Sexism in the Beer Industry

Hey, Ash here. When I started Women of the Bevolution, I was still only a year or so into the beer world after leaving my record label and entertainment career of 10+ years. Working in the music industry though I am grateful to have had two amazing and strong female bosses during that time, it definitely wasn’t always the case. And as I navigated my career and place in the music industry, I always felt like I was stepping on eggshells. A lot of the times I would be the youngest in the room or the only woman..I still remember one of my last meetings before I left the industry, where the ratio of women to men was me to 30+ guys. I most recently was the only woman overseeing a team at my last job. Most of the time I probably shrugged off situations or just kept my head down and continued to just get my shit done and do good where I could. But thinking back, there are many times where I felt it wasn’t a safe place to speak up in any regard. And when I thought a HR person might be a glimmer of hope, that wasn’t the case either. I’ve had an artist manager go to my boss to say I’m entitled because I suggested ideas and didn’t just do what he said. I’ve had a male exec during what I thought was a job interview steer the conversation into questioning my choice of wanting to be a tour manager because as a woman it would be too hard to be away from family. He pretty much asked me if I wanted to have kids and this was about 5 minutes into the conversation. I had a boss once tell me “I’d be back in six months” when I left for a better job opportunity. There are several women to this day I worked with who I feel I can trust, but a majority of the time women are made to feel like they’re in competition of one another and it made it really hard to confide in each other. So who do we turn to in situations where we encounter gender discrimination? These past few days as I read more and more stories (there are thousands of stories as of July 14) from women in the beer industry via Brienne’s Instagram Stories (@RatMagnet). I’m extremely frustrated. I knew when I left music, a very male dominated industry, that I was going into an even more male dominated industry and I knew it was going to be a fucking mess in every which way. But I wanted to help wherever possible. When I started Women of the Bevolution, I hoped it would be a resource for women looking to break into the industry and if I could point them in the direction to job opportunities, connect them with other women and share inspiring stories, I thought OK that’s one step in the right direction. But what are the resources and tools available for all of us women working in the industry now to come together, support one another and take action against the gender discrimination and sexual harassment? Because it needs to fucking stop. I don’t know the exact answer at this moment. I do know that these breweries and brands need to be called out and held accountable. I do know the alcohol and hospitality industry need additional help including other groups, investors and educational resources so we can implement change and not just let history repeat itself. I will do my part in sharing any resources here on WomenoftheBevolution.com or Instagram: @WomenoftheBevolution and for those of you reading, feel free to send any additional resources my way: womenofthebevolution@gmail.com.

Editor’s Note (July 14th, 2021): There is now a new Instagram Account sharing stories –> @EmboldenActAdvance

Read this special guest post “And I Say Let It Burn” by Tessie Warnecke, Head of Coffee for Modern Times Beer

KEEP SPEAKING UP!

IN THE NEWS:

Buzzfeed Daily: Listen: A Single Instagram Account Is Forcing A Reckoning With Allegations Of Sexism, Assault In The Craft Beer World here with Beth Demmon

VinePair: Sweeping Accusations of Sexism, Assault Rock the Craft Beer Industry here by Beth Demmon

“The one that hit me the most was one of the girls told me that a brewer offered to give her a ride home, and everyone vouched for him, saying that he was a good guy,” Allan says. According to Allan, the story continued: “Then he pulled off to the side of the road and tried to rape her and beat the sh*t out of her. She got away, and she said she’s never told anybody because he was harassing her, [threatening], ‘If you ever tell anyone, I’ll kill you.’” – via VinePair

Good Beer Hunting: Judgment Day — Outpouring of Beer Industry Sexual Abuse Allegations on Instagram Sparks Questions of Guilt, Innocence, and Legal Vulnerability here by Kate Bernot

Brewbound: Tidal Wave of Sexual Harassment Allegations and Toxicity in Craft Beer Industry Lead to Terminations here

Channel 9 News Denver: Reckoning over sexual harassment, assault in craft beer industry echoes through Colorado here

Paste Magazine: Craft Beer’s Sexist and Racist Reckoning Has Come Again here

Beer Search Party: Act Better here

Philadelphia Inquirer: Tired Hands Brewing Company founder steps away from operations after allegations of racism and sexism spill over in social media

Statement from the president of Modern Times here

As of May 18th, updated statement by Modern Times CEO & Founder announcing he is stepping down from his role here

Chicago Tribune: Chicago’s Cicerone Program Suspends Worker here

Eater: The Craft Beer & Brewing Industry is Reckoning with Sexual Harassment here

Good Beer Hunting: Buzz, Kill — The Physical, Psychological, and Financial Price Women Pay for Working in Beer by Beth Demmon here

SF Gate: Modern Times staff refuses to pour beer as accusations of misogyny shake Bay Area breweries here

K5: Female brewers in Washington agree it’s time for a reckoning on sexism in the craft beer industry here

Business Insider: Women brewers are speaking out against misogynistic and sexist behavior in the beer and craft industry here

Bon Appetit: What It’s Like to Be a Woman in the Craft Beer Industry here

Here are some of the stories for reference:

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