Undeniably and unequivocally, Instagram has become a go-to platform for craft beer, displaying gorgeous pour shots, announcing releases, facilitating trades, and more. But more recently, craft beer Instagrams have shifted the narrative, leveraging their platforms to post about more than “just beer.” Below you’ll find twenty-three boundary-breaking craft beer Instagrams engaging their audience around social justice causes, promoting underrepresented groups in craft beer, and educating fans on creating safer spaces in the industry for everyone.
How Can Craft Beer Instagrams Change the Narrative From Coast to Coast?
Grey Stone started their Instagram @isbeeracarb after moving from the East Coast to the West Coast to simply connect with other brewers in the industry. But what began as a fun, light-hearted little Instagram handle quickly morphed into something much bigger.
In Southern California, Stone found their time in brewhouses such as Mikkeller San Diego and Modern Times very difficult. “I had a lot of shitty experiences,” Stone shared. “I felt very rejected, bullied, harassed, and experienced a lot of discrimination.”
A self-described vocal person, Stone turned to their Instagram platform. “I realized I have this powerful tool, voice, and platform, and people were listening, so I felt silly just to have an account where I posted pretty pictures; I wanted to do more with it,” they said. “I didn’t want other folks coming into the beer industry after me to experience the same thing. I wanted to call out injustice and hold people accountable.”
Now Stone, who came out as non-binary several years ago, shares posts on how to use gender-inclusive language, have healthy relationships with alcohol while working in the industry, and generally be more inclusive.
People noticed and responded. In 2020, Good Beer Hunting named Stone to its yearly list of Signifiers, people creating powerful changes in the industry, and Craft Beer Marketing recognized Stone as one of the most influential Instagram platforms advocating for diversity, equity, and inclusion.
Similarly, when Ren Navarro* (one of Hop Culture’s 10 People to Watch in Craft Beer in 2022) , founder of Beer. Diversity. (@beer_diversity), a Canadian company educating and advocating for diversity in the craft beer industry, started her Instagram account she filled it with mostly fun content that at first showed “Black women drink beer, news at eleven,” laughs Navarro. But after the video of the murder of George Floyd came out in 2020, “I was like, listen, I can’t in good faith continue,” says Navarro.
The tone of the account shifted to one of advocacy.
“Instagram reaches a lot of people because of imagery,” says Navarro. “You don’t have to speak another language. You don’t have to speak English. You can quickly get a message out. Like, if someone sees that you’re physically upset, you don’t have to understand the words I’m saying.”
For instance, when Navarro recently attended the Craft Brewers Conference (CBC) in Nashville, TN, she posted in real time about her traumatic experiences.
“[Instagram] has been the fastest way to bring together all the info and be like, stop asking me, here’s the info, now you go and do some work,” says Navarro. “To have spots where you can hold on to information and…you can point people to it, they can interact with it, they can then take action however they see fit. It just makes it a lot easier. Right. Again, it’s simple. I’m telling my story. Here’s what happened. Here’s what didn’t happen, here’s what sucked, here’s the update. Do what you will with this information. I hope that you will run and help me out, but if you don’t, cool. You know where to find it later on.”
Navarro, who identifies as Queer, leveraged her Instagram to post about her fears of traveling to a state like Tennessee that has enacted thirteen anti-LGBTQIA+ laws in the last eight years with twenty-seven more introduced this year.
She also posted about a presentation at CBC called “Privilege as Your Leadership Superpower” led by a white woman who was formerly the director of diversity and inclusion at Constellation Brands. Without any representation from People of Color, the panel has been panned as tone-deaf and offensive (for more on the Brewers Association’s response to this panel please see the Beervana Blog’s coverage). Navarro says that sharing her experiences on Instagram “was kind of this catch-all movement that had the ability to shine a very fast light.”
People across the country rallied behind her. She says bigger accounts with more followers re-posted, spreading the word even further.
Likewise, Chalonda White, aka @afro.beer.chick, in Chicago has found Instagram influential in shifting the narrative of craft beer. With @afro.beer.chick, White seeks to “give women a voice in beer and not just women but people who do not have voices in this industry,” she says. “My position is to help those with genuine hurdles—those breweries trying to find funding or get a scholarship and trying to find avenues to help them because … I have the utmost respect for those who do [brew] and am willing to help those who are.”
Most recently, White has been leveraging @afro.beer.chick to promote the National Black Brewers Association, the country’s first collective organization supporting the Black brewing community in the U.S.
“I’m here for the beer, and I’m here to help anybody that needs assistance; that’s me,” White told us.
On the East Coast, Allison Bloch started @beersoverboston to “make beer approachable for everyone,” she says. In just a few years, Bloch grew the Instagram account to over 12k followers and now helps other local beverage companies run their social media, such as Distraction, Small Change, 7th Wave, and Artifact Cider Project.
