African-American Craft Beer Brewers Unite To Host A Festival Of Their Own

Discussion in 'Beer News & Releases' started by CASK1, Aug 11, 2018.

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  1. CASK1

    CASK1 Aspirant (285) Jan 7, 2010 Florida

    Interesting NPR article on the racial disparity in craft drinkers/brewers.
  2. dvmin98

    dvmin98 Site Editor (2,727) Nov 1, 2010 North Carolina
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    I don't know why this has to be an issue? How about Americans making beer for Americans? Why do we have to constantly put everyone into a frickin category?
  3. dennis3951

    dennis3951 Champion (835) Mar 6, 2008 New Jersey

    If there was a "Black Beer Festival" near where you live, would you attend? I'm sure that most of the breweries at one, would be new for me, That's why I would go.
  4. Squire

    Squire Poo-Bah (2,035) Jul 16, 2015 Mississippi
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    I guess the folks at PBR didn't think an article about just craft beer would be interesting enough.
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  5. dennis3951

    dennis3951 Champion (835) Mar 6, 2008 New Jersey

    Sadly because that is what Americans do.
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  6. jrnyc

    jrnyc Meyvn (1,319) Mar 21, 2010 New York
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    <<says J. Nikol Jackson-Beckham, a professor at Randolph College and an expert on diversity in craft beer.>>

    Who knew there were experts in this type of thing :astonished:!

    <<"Its product is mostly made and drunk by affluent white people.">>
    Wow, just wow, talk about stereotyping people! The last time I got together with a bunch of people to drink, pretty sure most of us didn't fall into this category.

    <<Affluent whites, for instance, are much more likely to have grown up with parents, cousins or friends who home-brewed.>>
    Really, this is another absurd comment.

    <<He also notes racial segregation, which keeps people from trying bars in neighborhoods where they might not feel safe or welcome. "I mean, if you get pulled over in the wrong neighborhood, like, that could mean a lot of bad things for you," Bracey says.>>

    So , the police are being blamed for people not be able to try craft beer, more garbage.

    What a terrible article.
  7. jesskidden

    jesskidden Meyvn (1,344) Aug 10, 2005 New Jersey

    A quick search for "craft beer" at NPR Search turns up 162 hits, the oldest from 2006, with titles like:

    (2008) Alabama Beer Drinkers Fight for Stronger Brews
    (2009) Despite Economy, Craft Beer Industry Grows
    (2010) Changing Tastes Drive Shift In Beer Sales
    (2013) Craft Brews Slowly Chipping Away At Big Beer's Dominance
    #7 jesskidden, Aug 11, 2018
    Last edited: Aug 11, 2018
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  8. thesherrybomber

    thesherrybomber Initiate (158) Jun 13, 2017 California
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    Welp, only a few replies in have already proven the article's point.

    For a community that prides itself on being progressive, we're awfully conservative in many respects.
  9. dvmin98

    dvmin98 Site Editor (2,727) Nov 1, 2010 North Carolina
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    Because we have to make everything about race? last share I went to there were 4 black guys, 3 white guys and an Asian girl. Amazingly, the diversity never became a topic throughout the evening. We just all shot the sh*t and drank amazing beers.
  10. thesherrybomber

    thesherrybomber Initiate (158) Jun 13, 2017 California
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    I mean, if you're not a person of color, I can see how you would think its not an issue. If bringing attention to what others of a different demographic experiences is making "everything about race", then we should be making more things about it.

    Trying to think of parallels, but I'm assuming you're not a woman, queer, or severely handicapped, or having to beg for your next meal. Yeah, the scene is pretty monolithic: middle class, white, 30s-40s. Not a problem in itself, unless there are those who want it to stay that way for whatever reason(s).

    Truth is, racial minorities do have more of a hurdle if they want to "make it" in the industry. Not sure why wanting to change that is such a bad thing?
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  11. Squire

    Squire Poo-Bah (2,035) Jul 16, 2015 Mississippi
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    I choose to live in the real world, not the world of labels. The city and county where I reside has about a 38% black population and any festival around here will have a proportional representation.

    The closest I come to having ethnicity in a conversation is making tomahawk jokes with my Choctaw friends because I am descended from the Cherokee and the two tribes have had their differences in years past.
  12. drtth

    drtth Poo-Bah (3,654) Nov 25, 2007 Pennsylvania

    That sounds ideal and as it should be.

    Now if we could just get the rest of the world to go along with that example the labels would disappear entirely....

    (Even the ones you've just used to make your point.)
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  13. thesherrybomber

    thesherrybomber Initiate (158) Jun 13, 2017 California
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    I'm glad that you can choose to live without labels, but for others, its something they have to confront every day. Until you're constantly reminded you're different, either by people's words or actions, its not the same thing at all.

    Its one thing to have a Cherokee ancestor, and another with being attacked on your own reservation because some greedy asshole wants to build a pipe.
  14. socon67

    socon67 Poo-Bah (1,688) Jun 18, 2010 New York

    We should be embracing the idea that craft beer is becoming more popular among all customer segments. That means better beer available; a good thing. I see such a festival as celebrating inclusion into the industry, not putting a special category.

    With that said, some of the generalization thrown into this article without statistics is cringe-worthy.
  15. gatornation

    gatornation Poo-Bah (4,346) Apr 18, 2007 Minnesota

    Looks like the original name of this thread by the OP has already been changed.
  16. Squire

    Squire Poo-Bah (2,035) Jul 16, 2015 Mississippi
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    I don't allow others to define my identity, or anything else about me for that matter. I'm drawn to intelligent, reflective, witty people who can express their thoughts without raising their voice and have found such folk wherever I've traveled.
  17. thebeers

    thebeers Poo-Bah (2,278) Sep 10, 2014 Pennsylvania
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    Anybody going to this today? Would love to hear how it goes.
  18. thebeers

    thebeers Poo-Bah (2,278) Sep 10, 2014 Pennsylvania
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    That's great, but despite your best intentions as an individual, this is a country that's still very divided by race, class and gender and it's hard to push for greater equality without acknowledging inequalities.

    Our country's founding documents divide people by race and gender -- and today we've got a head of state who wants to limit immigration from "shithole countries" and increase immigration from northern Europe. That's the real world. :beers:
  19. HopBelT

    HopBelT Meyvn (1,130) Mar 18, 2014 Belgium
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    There's one in Belgium : . A festival of black beers... :wink:
    And I'm going !
  20. drtth

    drtth Poo-Bah (3,654) Nov 25, 2007 Pennsylvania

    Yeah, it happens regularly if you use some other wording than the title of the article you are linking to.
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  21. HopBelT

    HopBelT Meyvn (1,130) Mar 18, 2014 Belgium
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    Just kidding...! I just don't care if the person who's brewing is black, white, yellow, green or blue. As long as the beers are tasty, it's all fine by me.
  22. thesherrybomber

    thesherrybomber Initiate (158) Jun 13, 2017 California
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    Again, unless you're a member of one or more of those groups, that's natural. Are you being denied jobs based on your skin color, or people refusing to sell you guns because some mass shooter was also an American male? This is something that, unless you've had first hand experience with, you're going to have to LISTEN and learn to understand. A lot of people are fixated on their own lives, views, and don't like to be challenged, so not enough of that happens.

    I thought of ignoring this thread, since I've seen the topic come up on different forums, and it always goes the same way. Yeah, its not a life or death situation, and I don't spend every minute of my day ruminating over people threatening deportation or making foreign language jokes (even if my family has been here longer than theirs... my German immigrant friend has an easier time being assumed a "real" American by strangers), but won't pretend it doesn't exist. People are actually UPSET its being pointed out.

    One could argue there are more pressing issues, but shouldn't anyone be able to enjoy a hobby that's traditionally been "of the common people"? Race might not be the only thing holding them back: the article mentioned San Diego. Many Hispanics are working class, so finances could be another reason, but it all ties in together. A poor Mexican-American does face struggles a poor black man doesn't, and vice versa.
  23. Todd

    Todd Founder (5,609) Aug 23, 1996 California

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  24. flaskman

    flaskman Devotee (458) Aug 3, 2015 New York

    I bet it would be fun...
  25. TrojanRB

    TrojanRB Meyvn (1,203) Jul 27, 2013 California
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    @thesherrybomber I don’t think you get are the one highlighting race/gender/whatever and making it an issue. That is divisive.

    The beer community I know is inclusive. Doesn’t matter who you are, what you look like, where you come from, who you like to have sex with, how much money you’s all about the beer. As it should be.
  26. drtth

    drtth Poo-Bah (3,654) Nov 25, 2007 Pennsylvania

    Your logic here is a bit like me looking out my back window and saying, "What wild fires?" There are no fires around here. What are those California folks complaining about?

