Marcus Baskerville developed a love for the craft of brewing long before he entered the beer industry.
Now, he is owner and director of brewing at Weathered Souls Brewing Co., where he is pushing the needle forward for Black people interested in the field.
“I think my love for craft started before my actual brewing process,” Baskerville told AFROTECH. “I got into craft beer pretty early on for what it was, for me anyway. I started drinking craft beer around the age of 22.”
Fast-forward to now, Baskerville is all about keeping things diverse in the space, especially having gotten his start as an assistant at a local brewery prior to the ownership and leadership roles he holds today.
Diversifying The Craft
“For me, it was keeping things diverse,” he said of the biggest learning lesson along the way. “One of the main things that I really didn’t care for at the brewery that I was learning at was the lack of diversity of beers, the lack of differences in the processes that they wanted to partake in. You know, they were content. That’s something that I never wanted to bring to the Weathered Souls brand.”
He continued: “We always want to be diverse. We always want to bring the new products, we always want to have different beers on tap and things like that. So, I think the biggest thing that kind of drove me into wanting to do my own thing was the fact that, yeah, I wanted to be able to bring diversity within beer, not just on the scale of being Black, but also on the scale of the type of products that were being produced here.”
What’s more, although his experience as a Black man within the craft beer industry is unlike the path of anyone else’s, Baskerville admits that he will always remain committed to uplifting others who look like him in the space.
His Personal Journey Through The Space
“I always say that I kind of had a different path than a lot of what we hear with stories when it comes to other minorities within beer,” he explained. “I had a very solid foundation from home brewing, especially growing up in Sacramento where it’s a very prevalent craft beer scene, even the home brewing scene. So being that fact that there weren’t many of us, there were a lot of Caucasian individuals that didn’t have issues showing us the ropes.”
Baskerville continued: “For instance, we had a club called Brothers and Beer when we first started out drinking, and this was a way for us to start communicating, bringing other Black people in beer together to kind of have that camaraderie because, again, we didn’t see anybody that looked like us.”
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Once he was able to get his foot in the door, the rest was history for Baskerville.
“I built a name for myself within the San Antonio community, built a name for the beers that I was producing in the San Antonio community well before I became a professional brewer,” he recalled.
He added, “I always tell people that I’m not the best example when it comes to the trials and tribulations — the growth that comes with becoming a brewer, which is why I guess I’m so vocal in the fact of wanting to build a better space for people who haven’t had the ability to get like me within the industry.”
As a founding board member of the National Black Brewers Association, Baskerville just celebrated the second year of the Black is Beautiful Beer campaign in July 2023.
Black Is Beautiful
“I think the biggest accomplishment with Black is Beautiful, obviously, is the amount of revenue that it raised. You know, hitting that $6 million point of social justice reform coming from a small brewery in San Antonio is crazy. I would say that’s the biggest highlight.”
Moving forward, the next thing on the radar for Baskerville is ensuring that Weathered Souls is 100% Black-owned.
“Thats something that I’m currently working on,” he shared. “My business partner, he is all for it, and that was one of his original goals when he came on, to kind of build a stepping stone for me and then go about his way when he was ready to.”
In the future, craft beer fans can expect more taprooms from Weathered Souls to pop up across the nation. They also opened the doors to one in Charlotte, NC. Plus, Baskerville says another venue is coming to the queen city in October 2023.