WILMINGTON, N.C.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--TRU Colors Brewery, the social impact company unifying rival gangs, today announced a strategic partnership with Molson Coors Beverage Company (NYSE: TAP; TSX: TPX) that will help accelerate the brand’s growth and distribution of its first product by summer 2021.
Founded by George Taylor and rival gang leaders of the Bloods, Crips, and GD, TRU Colors is a for-profit brewery with a tightly integrated social mission to stop street violence and unite communities across America. TRU stands for Truth, Responsibility, and Unity.
The idea for TRU Colors was sparked five years ago when a 16-year-old was killed in a drive-by shooting. Since then, the company has invested in developing a sustainable business model and scalable social mission platform. The company’s strategy is unique, hiring active gang members and leveraging their skill and influence to end street violence and its drivers -- economic inequality, generational poverty, and racial divisiveness.
“At TRU Colors, we believe most street violence is driven by a lack of economic opportunity and societal exclusion, and therefore an inclusive economic solution is needed to stop it,” said George Taylor, CEO of TRU Colors. “Brewed by once-bitter rivals, our beer will be a symbol of the understanding and unity that’s possible when people are open to change. Through our partnership with Molson Coors, and the incredible talent of our team, the opportunities for our business and social impact are endless.”
Molson Coors is making an equity investment in TRU Colors and will serve as a strategic partner to assist the company with distribution strategy, brand positioning, supplier relationships, marketing and advertising consultation, and product formulation.
For Molson Coors, this is not only a strategic investment but also marks the latest in a series of actions designed to foster a more inclusive and diverse culture. The company announced a goal of increasing representation of people of color in our US operations by 25% by the end of 2023 across the country and committed to donating a cumulative $3 million to 26 local and national organizations dedicated to equality, empowerment, justice and community building from 2020-2021.
“Last summer we said we were committed to meaningful long-term change inside and outside our business, and would make better efforts to leave a positive impact in communities throughout the country,” said Gavin Hattersley, CEO of Molson Coors Brewing Company. “This partnership represents an opportunity to not only invest in what we believe will be a successful business, but also in a brand with a strong social justice presence that will have an immeasurable positive impact on hundreds of lives.”
The TRU Colors Brewery team is led by both Brian Faivre, a 20-year industry veteran and most recently Deschutes Brewery’s brewmaster, and Juan “Press” Bethea, an active member of the Bloods who has spent the past three years studying brewery operations and production alongside other local breweries.
“TRU Colors has changed my life and the streets in our city,” said Bethea. “Today, I’m working side-by-side with guys that I used to see as rivals, who, just like me, have lost friends and family to the streets. It's hard to forget the past, but we all want a better future. My family now has a stable home, and my kids can be whoever they want to be. That is everything.”
TRU Colors will launch its first beer in summer 2021 in North Carolina and Virginia, with plans to distribute to all 50 states within its first 24 months of operation. Keeping the core component of unity in mind, their debut product, TRU Light, will be a lager that bridges modern craft with iconic American beer.
TRU Colors is currently completing construction of its 56,000-square-foot facility in Wilmington, NC. In addition to the brewery, which is capable of producing over 1 million cases per year, the facility will serve as the company’s corporate office. The innovative facility will also reflect the company’s vision for the future and feature a wellness center, gym, recording studio, classrooms for education and coaching, a designated space for the “street intervention team,” and much more.
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About TRU Colors
Founded in 2019 by a tech entrepreneur and rival gang leaders from the Bloods, Crips, and GD’s, TRU Colors is a for-profit brewery based in Wilmington, NC with a tightly integrated social mission to stop street violence and unite communities across America. Over 80% of the TRU Colors team are active gang members whose street skills and influence translate into corporate skills and more peaceful streets. TRU Colors is committed to economic equity and provides a livable wage, company-paid healthcare, equity through stock options, health and wellness center, and more. The company’s mission is to brew beer, relationships, and shared stories that challenge perceptions and bring understanding that leads to unity. To learn more about TRU Colors visit trucolors.co, or check us out on Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook.
About Molson Coors
For over two centuries Molson Coors has been brewing beverages that unite people to celebrate all life’s moments. From Coors Light, Miller Lite, Molson Canadian, Carling, and Staropramen to Coors Banquet, Blue Moon Belgian White, Blue Moon LightSky, Vizzy, Leinenkugel’s Summer Shandy, Creemore Springs, Hop Valley and more, Molson Coors produces many beloved and iconic beer brands. While the company’s history is rooted in beer, Molson Coors offers a modern portfolio that expands beyond the beer aisle as well. The company’s commitment to raising industry standards and leaving a positive imprint on our employees, consumers, communities, and the environment is reflected in Our Imprint and our 2025 sustainability targets. To learn more about Molson Coors Beverage Company, visit molsoncoors.com, MolsonCoorsOurImprint.com or on Twitter through @MolsonCoors.
Forward Looking Statements
This press release includes “forward-looking statements” within the meaning of the U.S. federal securities laws. Generally, the words “believe,” "aims," “expect,” “intend,” “anticipate,” “project,” “will,” “outlook,” "desire," and similar expressions identify forward-looking statements, which generally are not historic in nature. Statements that refer to projections of our future financial performance, our supply chain capacity, future product demand and our ability to meet this demand, cost savings and trends in our businesses, and other characterizations of future events or circumstances are forward-looking statements, and include, but are not limited to, expectations regarding our supply chain capacity, consumer preferences, performance of our innovations, our revitalization plan announced in 2019 and profitability. Although Molson Coors believes that the assumptions upon which its forward-looking statements are based are reasonable, it can give no assurance that these assumptions will prove to be correct. Important factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from Molson Coors’ historical experience, and present projections and expectations are disclosed in Molson Coors’ filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”). These factors include, among others, the impact of the coronavirus pandemic, the impact of increased competition resulting from further consolidation of brewers, competitive pricing and product pressures; health of the beer industry and our brands in our markets; economic conditions in our markets; changes in our supply chain system; availability or increase in the cost of packaging materials; success of our joint ventures; changes in legal and regulatory requirements, including the regulation of distribution systems; increase in the cost of commodities used in the business; the impact of climate change and the availability and quality of water; loss or closure of a major brewery or other key facility; our ability to implement our strategic initiatives; our ability to maintain good labor relations; our ability to maintain brand image, reputation and product quality; and other risks discussed in our filings with the SEC, including our most recent Annual Report on Form 10-K and our Quarterly Reports on Form 10-Q. All forward-looking statements in this press release are expressly qualified by such cautionary statements and by reference to the underlying assumptions. You should not place undue reliance on forward-looking statements, which speak only as of the date they are made. We do not undertake to update forward-looking statements, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise.