What It’s Like to Be a Woman in the Craft Beer Industry

Chanell Williams, Craft Beer Blogger and Influencer based in Seattle: “I hold numerous craft beer sales positions across the country. When it comes to sexism in the industry, the overarching mindset is to soak it up and deal with it. And as a woman of color, I have the feeling that I always have to hold on, even through the pain, even through abuse, spontaneous comments and microaggressions. I went to a beer festival once to network and get into the industry. When I went into these rooms as a single woman, I was already cautious about the behaviors I might encounter. I worked tirelessly to make a name for myself back then and a group of men requested a picture with me. In the role of influencer, this request was not unusual. I stood between them to take the picture and one of the men reached out and grabbed my chest. I slapped the man’s hand and said, “Sorry. Never touch me again ‘They all just laughed at me.

I was later hired for a job by a manager I met at the festival. Two months after starting work, a colleague discovered that it was his father who grabbed my chest. He sent me a message trying to apologize for the hurtful behavior on behalf of his father. The message read, “If I called my father it would be silly. I know he didn’t mean anything by that. Not that it’s an excuse. I feel like I have to suck it up again. “

How the craft beer industry has to change

Megan Stone: “First and foremost, women must be believed and supported. They must be taken seriously in raising those red flags over their experiences. I feel like we’re being written off as dramatic or exaggerated most of the time. And when women share their experiences, it is not only the responsibility of the brewery but also the responsibility of the local guilds and the Brewers Association to do something bigger than share another course on sexual harassment. There was a massive lack of support for the victims and that has to change. I think the people who have made serious allegations, especially multiple allegations, need to be investigated – no question about it. It is also the responsibility of consumers to research and see what you are supporting and where your money is going. “

Erin Wallace: “The Brewers Association has a code of conduct. You have a place to file a complaint. Little before these Instagram stories, I didn’t know a lot of people in the brewery job chain knew this was an option. I never knew that. (Editor’s Note: This Code of Conduct was issued on August 6, 2020Therefore, according to the website, the association only considers complaints afterwards.) But even if a brewery is not a member of the brewers’ association, what are the options? It is the same with local guilds. Brewers must join the guild and join the Brewers Association to be held accountable for the Code of Conduct. If they don’t join, you’ll have to go to a government organization like the police, and each state has different rules and regulations. Perhaps it would be best if there was a third party organization for the industry that was more open, easier to find, and not owned by a specific guild or association.

From this week I was on the board of directors Philly loves beer. I was the first woman to be elected to the board. I found it really difficult to consider myself an advocate for women when allegations were made against people I sit on the board with. (Editor’s note: Another board member has resigned On allegations of a hostile work environment, according to reports from the Philadelphia Inquirer.) I decided I couldn’t justify being part of a group accused of treating other people the way I was treated in my career. I hope that I … resigning shows that I cannot remain silent and that Philly Loves Beer should make a good plan of action for the future. “

Chanell Williams: “Despite my trauma in this industry, I haven’t given up. I’m almost always the only black person in my brewery space, but I still want to make a difference in the industry and I am more than qualified to do so. Some of these stories are so daunting Sexual assault allegations to be Fired for pregnancyand no one will be held accountable. (Editor’s note: The Judicial proceedings for discrimination during pregnancy pending) The breweries need to be completely restructured and there needs to be more training on what discrimination and harassment mean. These companies need to overhaul their HR department and include women and people of color in leadership and management. I want to be reflected in my management. I want to feel comfortable talking to someone on my team about possible situations, from harassment by an employer to persecution by a brewery owner. People must be held accountable. “



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