The impact of the recent Instagram post that sparked a huge outpouring of personal stories describing widespread discrimination, sexual harassment and misconduct in the craft brewing industry has continued to gain momentum.
The Instagram post by Brienne Allan, a brewer at Notch Brewing, and the hundreds of responses it has generated has been covered by a number of trade publications and is beginning to be seen in the mainstream media as well.
The outpouring has also resulted in some of the breweries that were mentioned by name to issue statements. And there was at least one report of an industry member stepping down. An article in the Philadelphia Inquirer reported that Jean Broillet, owner of Tired Hands Brewing Company in Ardmore, PA had stepped down. A company Instagram statement said “By our request, Jean Broillet IV has stepped down from all daily operations immediately. Julie has not been working here since March, 2021.” It went on to say that “We, the existing staff, will remain in place and continue operating as we search for new leadership to build a stronger culture here.”
This is a watershed moment for the industry. And all should work to insure that it doesn’t just fade away. This behavior is prevalent throughout our culture. The craft brewing industry has an opportunity to be an example of how positive change can be made. We must use this opportunity. Everyone should be able to ask themselves tomorrow, and again in a week, and again in a month, and again in a year; what they have personally done to improve this situation – and be able to honestly answer to themselves that they have made a positive difference.
Melissa Myers, proprietor at The Good Hop Bar and Bottle Shop in Oakland, CA posted on Instagram some sound and tangible tips that any company can do to begin the process of being better. It’s a start;
- Hire more women in management roles. It will keep y’all from repeatedly having to ask us what you should do every time your employee sticks his hands down a woman’s pants. Trust us, a woman in management will let you know before you hit critical-mass douchiness, thereby saving you much embarrassment and heartache.
- Involve women in the hiring process. No one can weed out future liabilities like women can.
- Immediately introduce a zero-tolerance policy and fire offenders. That’s what “zero tolerance” means.
- Hire more women. And stop grabbing their parts. And condescending to them. And gaslighting them. And demeaning them. There is plenty of power to go around—stop asserting yours by belittling women who clearly are willing to pay the toxic masculinity toll it takes to succeed in this industry. They’re here because they love craft beer as much as you do. Let’s all maybe try and remember that, mmmmKAY?