    Not seeing something where you are doesn't mean it is not out there somewhere and causing problems for some folks.
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  27. flaskman

    flaskman Devotee (458) Aug 3, 2015 New York

    Well said.
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  28. thesherrybomber

    thesherrybomber Initiate (158) Jun 13, 2017 California
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    How can I explain this? Its like if a wine drinker came onto BA, saw a discussion where someone said something like, "Dunkelweizen doesn't seem to be as popular of a style as IPA or stouts" and replied, "Why, that's not true! My best friend drinks nothing but dunkelweizens!" Or if someone who doesn't drink beer saw people upset that x microbrewery was bought out by a large conglomerate and said, "Its never bothered me"

    The problem... those saying it isn't a problem aren't exactly the ones affected. I'm sure you'd get different answers if you asked those individuals/groups directly. They ARE issues, but its a lot easier to stay quiet and not make waves.
  29. Immortale25

    Immortale25 Poo-Bah (3,011) May 13, 2011 North Carolina

    I agree with @thesherrybomber and @drtth . I'm sick of people saying that it's a non-issue that shouldn't be talked about. I think dialogue is healthy and will end up bringing more people into the craft beer community as a whole. Anyone who's thinking that it's singling people out and will have a detrimental effect are looking at it in the wrong perspective.
  30. Tamarack

    Tamarack Initiate (51) Sep 22, 2016 Massachusetts

    GotDAMN there's alot of white folks saying "I don't see color/there's only one race, the HUMAN RACE" in this thread. BA forum getting a little y i k e s for me lately
  31. azorie

    azorie Champion (876) Mar 18, 2006 Florida

    nailed it, thanks!
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  32. IroquoisPlisken

    IroquoisPlisken Initiate (94) May 21, 2013 Ohio

    If African Americans make up a small percentage of people consuming craft beer, what’s the solution to this problem? Are we supposed to force more African Americans to drink craft beer? I don’t see what barriers are being put up to exclude black people or anyone else from drinking craft beer so I don’t see what solution there is to this “problem.”
  33. chipawayboy

    chipawayboy Devotee (449) Oct 26, 2007 Massachusetts

    African Americas banding together to share a common love of craft beer -- a business they are not proportionately a part of....and some people think this is a bad thing? my god folks.
  34. drtth

    drtth Poo-Bah (3,654) Nov 25, 2007 Pennsylvania

    Force people? No.

    But, as I pointed out in an earlier post, just because you don't see a problem doesn't mean it doesn't exist.

    BTW, Have you noticed the dramatic increase since 2013 in Ohio in the number of people seeking/receiving assistance with and/or treatment for a gambling problem?
    #34 drtth, Aug 11, 2018
    Last edited: Aug 11, 2018
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  35. JayTheBeerdo

    JayTheBeerdo Initiate (189) Feb 23, 2016 New York

    Glad discussions like these are happening. The only way to really be the inclusive industry we say we are is to sit down, listen, and at least be open to the idea that there are still issues that need addressing.
    ElijahSF and RobNewton like this.
  36. IroquoisPlisken

    IroquoisPlisken Initiate (94) May 21, 2013 Ohio

  37. rgordon

    rgordon Champion (860) Apr 26, 2012 North Carolina

    The northern Europeans are happy with where they are. To suggest that we'd rather have them than others was a damned foolish comment when first uttered.
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  38. thebeers

    thebeers Poo-Bah (2,278) Sep 10, 2014 Pennsylvania
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    A number of people have asked "what's the problem" and "what's the solution." I've got no special expertise in this issue, but....

    On the consumer side, if black beer drinkers have friends who perceive craft beer as a white thing, fests like the one in the article might contribute to dismantling that perception. Duh!

    On the brewing side... Previous threads have quoted black beer afficianados who had applied to a bunch of breweries for work and not gotten any call backs. If you want to make brewing your profession and you can't get a foothold in the industry, that's a real problem. Not specific to brewing, there are studies showing that people with black-sounding names are half as likely to get an interview as people with white-sounding names when submitting otherwise the exact same resume.

    One baby step to helping people find jobs could be having breweries that are willing to hire more people of color post job openings on the websites of the advocay groups mentioned in the article.
    Another would be discouraging breweries from using volunteers -- knowing that median wealth for black households is far, far less than for white households and that that starting with unpaid work is thus a disproportionate barrier to entry into the industry for black people.
  39. Crim122

    Crim122 Aspirant (223) Aug 4, 2014 North Carolina

    I’m really surprised by the uproar by this. When I turned 21 in nine years ago the craft scene was still 99.9% pasty white dudes (i say this as a pasty white dude). Since that time the tap rooms have definitely become more diverse. But the brewers all seem to still be white dudes.

    Now I can’t speak for the reasons why. I’m not naive enough to say “well this is American anyone can make it despite race/creed etc”. We should be praising this not freaking out. And I’d love to attend something like this.
  40. IKR

    IKR Zealot (581) May 25, 2010 California

    With any new hobby or interest newcomers (people of any race or nationality) feel intimidated in "joining in" for the first time. If this beer fest is the one that allows some newcomer craft beer fans to find their passion it's all good. If it (beerfest in article) leads to the discovery that the majority of beer-fests are accepting of diversity all the better.
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