Local brewing company and artist team up to celebrate Memphis icons for Black History Month

MEMPHIS, Tenn. — Robert R. Church, Charlie Pride, Willie Herenton, and Memphis Minnie. These are some of the unsung heroes Beale St. Brewing Co. and Artist Anthony Lee wanted to celebrate for Black History Month.

It’s been a project Kelvin Kolheim with Beale St. Brewing Co. says has paid off. They call it ‘Soul Stew.’

And, he said it doesn’t hurt to have fun while doing it.

“It was fun working with him,” said Kolheim, “He’s an incredible artist and he was excited to do it once we got started.”

“One was a musician (Memphis Minnie), one was a represented politics (Willie Herenton), one represented sports (Charlie Pride), and one represented wealth and finance (Robert R. Church),” said Artist Anthony Lee.

Lee said people like Robert R. Church – the first Black millionaire in the South - played a big role in how places like Beale St. were developed.

And, people like Willie Herenton educated youth and was Memphis’ first Black elected mayor who was elected to an unprecedented five consecutive terms.

Kolheim joked, saying some persuasion was needed in order to get Lee on board with the project.

“So, I had to twist his arm a little bit to get him to do this project,” said Kolheim.

All in good fun, considering the two have been friends for some time.

Lee said this project has been special specifically due to Memphis Minnie.

“Memphis Minnie is my aunt, that’s my step-father’s aunt,” said Lee.

For them, the participation and celebration of history is its own reward.

“This one is special,” said Lee,  “I’m able to kind of to participate in it in a real way.”

Soul Stew options come in a 4-pack and are available at Kroger and participating grocery stores and liquor stores for a limited time.