We've always tried to stay away from politics and potentially provocative topics on social media. After all, we're just here to brew beer and it's never felt reasonable for us to guide conversations that we have no expertise in. Recently though, we've done a bit of reading that's changed our minds.
Last weekend has seen an enormous outpouring of reports on social media about the harassment of women and minorities in brewing and hospitality industries. Many of these reports appear to be regarding US companies, but it would be foolish of us to sweep a problem under the rug that clearly affects our industry and wider society so much. We have a small platform here and we don't feel like we would be doing right by our colleagues, friends and family if we didn't make it clear where we stand.
We all need to do better. We need be open to changing our ways, re-educating ourselves and being mindful that what we say can help to perpetuate discrimination throughout society.
We really believe that our taproom has one of the friendliest, most welcoming clientele in the country. Even here though, several of our female employees have been made to feel uncomfortable or had their authority undermined. Thankfully instances of abuse have been rare, but interactions, however small, showing a lack of respect for the women on our team seem to be more common.
If you see something wrong, challenge it discreetly and give that person the opportunity to understand and make a change themselves. Ultimately most of us are nice people and don't want to cause offence. We all make mistakes and every single one of us will have overstepped the mark at some point in the past.
As we all now venture back into the world, drink in pubs and generally have a good time, remember that your words and actions carry weight. Let's all start back as more supportive people, respecting that people are entitled to feel safe in their place of work and spreading kindness to all.
For our part, we'll be displaying more prominent signage throughout the taproom, making clear our zero-tolerance policy for abuse and harassment of staff and customers. We're also putting together an internal framework that will allow staff and customers to report any incidents with confidence.
We've always worked to make the taproom an open and inviting place, but there is always more we can do to make sure everyone feels welcome.