It’s no secret that craft beer has a diversity problem. Of the more than 7,000 breweries in the United States, only 50 are black-owned and some surveys have found the number of female brewmasters to be as low as 4 percent. Throw in the fact that white men make up an overwhelming majority of craft beer drinkers and you have a situation crying out for change.
In recent years, a number of groups have stepped up to shift those demographics. From the Pink Boots Society championing female brewers to campaigns like #BlackPeopleLoveBeer, craft beer is beginning to feel like a more welcoming space for everyone.
Now, the Brewers Association is publicly standing behind some of those efforts by announcing its first-ever diversity and inclusion event grants. On May 7, the non-profit trade organization doled out $20,000 to six events around the country.
The craft beer community has always prided itself on being inviting—but we can always do better. The BA remains invested in increasing inclusivity, both with brewers and beer-lovers.”
“Diversity and inclusion are opportunities for all businesses to lead and succeed, regardless of industry,” says Julia Herz, craft beer program director for the Brewers Association. “The craft beer community has always prided itself on being inviting—but we can always do better. The BA remains invested in increasing inclusivity, both with brewers and beer-lovers.”
The winners range from Fresh Fest Beer Fest, which features an impressive roster of black-owned breweries, artists and entrepreneurs in Pittsburg, Pennsylvania, to Beers With(out) Beards, a series of five events hosted by Hop Culture in Brooklyn, New York designed to foster conversations about women in the industry, to Suave Fest, a celebration of Latino contributions to brewing in thrown by Raices Brewing Company in Denver, Colorado. It’s a small, but strong step in the right direction.
“Our goal is to continue to cultivate an inclusive craft beer community and inspire event organizers to create engaging programming that welcomes a broad and diverse group of attendees,” Herz says. “By helping to support these varied types of events, we can foster growth and spur a cultural shift.