The first beer from TRU Colors, a brewery that employs active gang members in an effort to stop violence through economic opportunity, is hitting shelves this week.
Here’s the deal…
Wilmington, N.C.-based TRU Colors was created of George Taylor, who, upset at the level of gang violence in the city, sought to create a solution hand-in-hand with local gang leaders. And he founded a brewery in 2019 that hires active gang members, giving them economic opportunities and, in turn, leveraging their influence inside gangs to reduce violence.
And the brewery, which has national ambitions, is releasing its first beer in North Carolina.
Available this week in nearly 800 locations across the state TRULight is 4.2% ABV a light lager, with only 95 calories and 2.6 carbs.
TRU Colors was forced to delay distribution of its first beer by several months earlier this summer, after one of its employees, Koredreese Tyson, and another woman were murdered in a gang-related shooting at the home the brewery’s COO, where Tyson had been living.
Three people have been charged in their deaths.
According to Beer & Beyond the shooting has only reinforced the importance of TRU Colors’ mission.
“What happened this summer was tragic,” said Taylor “and it’s exactly why it’s important that we push forward and do what we do.”
In April 2021, Molson Coors took a minority stake in the brewery so obviously TRU Colors’ mission resonates with them as well…
“If we can help them be successful in the beer business, the more success they’ll have, and they can take their mission to other cities and states, said Paul Verdu, president of Tenth & Blake, Molson Coors’ US craft division. “When this came along, we saw an immense opportunity to do something positive for the community — something no one has ever done before,”
Today, TRU Colors employs more than 70 active gang members from different factions, who work in every area of the brewery, from production to packaging, sales, HR and beyond.
(All image credits: TRU Colors / Molson Coors)