It started as a simple question posted by Brienne Allan on Instagram: “Have you ever experienced sexism in the beer industry?” What followed was a flood of responses, as hundreds of women shared personal stories of discrimination, misogyny, abuse, and assault.
For the beer industry, it’s been a reckoning. Besides compelling many breweries to take a good, hard look at their own cultures and policies for preventing and reporting discrimination, the accounts have led to multiple investigations and resignations. The pervasive nature of the responses also raises the troubling question of whether women can feel both safe and welcome at breweries, taprooms, festivals, and other beer-related events—such as homebrew-club meetings—where men tend to outnumber them.
While social media “moments” come and go, some issues deserve longer-lasting conversations and more enduring change. That’s one reason behind the Brave Noise collaboration. Dozens of breweries across the country are brewing a Brave Noise pale ale while committing to publish their codes of conduct for staff and customers as well as donate proceeds to a relevant cause.