Food and beer have this unique power to bring people together. They can break down walls to conversations and create powerful, long-lasting memories. Beyond that, cooking a meal together or brewing a beer can actually be a vehicle for justice and equality. They act as powerful tools to create change in our communities when wielded in the right hands.

I started Beers With(out) Beards, Hop Culture’s weeklong women in craft beer festival, as my graduate school thesis project while studying for my Masters in Food Studies at NYU. With the mission to empower the roles of all women in craft beer, BW(O)B uses beer as a platform to break through barriers in our predominantly white, male industry.

Last Friday, Hop Culture teamed up with New Belgium, one of the OG women-owned breweries in the country started by Kim Jordan in 1991, and the Queer Food Foundation, an organization that promotes, protects, funds, and creates queer food spaces to celebrate and honor queer food works and chefs for a one-of-a-kind virtual cooking class during this year’s digital BW(O)B empowered by Bumble.

The Beers With(out) Beards Virtual Cooking Class

As a fellow NYU Food Studies alum, Gabrielle Lenart, the founder of Queer Food Foundation, approached me last year with the goal to partner together to showcase the queer community in craft beer and food. I immediately jumped at that chance to combine forces and find a creative way to highlight our queer community. Similarly, I met Joanna Laubscher, Operations Coordinator at New Belgium, at GABF 2019. We immediately bonded over New Belgium’s and Hop Culture’s shared values to implement initiatives that increase visibility for often marginalized and underrepresented communities in our industry.

To helm our workshop we connected with Chef Chala. Tyson Tshitundu (they/them), a chef, writer, and community organizer fueled by a passion for food justice, culture and history, and striving to illuminate the ways in which food shapes and influences the world at the individual, institutional, and systemic levels of society.

Chef Chala. developed a special mac and beer cheese recipe featuring New Belgium’s Voodoo Ranger IPA. Bursting with tropical aromas and juiciness from Mosaic and Amarillo hops, this golden IPA made the perfect complement to Chef Chala.’s rich and luxurious classic dish with a twist.

Grab your ingredients, a can of New Belgium’s Voodoo Ranger IPA, and cook alongside Chef Chala. here. You’ll learn for yourself the magic power food and beer have to enact change in our communities.

Going Beyond the Cooking Class

Hungry for more? Get involved in your own community. Now more than ever it is so important to bring people together for a meal and to feed a movement. Chef Chala. recommends supporting Queer Food Foundation or Black Chef Movement (@blackchefmovement), an organization that brings free food to different actions around New York City boroughs to keep people fed and inspired.

Head to for a full recap of the Beers With(out) Beards 2020 events.

Liked this article? Sign up for our newsletter to get the best craft beer writing on the web delivered straight to your inbox.