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. J Jackson-Beckham

Dr. J Jackson-Beckham, 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.

DEI Resources

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. The program, currently transitioning to an online format, 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

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.

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.


Quality Resources

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 online safety training courses, to help you get started or improve your safety initiatives.

Access Safety Courses

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Brewery Safety Training

The BA’s online Brewery Safety Training addresses the need for occupational safety and health training in the craft brewing industry. Training is broken down into common procedures performed in the brewing process, such as mashing and keg cleaning, so that learnings are easy to relate to specific job tasks. The 14 video-based courses take anywhere from 30 minutes to an hour to complete. Courses are free and registration is easy.


Draught Line Safety Course

Funded by a Susan Harwood Training Grant awarded by the Department of Labor and Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), the BA developed an online draught line safety course to address the hazards of cleaning draught beer lines. Safe and effective line cleaning is crucial to on-premise sales and all purveyors of draught beer will benefit from the concepts taught in this course. This free, interactive training will help ensure the safety of brewers, line cleaners, wholesalers, retailers, and consumers of draught beer. Comprised of four separate modules, training can be accomplished at the learner’s pace, with each module taking up to two hours to complete.


Safety Ambassador

BA Safety Ambassador Matt Stinchfield works with both state guilds and OSHA, exploring opportunities to establish alliances and provide OSHA inspector training on brewery operations.


Matt Stinchfield

Matt Stinchfield, Safety Ambassador

Matt is the BA Safety Ambassador, member of the Safety Subcommittee, and a frequent speaker at conferences, state guilds, and webinars. He is lead instructor for the OSHA-funded Hazard Reduction Practices for Cleaning Draught Beer Lines course and the annual Brewery Safety Bootcamp at the Craft Brewers Conference. Currently, Matt is writing the book on brewery safety for Brewers Publications, shooting for a late 2022 release. In his spare time, he forages mushrooms and wrangles trout.


Safety Resources

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

Sustainability Ambassador Matt Gacioch helps 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.


Sustainability Resources