In the industry, she uses Instagram to “focus on not just the white-bearded man but also who else goes there,” Bloch says. “Whether they’re a part of the LGBTQ+ community, People of Color, or women, children, everyone, I try to make it a focus through Instagram, and we’ve seen that transfer into being a more inclusive environment at those breweries; the staff feels it too—it trickles through everything.”
Representation matters. Using one of the most powerful social media platforms to show that people from all races, backgrounds, sexualities, genders, etc., enjoy craft beer sends a message that this industry isn’t for only one dominant demographic.
“When scrolling through a brewery or influencer’s Instagram and you see only one type of person … you’re not going to reach as many people,” says Bloch. “Beer is for everyone, and my adventures are for everyone.”
Reclaiming, rewriting, and refocusing, Instagram no longer needs only to be a platform to post pretty pictures; we can all use it for so much more.
“Instagram is a great tool for education,” says Stone. “People have this platform to reach so many people and use their voice; I think that’s pretty powerful.”
*Editor’s Note: Ren Navarro joined Hop Culture as the keynote speaker during its first-ever virtual Queer Beer Fest in 2021.
The Changes These Influential Craft Beer Instagrams Would Like to See
While we are starting to see a shift in the industry, we still have a long way to go.
These are the changes @afro.beer.chick, @beersoverboston, @isbeeracarb, and @beer_diversity still hope to see in the industry.
“For me, I want the sexism removed from the beer,” says White. “I still hear the term ‘this beer is good to have been brewed by a woman.’ Every woman and person who works hard in this industry deserves accolades without condescending behavior or tone behind it. Let the work stand on its own.”
Bloch agrees, saying, “A continued increased presence of women, especially People of Color, working at these breweries.”
For Stone, they want to encourage others to join in, helping to shoulder the load for those who have been doing selfless work to change the industry for so long.
“The onus constantly falls on that of marginalized groups and communities,” says Stone. “We need straight white cis-males to step it up and be allies. … I get so many messages from men who are supportive, but I don’t actually see them doing anything.”
Stone has seen this throughout their brewing career—people supportive of them in private, but when it comes to taking a vocal stand, “they’re always too afraid because they still want to be one of the ‘cool guys,’” they said. “When those men claim to be supportive but don’t speak up because they want to be cool—with the clique—they’re just giving them more power; the more you speak up, the less power that clique has.”
For @beer_diversity, the goal remains to “just make things better for a bunch of people,” she says. “But it’s really about getting people to have uncomfortable conversations and get comfortable with discomfort.”
Hop Culture’s Top 23 Boundary-Breaking Craft Beer Instagrams to Follow in 2023
We wanted to shine a spotlight on those folx digging into the trenches, wading through the grit and grime of craft beer to bring you a new perspective on drinking.
Don’t just double tap; double down on these boundary-breaking craft beer Instagrams we’re following in 2023.
And then speak up.
And then go out and do something.
Be an ally that doesn’t just talk the talk but walks the walk.
“Just go do the thing. Don’t tell me you did the thing,” says Navarro. “I’m not Santa. You’re not telling me how you were a good person for the year…The people I know who keep screaming at me that they’re allies won’t get their hands dirty…There’s a good person, and there’s a good person who tries to do better, and that’s it.”
These people below and so many more in this industry need your help; they can’t change the industry alone.
Get your hands dirty. You don’t need to tell us about it, just go do it.
On that note, we know we’re probably missing a ton of folx. If you have a suggestion for someone who is disrupting the narrative and breaking through the barriers of the craft beer industry on Instagram, drop us a line at email@example.com or DM us @hopculturemag. We’ll continue growing this list and shifting the tides together!
The face behind @isbeeracarb, Grey Stone started drinking craft beer because their girlfriend at the time “started taking my cheap shitty hometown lager out of my hand and putting craft beer in my hand, like Dogfish Head, Brooklyn Brewery, and Sierra Nevada,” Stone says.
Stone got hooked on brewing after working as a server at Dogfish Head and getting a peek behind the scenes.
“A lot of coworkers tell me they remember that during my shift, I was just reading books on the patio between tables,” says Stone. Begging their way into a non-paid internship scrubbing floors at Mispillion River Brewing, Stone worked their way up to gigs everywhere from Du Claw to Mikkeller to Modern Times.
While on the West Coast, Stone started @isbeeracarb to network with other industry professionals, sharing processes and knowledge.
When they got to Mikkeller, the account had grown to between 6k-8k followers. But at Mikkeller and Modern Times, everything changed. “In Southern California, there are a lot of egos, and it felt like a boys club, that there wasn’t a seat for everyone at the table if you weren’t a straight white cis-man,” recalls Stone, who experienced quite a bit of harassment and discrimination. “I entered the beer industry bright-eyed, bushy-tailed, and so excited to learn and be a part of the community that I felt like it broke my heart.”
