Several Pittsburgh Area Breweries Release Black is Beautiful Stouts at Creekside Beer

If you’re reading this beer blog, you’ve likely heard about Black is Beautiful by now. But for the uninitiated, Black is Beautiful is, direct from the website, “a collaborative effort amongst the brewing community and its customers, in an attempt to bridge the gap that's been around for ages and provide a platform to show that the brewing community is an inclusive place for everyone of any color.” Each brewery involved in the initiative has or will release a variation of an imperial stout recipe created by Weathered Souls Brewing in San Antonio, Texas, who spearheaded the concept. Each brewery then chooses a local organization that supports equality and inclusion to donate their proceeds to. The sky is the limit as far as creativity in the recipe, so every beer is different and amazing in its own way. At time of writing, there are over 1100 participating breweries from all 50 states, as well as 20 countries. Numerous Pittsburgh area breweries are creating their own versions of Black is Beautiful, and we’re very excited to have several in stock now at Creekside Beer.

Cinderlands Black is Beautiful

Cinderlands’ version of Black is Beautiful is a back to basics approach. Electing to not add any adjuncts to their brew, they instead followed Weathered Souls' original recipe. The result was a dark, rich, roasty imperial stout that isn’t flashy, but is still incredibly delicious! This brew is 10.0% ABV and currently holds a 3.87/5 on Untappd. Cinderlands chose the Equal Justice Initiative as the recipient of their proceeds.

11th Hour Black is Beautiful

The mad scientists at 11th Hour added a plethora of adjuncts to their entry into Black is Beautiful. According to the brewery, theirs is “a big and bold take on the nationwide collaboration for Black is Beautiful. We took the base beer and added some locally roasted coffee from KLVN with vanilla beans and Belgian chocolate. We then blended in a stock of Imperial stout that spent 12 months in a Willett Bourbon barrel with the adjuncted base beer to create a complex, chewy and rich final product. There are huge notes of coffee and silky smooth chocolate finishing with a nice bourbon warmth.” This brew clocks in at 10.0% ABV and currently sits at a 4.41/5 on Untappd. 11th Hour chose as the recipient of their proceeds.

So now that you’ve heard a little bit about the brews, what do I think?

Cinderlands Black is Beautiful

  • Look: This beer pours a pitch-black color with minimal, quick dissolving head. It’s not quite as thick as I was anticipating, but it looks absolutely beautiful nonetheless.

  • Smell: Aromas of chocolate are what I pick up on mostly.

  • Taste: It’s very tasty and well-balanced! For being 10% ABV, it’s not boozy at all. Bold notes of chocolate for sure, as well as a distinct maltiness throughout. As I noticed in the pour, it’s a little thinner than some others I’ve seen, but this beer is terrific!

  • Thoughts: A very solid take on the Black is Beautiful concept. I appreciate the idea of doing the traditional recipe, as it’s clearly a very good recipe!

Tyler's Rating: 4.0/5

11th Hour Black is Beautiful

  • Look: This beer pours a pitch-black color with minimal, quick dissolving there an echo in here? This one is a little thicker and heavier though.

  • Smell: Several things hit the nose on this one. Dark chocolate, freshly ground coffee, and a touch of vanilla are all very present. It smells like heaven to be perfectly honest.

  • Taste: Wow! It’s dark and roasty, it’s rich, it’s sweet, it’s warm. This beer has a little bit of everything! The bourbon barrel flavors are a nice addition to all the things I noticed on the nose. This one checks every box on things I love in a stout.

  • Thoughts: I’ve tried about half a dozen Black is Beautiful beers thus far (and hopefully plenty more in the future), but this one reigns supreme! 11th Hour has crushed it with other stouts I’ve tried (Land Beast OG and Noches come to mind), and this one is every bit as good as those. Rumor has it an anniversary stout is on the horizon from them, and I can’t wait!

Tyler's Rating: 5/5

Deeply, darkly, and beautifully sampled by Tyler M. Azar

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