Victoria’s Dollar Bill Brewing has signed up for the international Black is Beautiful fundraising effort, with a beer that will see 100 per cent of the profits going towards The Bail Project.
It is the first Australian brewery to join the Black is Beautiful community project, which encourages brewers to brew a prescribed stout and donate the profits to a charity of the brewer’s choice. Weathered Souls Brewing Co. in Texas provided the recipe for the stout base.
Ballarat’s Dollar Bill, which won the trophy for Champion Mixed Culture Beer at the Independent Beer Awards last year, is the only Australian brewery so far to have signed up to the global project, joining brewers from across the world and putting its own spin on the Black is Beautiful beer.
100% of profits from the beer they brew will go towards The Bail Project, a revolving bail fund to prevent incarceration and combat racism, they said.
Dollar Bill founders Ed and Fiona Nolle said it was a cause that they felt strongly about.
“I was scrolling through Twitter and saw what was happening in the US and we wanted to lend our support to the cause,” Ed told Brews News.
“We chose this charity because we believe that freedom is an essential right. It basically provides money for incarcerated people – anyone who can’t pay their bail – and provides money to get them out of jail while the law or legal process ticks over.
“We can see what’s happening in the States with how the police are targeting black people, pulling them up more often and it happens in Australia too, with Aboriginal kids being incarcerated.”
Fiona said it was a “beautiful message” that resonated with them and with breweries from Japan, Rwanda, Canada and Germany getting involved, Dollar Bill wanted to help in any way they can.
“No one should have to spent time away from their families in jail without the right to bail and a fair hearing, they can spend anything from two days to two months and it’s a breach of civil liberties,” she said.
When it comes to the beer, the team are building on the stout recipe from Weathered Souls.
“We’ll be running it off the recipe Black is Beautiful provides and blending in barrel-aged stuff of our own.
“The hardest part was not making the decision to do it but making the best beer. We do barrel-aged beer and getting a beer out quickly will be the hardest part,” said Ed.
“So we will brew it with their recipe and use some house culture and possibly use some barrel blending.”
Dollar Bill is in discussions to do initial batch testing with another small brewery as they are currently gypsy brewing. The first batch should be available in the next two to three months.
In addition to their Black is Beautiful beer, Dollar Bill are planning big things for their site, including a cellar door which is currently in the planning stages.
“Ed has a second job at this stage and we do what we do because we love it,” Fiona said.
“So this is a chance at doing what we love and support something special.”
To help fund the move, Dollar Bill have launched a subscription service, the Rare Oak Society, offering new releases, discounts, and an annual magnum release. Find out more.