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.
- 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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