Several recent posts on social media have drawn attention to the horrible and inappropriate sexual harassment and assault and of women in our industry. Reading the stories posted by @ratmagnet, as well the comments and posts on others’ social media accounts is sickening. @steelandoak is right – craft beer is supposed to be about inclusivity and diversity. Just yesterday, one of our female servers said to me that she was wearing baggy clothes because she was tired of being sexually harassed at work by customers. This MUST end and we all must do a better job of committing to listening, talking, taking this issue seriously, and speaking up.
We were recently made aware that a former employee of ours made several inappropriate comments online regarding this issue. While this person has not worked for us for over two years, we feel it is still our responsibility to speak up against this. It would be wrong for us to ignore these comments and hope they go away. We take a firm stance in acknowledging this is a real, serious, and urgent issue and while we are disappointed to be associated with these comments, the only way we can make a difference is by taking the uncomfortable route and addressing this head on.
We are proud to employ women in every department of our brewery, however this is not enough. We must all do a better job of listening, speaking up, and moving towards a more inclusive, empowered, and respectful industry. We acknowledge that lack of inclusivity is a real problem in our industry – a 2019 report by craftbeer.com stated that only 7.5% of breweries employed a female in a brewing role. We also recognize that discrimination and harassment extends to the LGBTQIA2S+ and BIPOC communities who often aren’t captured in these types of statistics but are also targeted by these harmful acts. We will, and we encourage everyone in the craft beer world to review their policies, educate their employees, and make changes that result in REAL progress.
Beer has a history of bringing people together, building bridges, and breaking barriers. We commit to striving to get on track with that and we encourage all others to join us.