Brave Noise started following what appeared to be a very simple question on Brienne Allan’s Instagram account in 2021:
“Have you ever experienced sexism in the beer industry?”
I don’t think anyone expected the avalanche of stories that followed. To say it was overwhelming would be an understatement. To find that an industry I was passionate about was so riddled with truly terrible behaviour at all levels and in all situations was shocking. As is too often the case in these situations many of the people who spoke up felt they were the only ones. The truth is quite the opposite, we’ve all experienced unacceptable behaviour, be these microaggressions, unwanted contact (physical or verbal), prejudice, the list, sadly, goes on.
It’s easy to feel that there’s just too much of a mountain to climb but we are moving forward, maybe not as quickly as we’d like but every journey begins with a single step. At Attic Brew Co. we’ve been working on taking those steps in order to play our part in making the beer industry a more inclusive space. We now have a code of conduct published on our website which covers the brewery team and visitors as well as staff and patrons of our taproom. Everyone who visits us, in any capacity, commits to abide by this. Equally if we visit another brewery or one of the many beer festivals around the UK we, as a team, commit to uphold those values too.
Our next step was to join the growing group of breweries around the world who have brewed a Brave Noise beer. Brave Noise is committed to ‘A Safe & Discrimination Free Beer Industry’. In order to participate a brewery must have a published code of conduct and, of course, commit to it. They then brew the beer and donate the proceeds to one of the nominated charities. Each of these charities is working hard to move our industry forward. The final part is to make a lot of noise!
Change isn’t about one person, it may start that way but real change is effected when we come together. This issue isn’t just about people within the beer industry. Everyone can make a difference. Since Brienne’s post many other people have spoken out about their experiences of sexism, homophobia, transphobia and other discriminatory behaviours. It takes courage and in some cases the backlash and fall out has been awful. Not everyone is ready to face that but every one of you reading this can make a difference. Think before you speak, call out friends who say something inappropriate, talk to taproom/bar/festival staff if you see behaviour that in any way looks like it’s making someone feel unsafe.
This beer isn’t going to change the world but if it means one more person is able to start a conversation with their friends it’ll make a difference.
For our beer we’ve decided to give our donation to Women in Beer (previously Beer Without Beards) based in Edinburgh. Founded by Amelie Tassin, it’s an inclusive group that works to encourage women to drink and learn about beer. It’s grown enormously over the last few years and now organises its own festival (also called Women in Beer). They work to champion women working in the beer industry and this year they are launching a very exciting mentoring program. This program will support women both working in and thinking about entering all sectors of the industry As Amelie recently wrote “The objective is to give women starting either their career or a project in beer, a chance to be paired with a more experienced woman who will be able to give them skills, advice, network etc.” We’re very excited that our beer is going to help this project get off the ground and I hope we can keep being involved with it in the future.
The final part is to shout out all our amazing launch venues. I was delighted that we had such a great, national response to our request for bars to launch our beer! It goes to show that there are plenty of good folks out there who want to see the industry we love grow and be more inclusive. Big cheers to the following who will be having the first pours of our beer on Friday 14th July:
- Cherry Red’s - Birmingham (where we’ll be having a little launch party!)
- The Wolf - Birmingham
- The Good Measure - Bristol
- The King’s Head - Bristol
- The Free Trade Inn - Newcastle
- The Cumberland Arms - Newcastle
- Stockbridge Tap - Edinburgh
- The Dreadnought - Edinburgh
- Hop Hideout - Sheffield
- Heist Brew Co. Taproom - Sheffield
- The Green Goddess - London
- The Abdication Micropub - Nottingham
- The Disappearing Chin - Harrogate
- Elusive Brewing Taproom - Finchampstead
- Tartarus Beers Taproom - Leeds
- Merakai Taphouse & Tasting Room - Worthing
We’ll also be pouring the beer at our taproom in Stirchley and The Barrel Store in the Jewellery Quarter.
Catherine Webber - Business Development Manager