Art and Soul

by Madison Sudano / Feb 07, 2022
Art and Soul

The story behind our Black History Month Beer, Soul Sour, starts far beyond the brewery floor and long before the month of February. In fact, it’s been decades in the making; rooted in Black history and culture from the 60s and 70s, and slowly brewing until this year’s release. 

A small group of Black teammates and artists brought this beautifully bright sour to fruition—an homage to the heritage they share and the culture that’s proudly celebrated in every sip. We sat down with the artists behind the artwork, Rachel Gloria and Ryan Adams, to hear about their interest in the project, the role of Black culture in informing the design, and what they hope it represents to anyone who enjoys it.


What drew you to this project?


Ryan: “When we were approached to work on this beer, we were given a statement from Dontrel that explained the purpose and inspiration behind it. It touched on the lack of representation of Black people in the world of craft brewing, and with us being Mainers and heavily involved in the craft beer community, it really hit home.”

Rachel: “We found so many parallels between the world of  craft brewing and art/design that we knew that we were aligned as creatives in predominantly white industries.”



How did the name influence the can design and artwork?


Rachel: “With the beer being released for Black History Month and the nod to Soul Food in the name, I couldn’t help but think of Black textiles. I pulled my inspiration for the label’s graphics from African mudcloths and Black American quilts. The idea of patchworking motifs together to create harmony is part of my artistic practice and it felt like the right fit for this project.” 

Ryan: “With the lettering, I referenced Soul Food restaurants and found a lot of beautiful scripts and signage from long standing restaurants in the south. I tried to use a legible but welcoming script to convey that warm feeling that comes from seeing the signage at Soul Food restaurants.” 



What do you hope people take away from Soul Sour?


Ryan: “We hope that as people are enjoying this beer they can take a moment to recognize the many contributions that Black Americans have provided to so many aspects of our culture. Also, that representation matters; that by highlighting and recognizing these contributions, it will hopefully inspire the next generation to continue to push forward and break boundaries.” 

Rachel: “And that with more opportunities, we’re able to show up and show what we are capable of.” 

We encourage you to check out more of Ryan and Rachel’s work on their Instagram pages: @ryanwritesonthings and @rachelgloriaia.


This year, we’re also thrilled to share even more of a collaborative effort with the artists and wanted to spotlight their beautiful motifs in another way. These limited edition unisex T-Shirts are an easy-going style to boast your support in breaking down barriers. Supplies are limited, so don’t delay on this sweet gear.


In addition to the incredible work Ryan and Rachel brought to the project, we also had the opportunity to partner with Beer Kulture for its release. 100% of Soul Sour’s profits will be donated to breaking down barriers in the brewing industry. Profits will be donated to help break down barriers in the brewing industry. The profits will be distributed between @BeerKulture, the Sacred Heart University Brewers Scholarship Fund, and other impact programs.


Beer Kulture is a non-profit whose mission is to increase diversity, inclusion & equity in the craft beer community through humanitarian assistance, educational programs & compassionate community services. Help the cause by helping yourself to a case, or check out more of their groundbreaking efforts on their website:

We hope the story behind Soul Sour inspires you as much as it has us. And while this beer is our toast to and celebration of Black culture, it’s also an invitation to you—to raise a glass of love, respect and compassion to our entire community. We invite you to enjoy it with friends, family and strangers knowing that we stand together as one, in heart and soul.