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.
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
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.
Basics of Beer Quality Instructor and Trainers
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, 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, 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.
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.
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, 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.
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, 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, 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.