The sixth cohort of the Brewers Association (BA) Mentorship Program kicked off last week with a new group of aspiring professionals, advancing professionals, and brewery start-ups. With 31 members in the Fall 2023 cohort, the BA Mentorship Program has served nearly 200 participants since its launch in early 2021.
“Our program is designed to further professional development for participants through an intensive mentorship experience. Mentors provide structured mentorship and advocacy aimed at removing professional barriers to entry or advancement in craft brewing,” says J Jackson-Beckham, BA Equity & Inclusion Partner. “Sometimes those barriers are related to patterns of disparity and underrepresentation among demographic populations in the U.S. Sometimes those barriers are more situational, like being geographically isolated or having been impacted by the criminal justice system. We work hard to make sure that this program serves the full spectrum of life experiences.”
Mentees seeking careers in the craft brewing industry, in any of the industry’s three tiers, or in allied trades can find a professional to connect with in our program.
Christina Sayer, BA Mentorship and Professional Development Subcommittee Chair and co-owner of Brewery Legitmus
During a 12-week virtual experience, each participant in the mentorship program collaborates with three mentors in selected areas of interest. In this way, the BA Mentorship Program is nontraditional. It seeks to provide participants with numerous perspectives from several areas of focus in contrast to a single sustained mentoring relationship. “Our greatest asset is our breadth,” says Mentorship and Professional Development Subcommittee Chair and co-owner of Brewery Legitmus, Christina Sayer. “Mentees seeking careers in the craft brewing industry, in any of the industry’s three tiers, or in allied trades can find a professional to connect with in our program.”
Gabriella Swider, a member of the Fall 2022 mentorship cohort, capitalized on the opportunity to merge her educational background with government affairs activities in craft beer. “After being a mentee in the BA Mentorship Program, I was honored to have the opportunity to continue my educational experience by joining this year’s BA Hill Climb in Washington, DC. My degree is in Public Policy and I’m very passionate about advocating for our wider craft beer community, so it was an incredible experience getting to meet state brewers guild leaders from around the country and join in the action by meeting with legislators from my home state of Nevada.” Swider continued, “The BA Mentorship Program has been a game-changer for me personally and professionally, and I hope many others can take advantage of the opportunity to learn, grow, and advance in their careers through this program.”
Participants who successfully complete the BA Mentorship Program receive support beyond the 12 weeks of active mentorship, including financial support to attend the Craft Brewers Conference®, pursue an industry certification, enroll in an approved brewing education program, or build a reference library through Brewers Publications.
The Brewers Association envisions a craft brewing industry that provides unmatched opportunities for learning, professional development, employment, entrepreneurship, belonging, and empowerment to everyone regardless of identities, experiences, or perspectives.
To learn more about the Brewers Association Mentorship Program and to apply to be a participant or mentor, visit brewersassociation.org.