STRATFORD, CT AND SAN DIEGO, CA – Beer Kulture, a nonprofit organization working to increase diversity and inclusion in the craft beer industry, and Athletic Brewing Company, America’s leading non-alcoholic brewer, are once again teaming up in February to celebrate Black history and culture. The partners are bringing back the highly sought-after limited-time offering Soul Sour, launching themed merchandise, and highlighting notable voices in the brewing community to benefit diversity and inclusion efforts from multiple organizations.
Soul Sour is a refreshing and slightly sour brew for craft beer lovers committed to social change. Soul Sour was a tremendous success in 2021 when it was first released, inspired by Athletic teammates that wanted to celebrate the beauty of community and Black culture.
“This brew gave me the opportunity to show my skills and allowed me to be myself,” said Dontrel Flathers, one of Athletic’s teammates on the brewing team. “It’s also a chance to share untold stories and those underrepresented in the craft beer communities. We are all equal, and this brew we crafted collectively helps give “soul” to the community, encouraging unity, opportunity, and respect.”
For the label, Athletic partnered with two Portland-based artists, Rachel Gloria and Ryan Adams, who were inspired by Black textile motifs and lettering reminiscent of signage from Southern Soul Food restaurants to create vibrant packaging rooted in Black history.
“When we were approached to work on this beer label, we were given a statement that explained the purpose and inspiration behind it. It touched on the lack of representation of Black people in the world of craft brewing, and with us being Mainers and heavily involved with this community, it really hit home,” said Ryan.
For Rachel, the nod to Soul Food and the commemoration of Black History Month served as catalysts for the creative process. “I pulled my inspiration for the label’s graphics from African mud cloths and Black American quilts. The idea of patchworking motifs together to create harmony is part of my artistic practice and it felt like the right fit for this project.”
Soul Sour is anchored by the flavors of Blueberry, Lemon, and Mango (BLM). It has a sweet nose and is crisply refreshing, yet the slightly sour finish makes it bright, smooth, and tart. Soul Sour features Amarillo, Citra and Mosaic hops along with lemon peel. It is available starting Tuesday (Feb. 1), to ship directly to consumers nationwide via athleticbrewing.com. 100% of the profits from the beer and merchandise will be directed to foster diversity, education, and inclusion within the craft beer community through a variety of initiatives.
Beer Kulture partners with companies and organizations in the beverage industry to increase diversity, inclusion, and equity through humanitarian assistance, educational programs, and compassionate community services. “We’re grateful to partner with Athletic Brewing again on this non-alcoholic beer,” said Latiesha Cook, CEO, and President, Beer Kulture. “Financial support like our Soul Sour collaboration directly enables our efforts to expand diversity, equity, and inclusion within the beer industry through scholarships, internships, and beyond. Soul Sour, and all the people behind it, perfectly embody the Beer Kulture movement and we are excited to bring it back.”
Athletic Brewing Company Scholarship
This year, part of the profits from sales of Soul Sour will fund the Athletic Brewing Company Scholarship. Each year, Athletic provides one underrepresented person with full tuition to attend Sacred Heart University’s brewing science program. The 2021 scholarship recipient, Oren Ferris, will join Athletic to promote this year’s release of Soul Sour and discuss diversity in the craft brewing industry at a virtual panel Athletic will hold in February.
About Beer Kulture
Beer Kulture builds trust and strengthens communities by using craft beer to foster inclusion, equity, and diversity. Together, we can change the world – one beer at a time. Learn more at www.beerkulture.com.
About Athletic Brewing
Named by Fast Company Magazine as one of the “Brands That Matter” in 2021, and recognized as Craft Brewery of the Year by Brewbound, Athletic Brewing Company is reimagining beer for the modern, active adult. Their great-tasting craft brews provide a refreshing taste of craft beer, without the alcohol or the hangover. With custom breweries on the east and west coasts, their lineup has earned accolades throughout the industry, even against full-strength beers, including the 2021 US Open Beer Awards Gold medal for Run Wild. Additionally, Athletic Brewing’s “Two for the Trails” initiative donates 2% of all sales to trail and park cleanups and maintenance. Plus, as a part of their IMPACT Program, 1% of revenue goes to non-profit organizations that support positive impact and opportunity from the ground up in their communities. Athletic Brewing’s full portfolio of flagships, seasonal, and specialty beers are available for purchase on its website, www.athleticbrewing.com, as well as the company’s subscription offering – The Athletic Club.