Marvis Dixon has been doing great things. He’ll be the first one to tell you that he’s an “average guy.” I’ll tell you that he’s a bit more than that, and absolutely doing great things in our community. If you’re going to champion a cause, let it rip full throttle, and let’s follow this guy’s lead.
The Black Is Beautiful initiative is a collaborative beer effort created by Weathered Souls Brewing, and was covered by The Austinot here. The brass tacks of it is this: Breweries across the country were invited to brew a communal Imperial Stout recipe, put their own spin on it, release it with a unified label, and donate proceeds from it to community action groups that fight for equality and police brutality reform.
Call to Action
The response to this call to action from the brewing community was huge. Not only did breweries in all 50 states participate, but the movement also went international. As of the time of this article, the numbers are below:
Marvis first discovered this project through Instagram. Like many of us who heard about this initiative, his immediate thought was “how can I help?” As an employee of Family Business Beer Company, he asked if they would be interested in supporting the initiative. They were, without hesitation.
Wanting to further spread awareness and support for the cause, he custom-made a flag with the Black Is Beautiful logo, because what gets more attention than a flag? Running with a flag? Yes! Bringing said flag to various breweries on their Black Is Beautiful beer release day? Even more yes!
When it came time for Austin Beerworks to release their version of the Black is Beautiful beer, Marvis attended to show support. A friend, and Beerworks employee, suggested that he bring the flag with him to the event. The flag was a huge hit and several people posted pictures on social media. This not only spread awareness for the movement, but also helped initiate discussion about equality.
More Ways to Help
During this time, virtual 5Ks were hosted to bring more awareness to the movement, and as a direct means of fundraising for its equality-focused action groups. This was a perfect vehicle for Marvis, and he began organizing them here in Austin.
A virtual 5K is much like any other: Sign up and pay a registration fee, get participation swag (in this case, a cool t-shirt and a medal), and run your “race.” But, with a virtual 5K, you run your 3.1 miles on your own, honor system style, wherever you like! You can do it on your treadmill, in your neighborhood, or at your favorite park. It’s virtual, so I will be doing mine hiking in Colorado. You can do it from anywhere, even from your couch, if you’re not into that whole fitness in the heat thing. You’ll still get a medal, and nobody will judge you.
The next 5K is on Marvis’ birthday, September 5th. There will be an actual walk as well as the virtual event. The walk will begin at Hold Out Brewing and end at Central District Brewing. So yes, you can start and end a 5K with a beer in hand! You can register for the upcoming events here.
On October 10th, the next virtual / in-person 5K will take place at Jester King. With all the wide open spaces on the farm, it is an ideal place to gather, feel the camaraderie, and keep a safe distance from people you’d probably rather hug.
The Middle Man
Marvis is one of those people that seems to know everybody, and he’s good at putting people together in mutually beneficial situations; hence the name “Middle Man.” After conversations with his friends at Celis Brewery and Hedgehog Brewing, he helped orchestrate a collaboration between the two to produce and release a version of Black Is Beautiful beer.
In appreciation for his contributions to the Austin craft beer community as well as his support for Black is Beautiful, Hedgehog created and released a beer in his tribute appropriately called… wait for it… The Middle Man.
When I asked Marvis why this was so important to him, his answer was simple: “because people need to know about this.” I couldn’t agree more. I wrote a little article about it, and you just read it. Thank you for that, and huge thanks to everyone who has already purchased this beer from the over twenty-five Austin breweries that brewed it. Cheers to those that are about to discover it for the first time.
Far too often, topics such as racial injustices fade away long before they should. Grab a beer and keep talking, Austin; we’re making progress.
Follow Marvis on Instagram for all the latest updates.
@theAustinot wants to know:
Have you tried a local brewery’s Black is Beautiful beer yet?