MILWAUKEE, WISCONSIN – MobCraft Beer will kick off a monthly virtual conversation series called Lager and Listen. The first installment, Brewing and Bars: The Black Perspective will be held on Zoom at 7:00pm on Tuesday, October 6. The event is free and open to the public. Anyone wishing to attend the first event can RSVP and pose questions to the panel at bit.ly/lagerandlisten.
After the murder of George Floyd, MobCraft President and Co-Founder, Henry Schwartz found himself at the helm of a small business wanting to do more than post on social media in support of Black Lives Matter. “I thought that we had to come up with something that would last longer than a simple post on social media. It’s easy to point out the atrocity and say you support the end of unjust killings. It’s harder to act on it and try and come up with something that can help make actual change and keep working towards progress as time goes by.” Schwartz connected with Ayrton Bryan, Strategic Partnerships coordinator for MKE Black, who shared Schwartz’s sentiment. “It’s time we strap in and get ready to not ride the wave, but guide its power to create a new shore,” Bryan commented. Together the two came up with Lager and Listen.
Schwartz wanted to lend what MobCraft could offer–experience hosting virtual events thanks to weekly Zoom pairings–and elevate the voices of people of color within various industries in Milwaukee. Volume I of Lager and Listen will focus on people of color in leadership roles in the service industry and feature Tenia Fisher of Whitetail MKE, Royce Lockett Owner of Skybox Sports Bar, and Jack Holt Operations Manager of Point Burger Bar & Smokin’ Jack’s Heavenly Bar-B-Que. Fisher is a teacher with over a decade of experience in the brewing industry: “I thought it was important to be involved with Lager and Listen because voices of Black women aren’t heard enough in the beer industry. Now is the time that Black people are not just grabbing a seat at the bar, but they are helping to run the business,” Fisher said.
The monthly series will feature a variety of guests from different sectors with Schwartz and Bryan moderating the discussion. Each session will end with some “homework” a “simple, accessible, action that can help listeners learn, grow, or give back” Schwartz says.
To complement the beginning of the Lager and Listen series, MobCraft will also be brewing Black is Beautiful on October 19. All proceeds from the beer will be donated to MKE Black, a non-profit dedicated to raising awareness and supporting black owned businesses in the greater Milwaukee area. Black is Beautiful has been brewed by over 1100 breweries around the world. MobCraft will put their unique touch on the beer by crowdsourcing ingredient and flavor additions (MobCraft allows beer fans to submit recipes for a crowd sourced vote once a month). Those interested in voting on the final submissions can do so at bit.ly/blackisbeautifulmob through Friday, October 2. “Often the beer ideas we receive are rooted in stories: German Chocolate Stout inspired by grandma’s cake recipe, a Milkshake IPA inspired by a favorite cocktail enjoyed on a recent vacation, and so on. In a way, our brewery uses beer to tell a story. The story of systemic racial injustice over the last 400 years is much bigger than a story behind a beer idea, but Black is Beautiful can start the discussion, and we hope Lager and Listen can give it a platform to keep going” Schwartz says. MobCraft’s Black is Beautiful is expected to be released in mid-November.
“We [MobCraft] don’t want to be silent and complicit and watch the world’s news go by, we want to be active and do something positive, even if it is in a small local way,” Schwartz reflected. Join MobCraft for Brewing and Bars: The Black Perspective, Lager and Listen Volume I on Thursday, October 6 at 7:00pm on Zoom. RSVP here bit.ly/lagerandlisten.
MobCraft Beer was founded in 2013 by Henry Schwartz and Andrew Gierczak. It is the world’s first crowdsourced brewery. MobCraft’s taproom is located at 505 S. 5th Street in the Walker’s Point neighborhood of Milwaukee, WI. Each month the crowd submits and votes on beer ideas. At the end of the month, the winning beer is brewed and available for all to enjoy. These crowdsourced beers are served in the taproom with MobCraft flagships, beers from their Wild & Sour Program, and more.