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A sign for the Craft Brewers Conference outside the Colorado Convention Center in Denver. Photo courtesy of the Brewers Association

The craft beer community reunited in Denver this weekend for the first time since before the pandemic to confront its demons.

What they're saying: In the opening address, Bob Pease, CEO of the Boulder-based Brewers Association, the industry's leading trade group, called for an "awakening."

  • "This scourge of discrimination and inequity has festered and held us back," he told attendees at the Craft Brewers Conference, which concluded Sunday.
  • "We are at an inflection point," added Virginia Morrison, the association's co-chair for diversity.

Why it matters: In the past 18 months, the beer industry struggled to address racism in its ranks, and an outpouring of stories emerged from women about sexism, harassment and assault.

  • Flashback: The three female owners of Lady Justice Brewing in Aurora took their story to a national platform this summer, and at least one Colorado brewery owner publicly apologized for its workplace culture.

Between the lines: The conference is the largest industry-only gathering in the nation and typically is focused on education seminars and a trade show.

This year, the event had a different feel, with an entire track of meetings about workplace culture, ranging from diversity and inclusion to mental health.

  • The conference included trainings from the National Conflict Resolution Center and promoted the #NotMe app to report misconduct and discrimination.

The bottom line: "We've been very reactive," Brewers Association's diversity ambassador Nikol Jackson-Beckham told John at the conference. "It's time to connect the dots."

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Go deeper

John Frank, author of Denver
Sep 12, 2021 - Axios Denver

Colorado brewers take home 21 GABF medals

Photo courtesy of the Brewers Association

Colorado breweries claimed 21 medals in the much-hyped Great American Beer Festival competition, far fewer than normal.

By the numbers: The awards, announced Friday at the Craft Brewers Conference, included seven gold medals for best-in-category brews.

10 hours ago - Health

FDA advisory panel recommends Pfizer boosters for those 65 and older

A healthcare worker prepares a dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech Covid-19 vaccine at the Key Biscayne Community Center on Aug. 24, 2021. Photo: Eva Marie Uzcategui/Bloomberg via Getty Images

A key Food and Drug Administration advisory panel on Friday overwhelmingly voted against recommending Pfizer vaccine booster shots for younger Americans, but unanimously recommended approving the third shots for individuals 65 and older, as well as those at high-risk of severe COVID-19.

Why it matters: While the votes are non-binding, and the FDA must still make a final decision, Friday's move pours cold water on the Biden administration's plan to begin administering boosters to most individuals who received the Pfizer vaccine later this month.

11 hours ago - World

France recalls ambassadors from U.S. and Australia over submarine deal

Secretary of State Antony Blinken (L), French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian (C), and French ambassador to the U.S. Philippe Etienne. Photo: Nicholas Kamm/AFP via Getty Images

France has taken the extraordinary step of recalling its ambassadors to the U.S. and Australia after both countries blindsided their French allies with a new military pact and submarine contract, the French Foreign Ministry announced on Friday.

The backstory: While sealing an agreement with the U.S. and U.K. to acquire nuclear submarines, Australia ripped up an existing $90 billion submarine deal with France. That led senior French officials to accuse the U.S. of a "stab in the back."