Since the establishment of its diversity committee in 2017, the Colorado-based Brewers Association, the craft beer industry’s trade association, has been working toward making the beer world a more welcoming place for people of all appearances and backgrounds. Under the leadership of diversity ambassador Dr. J. Nikol Jackson-Beckham, Ph.D., and following the publishing of a series of diversity and inclusion best practices resources for its members, the BA took another step forward this week by awarding its first grants to various “diversity and inclusion” events. Understandably, the news may have been swept under the rug a bit by yesterday’s massive announcement of Boston Beer Co.’s acquisition of Dogfish Head, but this is news that deserves to be heard.
Out of 51 applicants, six diversity and inclusion events were ultimately awarded a total of $20,000 by the BA, which will go to support these events “that promote and foster a diverse and inclusive craft beer community.” The events are located throughout the U.S., in some of the country’s most prominent beer cities, and each take different forms in their outreach.
“These event organizers have truly embraced expanding to and engaging with new audiences,” said Julia Herz, craft beer program director for the BA. “The Brewers Association is proud to support them, and to continue this program in future years. Beer events connect people with beer and each other. Inspiring organizers to deliberately welcome a broad and diverse group of attendees is the opportunity and our goal.”
“Receiving one of Brewers Association’s diversity and inclusion grants will allow Suave Fest to highlight the contributions and talents of Latinx brewers and breweries,” said Jose Beteta, co-founder and CEO, Raices Brewing. “Because the grant includes the Brewers Association’s involvement as part of the sponsored projects, a national spotlight will be shed on underrepresented groups that need the exposure, coincidentally opening up a wider dialog for diversity and inclusion that’s been missing from the craft beer industry, and which we welcome with open arms.”
Here’s a full list of the events receiving funding, including beer events in Cleveland, Richmond, Pittsburgh, Brooklyn, Denver and Boston.
Organization: Great Lakes Brewing Company
Event Location: Cleveland, OH
Event Date: July 11, 2019
Event Description: Tapping Opportunity is an employment fair that will convene representatives from craft breweries around Cleveland to highlight the many career opportunities available in the industry to the greater Cleveland community and provide a space for questions to be answered.
HeART and Soul Brew Fest
Organization: Like the Fruit, LLC
Event Location: Richmond, VA
Event Date: July 27, 2019
Event Description: HeART and Soul Brew Fest exposes a new audience to the local craft beer industry through urban music, urban art, craft beer, and soul food. The festival brings more than 20 black-owned restaurants and food vendors to Hardywood Park Craft Brewery.
Fresh Fest Beer Fest
Organization: Fresh Fest Beer Fest, LLC
Event Location: Pittsburgh, PA
Event Date: August 9-11, 2019
Event Description: Fresh Fest Beer Fest is the nation’s first black brew fest. The event returns for its second year with another amazing lineup of black-owned breweries as well as breweries collaborating with black artists and entrepreneurs from Pennsylvania and beyond.
Beers With(out) Beards
Organization: Hop Culture
Event Location: Brooklyn, NY
Event Date: August 10, 2019
Event Description: Beer With(out) Beards will host five unique events to cultivate conversations that elevate the position of women in the beer and brewing industry. The events will include women-led conversations, industry related skill development, and the opportunity to taste beer brewed by women or at women-owned breweries.
Organization: Raices Brewing Company
Event Location: Denver, CO
Event Date: September 14, 2019
Event Description: Suave Fest is an opportunity to grow the awareness of Latino influence in the craft beer industry. The festival will focus on the pillars of family and community, giving this event broad appeal across a diverse group of attendees.
Craft Beer Employment Fair
Organization: Mass Bay Brewing Company
Event Location: Boston, MA
Event Date: Fall 2019
Event Description: This event will focus on increasing awareness of diversity and inclusion as it relates to the brewing industry. The event will present employment opportunities to a diverse population in the Boston area as well as give a platform to guest speakers to share the importance of diversity and inclusion.