavors and is by far one of the most complex and delicious Imperial Stouts released in the country this year. It is definitely a sipping beer– something ideal to drink while pondering on what this cause is all about.
Co-Founder & Beer Chronicler