Community and culture led the recent projects funded by the Brewers Association Diversity, Equity & Inclusion (DEI) Mini-Grants.
“June was a particularly busy month with people from all over the U.S. celebrating Pride and Juneteenth events,” says Alana Koenig-Busey, Brewers Association DEI project coordinator and program director for the mentorship program. “While we aren’t entirely out of the woods as far as the pandemic is concerned, outdoor events are thriving. These events in particular sought not only to provide safe and inclusive spaces but fostered entrepreneurship, providing space for independent businesses and breweries to reconnect with their communities, craft beer in hand.”
In the second quarter of 2022, the Philanthropy and Outreach Subcommittee helped fund GRINDfest, Left Hand Pride, Juneteenth Craft Fest, Change in the Air Festival, and Big Queer Beer Fest, bringing new ways to engage every community in craft beer.
Projects Engage BIPOC Communities
The free four-day GRINDfest took place in Asheville, North Carolina on May 27-29. The festival celebrated Black, Indigenous, and people of color (BIPOC) entrepreneurs and business owners from the city during Asheville Craft Beer Week with live performances, music, food, local vendors, and learning opportunities.
“The goal of the festival is to highlight the progress made by people of color while also connecting folks in the community,” said event coordinators. Event partners included the Asheville Brewers Alliance, Highland Brewing, Burial Beer Co., Resident Culture, Salud Cerveceria, Archetype Brewing, and members of the Greensboro Chapter of Pink Boots.
On June 18, the Juneteenth Craft Fest at Esoteric Brewing—the first Black and Asian-owned brewery in Cincinnati, Ohio—provided an opportunity to strengthen the community with entrepreneurship. Esoteric partnered with nonprofit Cincinnati Music Accelerator, the city’s only Black-operated mobile performance arts organization, for the event.
Beer, food, art, and music combined at the Change in the Air Festival in New Haven, Connecticut. The event and Change in the Air IPA collaboration beer brewed by 27 breweries in the region raised more than $10,000 for a scholarship fund that supports aspiring Black and Brown brewers who enroll in the Brewing Science program at Sacred Heart University. The event provided an inclusive space for Black people to discuss social issues and find information about careers in the state’s craft brewing industry.
On July 30, Pittsburgh hosted the Pittsburgh Mixed Culture event, a celebration of all things saison, mixed culture beer, and diversity in the drinking community. Over 50 breweries attended the event. Presented by Cinderlands Beer Co. and Trace Brewing, the event hosted the Pittsburgh Brewery Diversity Council, True T Pittsburgh, Sisters Pittsburgh, and the Pittsburgh Restaurant Workers Aid.
“Pittsburgh Mixed Culture was thrilled to have the support of the Brewers Association Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Committee in helping put on a great festival in our first year,” said Cinderlands CEO Paul Schneider. “We share the mission of making the beer industry a more diverse, welcoming, and safe space for all people, and this award helped us do that in our little sliver of the beer world in Pittsburgh this summer. It’s great to have such an impactful partner in our efforts.”
Local Events Celebrate Pride Month
There were two Pride events in Colorado in June.
On June 4, the Left Hand Pride event began celebrations with a drag show and releasing Druicy, a Berliner Weisse made with blueberry, juniper, and edible glitter, where proceeds benefited the Dru Project. This organization provides scholarships to lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer or questioning (LGTBQ+) youth.
Left Hand’s event raised just over $2,000 for the Dru Project, with $831 donated from beer sales ($1 for every draught sale). Sarah Grossman, from the Dru Project, said that they raised over $1,200 from direct donations and tips collected by the performers.
“Left Hand’s Second Annual Pride Event and Drag Show was a celebration of camaraderie, love, fun, and support for our local LGBTQ+ community,” Left Hand regional manager Chelsea Sanzari says. “With the generosity of the Brewers Association DEI Mini-Grant, we were able to craft a venue, complete with a catwalk appropriate for a queen, for a fun-filled and family friendly drag show in the Left Hand Garden.”
The Big Queer Beer Fest on June 18 in Denver saw Lady Justice Brewing and Goldspot Brewing team up to host its second annual event. Over $6,000 in charity funds were raised last year at the event, and this year’s event raised even more with $11,663.50 coming in.
“It was a day full of good vibes and big smiles,” Lady Justice Brewing Co. co-founder and owner Betsy Lay said. “Folx were able to enjoy beer, sunshine, non-alcohol options, great music, and raising money for LGBTQIA+ orgs in a space that prioritized inclusion.”
Brewers Association funding helped cover infrastructure costs to keep attendees safe. It also helped save money on their bottom line, ensuring more money went to the LGBTQIA+ (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer, Intersex, Asexual) community.
For a full list of past grant recipients and more information about the Diversity, Equity & Inclusion (DEI) Mini-Grants Program, visit BrewersAssociation.org. Proposals for events, media production projects, and training and educational initiatives that will be completed in 2022 will continue to be accepted on a rolling basis until October 31. The 2023 DEI mini-grant guidelines will be published in October 2022.