The Wide Gap Between Charity Beers
Does the Beer Industry Care About Brave Noise? Let’s Raise the Number of Brave Noise Participants
by Jeannine Boisse
“Tell me what you pay attention to and I will tell you who you are.”
— José Ortega y Gasset
There have been several shifts in recent years within the craft beer community to contribute to a larger cause. In 2018, Sierra Nevada Brewing started the Resilience Fundraising Beer. Breweries worldwide showed their dedication to assisting victims of the Camp Fire in Northern California. The beer would take a percentage of profits to donate toward those affected by the wildfire in Butte County, CA.
The events of 2020 brought along wide and honest discussion of racial injustice and America’s history of white supremacy. A spotlight hit the craft beer industry, which has been well-known for its white, cis male-dominated image. The Black is Beautiful Beer initiative was created by Weathered Souls Brewing to highlight the diverse members of craft beer, encourage continued inclusivity within the industry, and unapologetically fight systems of oppression through collaboration.
In 2021, a reckoning in the craft beer world shook loose a horrendous amount of previously hidden stories from victims of sexual abuse, harassment, and gender discrimination relating to participation in the industry. Brave Noise Beer was created as a call for accountability, for each brewery to create and make known their code of conduct for customers and employees in an effort to make their business safe for all.
Tell me what you pay attention to and I will tell you who you are.
If the compiled spreadsheet says anything, it is that the craft beer industry extended a healthy hand to people impacted by devastating wildfires. Breweries cared much less about racial injustice, police brutality, and diversifying the industry to include more Black and Brown beer lovers in their establishments. Even less than systemic racism, beer companies care very little for the safety and fair treatment of women and LGBTQIA+ individuals in their businesses. All three fundraising campaigns hit on serious issues which can often contribute to loss of life or loss of livelihood, right here within the communities we reside and businesses we frequent.
Apparently, this is who we are. This is what we care about.
Is this the truth? Perhaps not. We could take into account the fact that some breweries listed have closed since 2018 and could not contribute to Black is Beautiful or Brave Noise. Vice Versa: Some breweries were not established until after 2018, and therefore, could not brew Resilience Ale. The pandemic could have affected the output and brewing schedule of many brands, which made it impossible to plan for the production and distribution of a charity beer.
What can we do next? In an effort to seek change, commit to long-term work, and create safe places within the beer industry, I ask that we speak up about our needs. As they always say, “if you see something, say something”. I see a need for transparency, shared values, and change, IF I am to continue to participate in your beer business – either as a customer or employee. I see a need for contribution, collaboration, and guidance. I am telling you what I pay attention to.
Beer is for Everyone is committed to creating connections within the beer industry and participating in open discussion about the challenges that women, BIPOC, and LGBTQIA+ individuals face while participating in beer consumption and creation.
I’ve created the following template to directly address the lack of participation in the Brave Noise Beer initiative with your favorite non-participating brewery. The intent is to open thoughtful discussion about the current state of the beer industry and express what this initiative means to their clientele. You can easily paste this content into an email to send to the brewery of your choice. Be sure to edit and include all details in the bracketed pieces of this draft.
Finally, view the infograph after the template for a visual representation of the data.
Subject: Request to participate in the Brave Noise Beer Project
Women, BIPOC, and LGBTQIA+ individuals, both customers and employees, have shared their stories openly and painfully, prompted by Brienne Allan’s (aka @RatMagnet) Instagram thread about sexism in May 2021.
We’re sure you’re aware of the Brave Noise Beer Project, developed to further support the brave voices who have shared their stories and advocate for safe and discrimination-free spaces to enjoy beer. I would also be ecstatic if [BREWERY NAME] participated in brewing Brave Noise.
As participants and leaders in the brewing industry, [BREWERY NAME] has a responsibility to customers and employees to create a safe and inclusive space to partake in your product. If you haven’t already: share your values, establish a code of conduct for employees and patrons of your taprooms, invest the time to listen to issues your marginalized employees face, and discuss the inequalities in your organization, from marketing to leadership if necessary.
Your customers and staff want to understand and confirm our shared values in order to continue to choose to participate, consume your product, and interact with your brand through social media. Beer is a great unifier, let’s do better together.
To take the next step in building a better and stronger beer community, visit the Brave Noise Brewery Resource page, which includes links to assist in the creation of your Code of Conduct: https://www.bravenoisebeer.com/breweries/
Additional resources about creating safe and respectful drinking spaces can be found by visiting the website for Safe Bars. Enrolling your brewery in Safe Bars Certification Training is yet another crucial step toward change through further education in our beer community.
Thank you for your consideration of this request to help to make our craft beer industry a safer and discrimination-free place.