The newest addition to the list of things that are being declared racist: beer companies.
A columnist for the Boston Globe, Shirley Leung, accused craft beer of being a “haven for white males,” in her newest piece titled, “Craft beer’s diversity problem: Too many white male hipsters.”
“Sadly, what counts as diversity in this industry is the clean-shaven minority mixing with the bearded majority,” Leung wrote. Beer companies have become “a haven for white males” according to Leung, because they “for decades courted male consumers with sexist TV ads featuring women in bikinis.”
Leung believes that “Big beer” has recognized in the last 10 years that in order to grow their market they must become more inclusive.
— The Boston Globe (@BostonGlobe) July 26, 2019
“They may be tapping out white males as a source of growth,” Mike Kallenberger, a brand strategist specializing in craft beer, told Leung. “The consensus is, in terms of race, craft beer hasn’t done as good a job of reaching out.” (RELATED: Seafood Restaurant Releases ‘PETA Tears’ Beer After Feud With The Organization)
Leung detailed a racial profiling incident in which a black couple was chased out of an Angry Orchard Hard Cider brewery, owned by Boston Beer Company, and said that the company’s response was good, but not enough.
The security guards at Angry Orchard Hard Cider Brewery accused the boyfriend of stealing a $28 shirt from the gift shop, and chased them both out of the brewery. The company apologized to the couple, fired the security team and manager that day, and required all their staff to participate in unconscious-bias training.
“It’s the right response, swift and decisive, but true culture change also comes from making sure the staff and leadership are diverse,” Leung wrote.
She had two more suggestions for the beer company. The first being that all employees need to “undergo sensitivity training.” Secondly, Angry Orchard needs to add a person of color to their corporate board.
The first step to fixing the racial issues in craft beer, according to Leung, is “self-awareness.” “We should all drink to the fact that craft brewers realize they have a diversity problem, and they’re thirsty to find solutions – fast,” Leung concluded.