We recognize there is a lot of uncertainty swirling around many issues affecting your business, the overall craft brewing community, and your Brewers Association.
We have seen and heard the criticisms and questions surrounding the Brewers Association’s silence regarding racism among its members. We hear you. Our limited public response to date has not been sufficient for many but it does not equate to apathy. We would like to provide you with an update on the progress we are making.
Currently, the Brewers Association bylaws do not include a mechanism for revoking a brewery’s membership. The Brewers Association also lacks a code of conduct for its members. The Brewers Association staff, Board of Directors, and its Governance Committee, in coordination with its Diversity Committee, have been working to correct the bylaw and governance document gaps through the following actions:
- Updated Bylaws: We have completed a draft of updated bylaws that include a mechanism for removal of a brewery member. These draft bylaws will be circulated to Brewers Association voting members in the coming week for feedback during a 20-day comment period.
- Code of Conduct: We are in the process of drafting language for a member code of conduct for review by an ad-hoc group of board and committee members. We hope to share this document with members in the coming month.
- Complaint Process: We are in the process of drafting a complaint and review process for review by an ad-hoc group of board and committee members. We hope to share this document with members in the coming month.
We also recognize that we must hold ourselves to a higher standard. To this end, the Diversity Committee is developing an equity scorecard that will be used to benchmark progress and guide decision-making with regard to recruitment and hiring, organizational climate, communications, supplier diversity, programming, and more. The committee is also nearing the launch of a mentorship program it has been building for the last year. This program will aim to bring a new and diverse group of people into the craft beer community by pairing them with a mentor in the industry and supporting them with a curriculum that will help prepare them for a career in craft beer.
Although we know that we have much more work to do, we hope these steps will promote positive change in making the Brewers Association and the craft brewing community a more inclusive and respectful environment.
We deeply appreciate your membership, your support, your feedback, and your patience as we work through these steps toward positive action, together.