BOULDER, Colo. – Since 2019, the Brewers Association has financially supported diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) efforts through the DEI Mini-Grants Program (formerly known as the Diversity & Inclusion Event Grants Program). Grant recipients have used funds for marketing, to find panelists, to rent space and equipment for events, and to cover a range of other costs that have enabled them to achieve the goals of their events.
Although the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic has affected the ability of organizers to safely hold face-to-face events in 2021 and limited the timeline for the grant program, the Brewers Association has been able to financially support several events that have helped fostering greater diversity and inclusion in the profession. beer community – including events that received funding in 2020 but canceled due to COVID-19.
Celebrating and supporting women in craft beer
Attendees at FemAle Brew Fest 2021. Photo credit: UniteUs Group.
The FemAle Brew Fest, a craft beer festival dedicated to showcasing, supporting and inspiring women in the craft beer industry, was a grant recipient in 2021. The grant helped support enrichment programming for festival-goers.
“The Brewers Association’s Diversity and Inclusion Event Grant had a huge impact on the event by helping to offset some of the costs associated with producing the event, including funding for stays at the hotel for speakers, brewers and representatives who featured in the festival,” said Frances Antonio-Martineau, founder of the FemAle Brew Fest.
The 2021 installment of this annual event took place in Fort Lauderdale, Florida in September. It was the fourth since 2017 (a 2020 festival was canceled due to COVID-19). FemAle attracted approximately 500 attendees and attracted over 30 participating breweries.
Antonio-Martineau, who is a board member of the Pink Boots Society and founder of Greater Fort Lauderdale Beer Week, said it was important to ensure these types of events happen.
“FemAle Brew Fest is proud to be able to help create a platform for women in brewing to be showcased and celebrated with their peers in the craft brewing industry,” said Antonio-Martineau. “We have seen the festival open new doors, generate dialogue, create new collaborations, camaraderie, leadership opportunities and the overall empowerment of women in the industry.”
Atlanta organizers make strides to build diversity and community
Crafted For Action conference organizer Jen Price (second from left) with conference attendees. Photo Credit: Designed for Action.
Crafted For Action, a hybrid conference that provided educational experiences for the craft beer enthusiast set, offered a mix of face-to-face engagements for attendees in Atlanta, Georgia, and free online sessions for attendees virtual across the country. Grant funds helped offset marketing and promotional costs for the conference.
Although 2021 was the inaugural year for the Crafted For Action conference, it hosted 470 in-person and virtual attendees over four days during American Craft Beer Week. Founder Jen Price said it was an important first step in establishing something sustainable for the industry.
“The American craft beer scene lacks diversity. At a time when finding common ground is more important than ever, craft beer can represent community and support for small businesses, while celebrating individuality,” Price said. “Crafted for Action Craft Beer Con was the perfect opportunity to do just that.”
A primarily in-person conference will follow in May 2022 in Atlanta, “where the craft community is uniquely positioned to help move the needle from ideas to action.”
December 2021 brought the third annual Dames and Dregs Beer Fest, an Atlanta-based event that aims to empower and educate by celebrating women’s contributions to brewing. Festival organizers strive to create an experience for attendees that highlights the hard work of women-run breweries, brewers and brewery workers who are women, and women-run businesses and women. non-profit organizations in the region.
Rebecca Royster, co-founder of Dames and Dregs, said the event simply wouldn’t be possible without the outside support of sponsors and community partners. “The Brewers Association grant allowed us to host 38 craft breweries, cider houses, meads and kombucha partners,” Royster said.
“We are filled with hope and courage for the future of the beer industry. Beer brings people together. We brew it to share with friends and strangers. In doing so, we create opportunities to share our stories and exchange ideas. We have met so many wonderful women and allies through Dames and Dregs who are deeply committed to creating a more inclusive community. We are excited to continue these conversations in 2022.”
State Brewers Guilds Offer DEI Training
Massachusetts brewery owners attend It Starts At The Top, a DEI training workshop. Photo credit: Brewers Guild of Massachusetts.
It Starts At The Top was organized by the Massachusetts Brewers Guild and featured diversity and inclusion expert John Basile for a two-hour training workshop. The workshop was designed for brewery owners and founders and focused on understanding the meaning of DEI and the different dimensions of diversity, understanding the business and moral arguments of DEI and understanding biases unconscious and their impact on the workplace, as well as strategies to reduce bias.
Katie Stinchon, executive director of the Massachusetts Brewers Guild, said: “Afternoon feedback was excellent, with many owners asking us to repeat content so they can send their other partners and owners out for a day. learning to hear the same messages. We now have a framework that we can repeat and expand. »
For a full list of past grant recipients and more information about the Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) Mini-Grants Program, visit the Brewers Association website.
Since its inception in 2019, over $80,000 in grants have been awarded to event planners across the country through the Brewers Association’s Diversity and Inclusion Event Grant Program.
The 2022 grant cycle brings a name change to the program and an expansion aimed at generating greater impact. The DEI Mini-Grants Program will continue to support events aimed at increasing the diversity of those who make and enjoy craft beer. However, it will also accept funding proposals for media production projects and education and training initiatives.
“While funding events has been a successful approach, we recognize that there are other ways to support the work of those across the country who are fostering greater diversity in the craft brewing community,” said Alana Koenig-Busey, who serves as the DEI Mini-Grants Program Director. “COVID-19 has forever changed our approach to face-to-face events. People have had to get creative about how to engage people and deliver meaningful experiences. These changes to our grant program allow us to will help us evolve with the changing times.”
About the Brewers Association
The Brewers Association (BA) is the non-profit trade association dedicated to small and independent? American brewers, their beers and the passionate brewing community. The BA represents more than 5,600 American breweries and more than 38,000 home brewers. The BA Independent Craft Brewer Seal is a widely adopted symbol that differentiates beers from small independent craft brewers. The BA organizes events such as the World Beer Cup®, Great American Beer Festival®, Craft Brewers Conference® & BrewExpo America®, SAVOR™: An American Craft Beer & Food Experience, Homebrew Con™, National Homebrew Competition and American Craft Beer Week®. The BA publishes The New Brewer® and Zymurgy® magazines, and Brewers Publications® is the leading publisher of brewing literature in the United States. Beer lovers are invited to learn more about the vibrant world of craft beer at CraftBeer.com® and about home brewing through BA’s American Homebrewers Association® and the free Brew Guru® mobile app.