Trainings & Workshops

The Brewers Association (BA) offers online and in-person trainings and workshops to BA members, led by a team of ambassadors and instructors who are experts in their fields. Learn more about our current training opportunities and our ambassadors and instructors below.

Diversity, Equity & Inclusion

Research studies increasingly show that Diversity, Equity & Inclusion (DEI) can help increase a business’ bottom line, drive innovation, attract more talent, attract more customers, and create more opportunities for growth.

The Brewers Association Diversity, Equity & Inclusion department is led by Dr. Janel Nikol Jackson-Beckham, our Equity and Inclusion Partner. In addition to working with the Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Committee to provide best practices resources and other expert guidance, Dr. Jackson-Beckham will conduct six virtual state guild speaking engagements in 2021.

Dr. Janel Nikol Jackson-Beckham

J. Nikol Jackson-Beckham, Ph.D., Equity & Inclusion Partner

A former professor of Communication Studies, Dr. J Jackson-Beckham dedicated her academic career to the study of American beer. Today, she helps craft beverage organizations develop inclusive, equitable, and just practices that drive success, build communities, and empower individuals through her consultancy, Crafted For All, LLC. She is also the founder and Executive Director of Craft x EDU (pronounced “craft by E-D-U”), a nonprofit whose mission is to champion equity, inclusion, and justice in the craft brewing community through education and professional development. She is an author, speaker, and vocal advocate for the craft beverage community. In 2018, Dr. J was named the Brewers Association’s first ever Diversity Ambassador. Today, Jackson-Beckham leads the Brewers Association’s Diversity, Equity & Inclusion (DEI) department as the association’s Equity & Inclusion Partner.

Dr. J’s Speaking Topics

What do a black belt in Jiu-Jitsu, a colony of ants, and a recipe for a brown ale have in common? In the real world, very little. But in Dr. J.’s interactive talk, this eclectic list of common objects will inspire attendees to rethink how we approach diversity and inclusion in the craft brewing industry. Dr. J. will open the door for an honest and judgment-free conversation about the realities of authentically reaching populations that are underrepresented among those that produce, distribute, and sell alcoholic beverages.

Key Takeaways:

  • Diagnoses three critical flaws in common approaches to organizational diversity and inclusion.
  • Presents a framework for rethinking organizational diversity and inclusion that empowers employees to craft context-specific solutions that are tailored to their organization’s goals and capacity.

Presented at the 2018 Craft Brewers Conference in Nashville, Tenn.

Does your brewery staff and leadership reflect the diversity of your community? If not, you’re not alone. You’re also leaving a world of opportunity for organizational success unexplored. In this interactive talk, Dr. J. will share some of the latest research on the advantages of organizations that lead in workplace diversity experiences. Though there are no one-size-fits-all tactics that are appropriate for all breweries, this talk will cover a range of practical recruitment and retention strategies that will help attendees working to diversify their workplace.

Key Takeaways

  • Introduces the concepts of inclusion, equity, and justice as a corrective to thinking in terms of “diversity.” 
  • Demonstrates how these three concepts can be used as a tool to evaluate existing and future organizational policies and initiatives.

Have you made a commitment and embarked on the journey toward improved diversity and inclusion outcomes but find your efforts to be disjointed and running out of steam? In this talk, Dr. J guides attendees through building a comprehensive strategic plan for inclusion, equity, and justice (IEJ) work; creating a responsibility structure to foster accountability and transparency; and addresses the challenging realities of implementation.

Key Takeaways: 

  • Provides guidance for strategic planning processes.
  • Details three types of IEJ responsibility structures that can be scaled for use at businesses of all sizes.
  • Introduces the Crafted For All Commitment as a means of kickstarting actionable DEI work.

A cultural climate audit provides baseline data and qualitative observations that form the foundation of diversity and inclusion planning, implementation, and assessment activities. Workshop participants will learn a step by step process for conducting and analyzing the results of a multi-method cultural climate audit.

Key Takeaways: 

  • Provides a step by step procedure for conducting a cultural climate audit.
  • Presents the benefits of a triangulated cultural climate auditing method.
  • Demonstrates how the results of an audit can be used to correct existing policy, craft future policy, and/or benchmark ongoing diversity and inclusion efforts.

Presented in the 2020 CBC Online event.

A communication strategy provides direction for internal and external communication, establishes a common language around diversity and inclusion goals, articulates standards for culturally competent interactions, and guides organizational storytelling.

Key Takeaways: 

  • Underscores the importance of an internal/external communication plan for creating, retaining, and representing diversity.
  • Introduces storytelling for equity and inclusion.
  • Provides broad guidelines for forming a crisis communication plan.

Basics of Beer Quality Workshop

The Basics of Beer Quality Workshop supports the vision of the BA Quality Subcommittee to develop a membership that consistently produces beer of high quality.

Transitioning to a virtual format in 2021, the workshop covers the fundamentals underlying some of the most common methods used to ensure consistency and quality in a craft brewery.

