Brewers association

Brewers Association diversity study confirms brewery owners are overwhelmingly white and male

According to the latest study by Brewers Association.

The BA recently published the results of what it describes as a demographic audit of brewery ownership. It looked at a sample of 500 craft breweries across the country, which represents about 5.6% of the nearly 8,900 breweries operating in 2020, according to the BA.

Although this is a relatively small sample, from a diversity perspective, the results are sobering: 93.5% of owners were white; 2.2% were Hispanic; 2% were Asian; 0.4% were black; 0.4% were American Indian/Alaska Native; 0.5% identified as other; 1.1% refused to answer.

In terms of gender: 75.6% identified as male; 23.7% identified as female; 0.2% identified as non-binary; and 0.6% refused to answer. (Percentages add up to slightly more than 100% due to rounding.)

The BA marks these results with some asterisks.

Firstly, BA Chief Economist Bart Watson said the results should not be compared to an earlier diversity audit in 2019 due to strong evidence in that earlier study of response biases which likely have somewhat skewed the results. It is believed that companies that are more committed to diversity and inclusion issues – which are also more likely to be led by diverse people – would be more likely to respond to past open surveys, creating this possible response bias.

The BA randomly selected 500 breweries to review this time around, “coding” those that didn’t answer the questions fully or at all.

“It also allowed us to compare the responses to the coded data and see if we get response bias for future iterations,” Watson notes.

Additionally, the BA points out that the data collected in this demographic audit is focused on individual homeowners. Therefore, a brewery with two white owners and one Asian owner would be counted separately.

“An example of this difference is that 92.2% of breweries are solely white-owned,” Watson writes, “so the percentage of breweries with some BIPOC ownership is slightly higher than the percentage of BIPOC owners.”

Similar to race/ethnicity, the BA notes, the percentage of female/non-binary owned breweries is higher than the percentage of female owners.

In the group examined, 41% of the breweries represented had at least one female owner, with 2.9% being 100% owned by women.

Although this study examines a relatively small sample group, it nevertheless highlights a general lack of diversity among brewery owners.

However, Watson points out that “the American alcohol consumer is increasingly BIPOC and feminineThis trend is likely to continue, and it’s something brewery operators need to be in tune with. For example, female drinkers under 25 now outnumber male drinkers under 25. .

“So for the craft to continue to grow and move more into the broader beer and liquor consumer market, it will need to connect better with that diverse customer base,” Watson said. “While nothing is stopping white and male-owned businesses from connecting with this more diverse customer base, it will take extra work to create diverse organizations and strengthen blind spots. The BA is working to create these resources, but our industry must see the value in them and want to use them.These results should underline why they are needed.

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