Yazoo Releases New Beer to Benefit The MJF for Brewing & Distilling

On Friday, May 5, Yazoo Brewing is releasing a vintage beer to benefit The Michael James Jackson Foundation for Brewing & Distilling (The MJF) and its efforts to increase diversity within the craft beer industry.

The beer, called Barrel-aged Black is Beautiful, is an imperial stout that builds upon Yazoo’s participation in the 2020 nationwide Black is Beautiful collaborative campaign started by Weathered Souls Brewing in the aftermath of the murder of George Floyd. That initiative was designed to raise awareness of the injustices that people of color face daily in the United States and raise funds that support programs that increase social justice, diversity, and equity.

Yazoo set aside some of the original Black is Beautiful imperial stout it produced in 2020, aging it in Tennessee whiskey barrels for a few years until they felt it was ready to package. They then blended it with a barleywine that had aged in Kentucky bourbon barrels. The resulting blend, Barrel-aged Black is Beautiful, is a 9.5% ABV strong dark ale containing notes of coffee, caramel, and molasses. Proceeds from the beer will go to The MJF.

“We never viewed our participation in the original Black is Beautiful campaign as ‘one and done’, but rather a way to help spark ongoing support, which is needed to have the type of change we’re hoping to see especially within the beer industry,” explained Linus Hall, co-owner of Yazoo Brewing. “Garrett Oliver, founder of The MJF, was kind enough to have me as an intern at Brooklyn Brewery back when I was first starting in the industry. With Barrel-aged Black is Beautiful, I wanted to honor that gesture and support his work with The MJF at the same time. That it’s being released during our 20th anniversary year also really makes it special.” 

Named after the legendary beer and whiskey author, Michael James Jackson, The MJF funds technical education scholarship awards to Black, Indigenous, and People of Color within the brewing and distilling trades, helping award winners further their professional education and progress deeper into these industries. Since its founding in 2020, The MJF has funded scholarship awards supporting the career advancement of 29 individuals.

“The financial support from within the beer and spirits industries are what have allowed us to change the lives of our 29 award winners,” added Garrett Oliver, founder and chair, The MJF. “I’m really honored that Linus and Yazoo chose to use this beer to support our mission.”

Barrel-aged Black is Beautiful will be available everywhere Yazoo is sold. 

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