See Sample Agenda


Basics of Beer Quality Instructor and Trainers

Lauren Torres

Lauren Torres, Quality Instructor

Lauren Torres currently serves as lab manager at Bell’s Brewery, Inc., where she leads a dedicated team involved with chemistry, microbiology, and sensory analysis. Lauren has also taught the Siebel Institute of Technology’s Quality Course, and has presented at local and national conferences for the American Society of Brewing Chemists, American Society for Quality (ASQ), Craft Brewers Conference, and Master Brewers Association of the Americas.

Melissa Antone

Melissa Antone, Quality Trainer

Antone assists with the hands-on training portion of the Basics of Beer Quality Workshops. Her passion for beer started while studying biology at the University of Delaware and working for Iron Hill Brewery and Restaurant. She eventually relocated to Colorado and joined the quality assurance department at Avery Brewing Company, where she worked in the lab and developed a formal sensory program. Antone later joined Cara Technology Ltd. and AROXA®, providing sensory training to craft brewers. Currently, as a freelance consultant, she specializes in quality assurance, and trains brewers in both lab analysis and sensory evaluation.

Alan Windhausen

Alan Windhausen, Quality Trainer

Windhausen graduated from the Missouri University of Science and Technology with a Bachelor of Science in chemistry and minors in biology and economics. From there, he moved to Alaska to earn a master’s in teaching at the University of Alaska Southeast, working in rural schools while also flying for the Civil Air Patrol, before entering the Master Brewers Program at UC-Davis. Alan has worked in the craft beer industry at Wynkoop Brewing and Hangar 24 Craft Brewing and served as the lead brewer at Pikes Peak Brewing. Alan is currently the Head Brewer at Holidaily Brewing Company, Colorado’s dedicated gluten-free brewery.

Safety

Every brewery environment is unique. Establishing a sound safety program is an ongoing process that utilizes a vast array of resources and information. Led by the Safety Subcommittee, the BA provides resources and tools, including the free online Brewery Safety Training to help you get started or improve your safety initiatives.


FREE Online Brewery Safety Training

The BA Brewery Safety Training addresses the need for occupational safety and health training in the craft brewing industry and focuses on the specific tasks that are performed in a brewery. This task based instruction is in contrast to a traditional issue-based training approach. Traditional issues-based training participants find it difficult to relate their learning to their specific job tasks. A task based approach has the potential to allow employees to understand how to apply the principles of each specific OSH issue and to enhance their ability to recognize the hazards in their job tasks.


Hazard Reduction Practices for Cleaning Draught Beer Lines

Funded by a Susan Harwood Training Grant awarded by the Department of Labor and OSHA for fiscal year 2020-21, the BA is currently in the process of developing an online draught line cleaning safety training program. Draught beer line cleaning executed safely and correctly will be crucial to the recovery of on-premise beer sales in 2021 and beyond. The establishment of this free training will help ensure the safety of brewers, line cleaners, wholesalers, retailers, and consumers of draught beer.

Safety Ambassador

In 2021, BA Safety Ambassador Matt Stinchfield will continue his work with both state guilds and the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), exploring opportunities to establish alliances and provide OSHA inspector training on brewery operations.


Matt Stinchfield

Matt Stinchfield, Safety Ambassador

Matt Stinchfield has been actively creating safer workplaces for over three decades. He has focused on brewery safety for the last 20 years as a safety and loss control consultant to mid-sized and regional craft breweries and distilleries. Matt is a member of the Brewers Association safety subcommittee and sits on the Master Brewers Association of America’s food safety committee. Matt founded his own brewery, Ploughshare Brewing Company, in Lincoln, Nebraska in 2014.

Sustainability

Environmental stewardship is a top priority for both craft brewers and craft beer enthusiasts. Through the benchmarking work and sustainability manuals, the Brewers Association and the Sustainability Subcommittee encourages conscientious brewing practices that will ensure the long-term success of the craft beer industry.


Sustainability Ambassador and Mentor

In 2021, Sustainability Ambassador Matt Gacioch will continue to help breweries manage their resource use through the BA Sustainability Benchmarking Tool.

Matt Gacioch

Matt Gacioch, Sustainability Ambassador

Matt Gacioch has spent his career exploring the nuance and opportunity of sustainability within the craft beer industry, the built environment, and communities around the world. As the former Director of Sustainability and Marketing for Short’s Brewing Company in Michigan, he created programs and executed sustainable design initiatives on energy, water, and waste, all while working to tell an authentic story of successes and (plenty of) road bumps. He has also worked in sustainability at Left Hand Brewing Company and in the Craft Beer Program at the Brewers Association.

John Stier

John Stier, Sustainability Mentor

John Stier has over three decades of experience in the brewing sector, including time spent leading the global sustainability efforts for Anheuser-Busch (AB). Since leaving AB in 2008, Stier has worked with a number of leading global beverage companies to develop sustainability strategies and implementation plans that create measurable business value. He has been active with the Brewers Association over the last seven years as a member of the BA sustainability subcommittee and is the primary author of the BA Sustainability Manuals.