Craft brewing, as an innovative economic activity that emphasizes craftsmanship and creativity, promotes values such as community-based collaboration and a commitment to high quality. This is why it can be considered a culture.
Craft breweries communicate these values through their websites, social media and media interviews. They also support their local communities in various ways.
Brewers are often self-described “people people” who value the relationships they have with their employees and consumers. But when it comes to diversity and inclusion, many are lagging behind.
Flynn is one of many brewers who are relying on their communities for funding and sweat equity to get their doors open. These nontraditional business models are opening up a new cadre of brewers who might not otherwise have been able to make the leap into entrepreneurship.
But the real challenge is not just hiring and training, it’s developing a culture that’s resilient. Without deliberate effort, policies can become dusty three-ring binders that don’t keep pace with the needs of the brewery. Successful cultures are iterative and continuously seek to adapt. They are the foundation for everything else a brewery does. And that starts with the core team.
As with most industries, the beer business was once dominated by a duopoly. But in recent years, small breweries have taken over the industry. They have diversified the market, increased competition for the big companies and created more jobs. Visit craft beer UK.
One of the most important ways these small breweries are uniting communities is through veteran-owned businesses. Veterans like Kevin Gamble, owner of Service Brewing in Jacksonville, Florida, are able to support the military community by creating jobs for other veterans.
He and his team are also dedicated to giving back to the community, from helping raise funds for police officers who were injured in the line of duty, to hosting fundraisers for the local soup kitchen.
However, for many accountability naysayers, citing concerns over sexism, racism and unsafe working conditions in the brewery industry is seen as being ‘political correctness gone mad.’ In the beer world, this can be seen as a denial of their right to enjoy beer in a safe and welcoming space that is only for cis white men.
Local Businesses Unite
Breweries are often located in what were once bust manufacturing centers, injecting a new energy into local economies. By visiting your local brewpub, you’re keeping money in the community—and that impacts everyone who plays a role at the brewery, including employees and farmers who grow the ingredients for beer. In fact, according to Untappd data from 2019, for every $100 spent at a brewery taproom, $68 stays in the neighborhood.
In an age of fake news, where a handful of trolls can derail a major movement, it’s important to support local businesses that prioritize the health and well-being of their customers. This includes avoiding discrimination and supporting the needs of marginalized communities.
Local breweries can offer their own unique solutions to this challenge, such as partnering with local nonprofits to host truth-telling days/nights and facilitating creative workshops for underserved populations. Breweries can also make a public commitment to only use local ingredients and support local farmers to demonstrate their care for the community they serve.
Whether it’s a local beer festival or a beer dinner at a restaurant, craft beer drinkers are coming together and strengthening their communities.
The breweries who host these events encourage their staff to get involved with community initiatives and promote these opportunities through social media. Their open-door policy to all allows them to build an attachment with the community and create a sense of ownership and pride in the brand.
Even the breweries that have been called out for instances of sexual or racial harassment, unsafe workplaces and toxic cultures are working to change their reputation. For example, Mikkeller’s willingness to work with Hand & Heart not only despite but because of their status as whistleblowers shows that earned forgiveness is possible.