So Stone took a stand, vocalizing their experiences through Instagram.
“@isbeeracarb is an account that celebrates beer and the beer industry through the different folks in it and strives to impact that community with a little side of travel,” says Stone.
Which means posting about the importance of using gender-inclusive language. A few years ago, Stone came out as non-binary. “I didn’t have a vocabulary prior, so it was something I wanted to share with others if people are looking to be more inclusive and don’t know where to start, trying to offer that from my perspective,” says Stone.
Additionally, Stone likes to post about what they call “the hierarchy of production, where people treat brewers like gods, putting them on pedestals.”
Instead, on @isbeeracarb, Stone posts about every job in the brewery, from packaging to marketing and sales. “The people in other departments work so hard, yet brewers get all the cool points?” queries Stone. Why not share about all the people responsible for making an incredible product? “If we didn’t have packaging, I wouldn’t be able to brew beer and put it into kegs and cans; and if we didn’t have marketing or sales, none of the beer would get sold, and I wouldn’t have a job,” they shared.
Stone has taken it upon themselves to do the hard work constantly, and while they’ve gained much recognition (Good Beer Hunting Signifier 2021, Craft Beer and Marketing Person of the Year 2021), they shared with us that burnout is real. “I’m trying to find a balance between taking care of myself and utilizing the account for important things without getting burnt out,” says Stone.
Stone will continue to push boundaries, but now more than ever, we must step up, take a stand, speak up, and prove that we will no longer stand for misogyny and discrimination.
As a Queer, Black woman in craft beer, Ren Navarro has taken her nearly decade of experience in the alcohol industry, combined it with a hint of wit, and started a company and Instagram to cultivate beer diversity.
The side-project originally started because Navarro kept asking herself, “Where are all the People of Color in beer?”
To answer her own question, Navarro began posting her raw, unedited life. Starting a series she called “Fashionista,” Navarro challenged herself to wear all the beer swag in her closet.
She also started a video series called “Whatcha Drinking” that highlighted a different one of Navarro’s friends every Thursday, showing “these really rad stories that no one got to hear outside of us hanging out,” says Navarro, emphasizing they could just show up and drink a glass of water. The point was to give you a behind-the-scene’s look into her life and to feature an array of people with different backgrounds and interests. One of her favorites and most popular? Chatting with her friend and English teacher, Dan.
“People reacted really positively to Dan because he wasn’t in beer,” says Navarro. “We all know that teachers have it hard, but sometimes you need to be reminded by the person who goes through it.”
Navarro’s posts worked, growing the IG account from 1,500 in 2018 to now close to 16k in just five years.
“I’m not polished in the best of times,” Navarro laughs. “So I think part of it was I kept it real.”
But the more lighthearted side of the account changed after the murder of George Floyd in 2020.
Navarro’s posts shifted to “here’s why I’m angry, here’s why I’m disappointed in things. I know I’m not alone in this feeling, so hopefully, you feel it too,” she says. “Let’s figure some sh*t out, or just, here are some rad folks you should know about.”
Since launching Beer. Diversity. and @beer_diversity in 2018, Navarro has been educating people at breweries and beyond on how to be more inclusive. Navarro has made a name for herself as a respected, knowledgeable voice in the industry through talks at colleges, festivals, panels, and podcasts across North America.
We first met Navarro two years ago when she agreed to be the keynote speaker at Hop Culture’s first virtual Queer Beer festival, celebrating the unique, vibrant, colorful voices of Queer folx in beer.
Navarro—and Beer. Diversity.—have set the tone for the future. Through her company and her character, Navarro has helped the craft beer and larger alcohol and non-alc industry create spaces that are more welcoming to people on both sides of the bar.
Most recently, Navarro candidly posted about her traumatic experiences at CBC (as of publishing the video has just shy of 15k views), publicly asking us all to do better, to help pick up those around us who have been selflessly carrying the weight of changing this industry for so long.
Navarro says since posting, she’s seen @beer_diversity grow by almost 2,000-3,000 followers.
And while that’s great, Navarro encourage everyone to do more.
Don’t ask Navarro what happened, don’t ask her how you can do better, don’t only post on her Instagram in support, and don’t just like her posts. Instead, educate yourself, internalize what she’s asking, then actually go out there and do something so you’re standing side by side with her and many others instead of just trailing behind in her wake. Benefitting from others’ powerful drag is just performative AF.
Navarro and @beer_diversity are blazing the trail. Don’t just follow it anymore. Lead the way.
Chalonda White started @afro.beer.chick in 2017 “to bring other women into the fold and give not just women but people who do not have voices in this industry a voice,” she says. “For me to say things that other people with businesses in this industry can’t say.”
For example, she mentioned talking to Black brewery owners who want to voice things but feel they can’t because they have businesses to protect. “Hey, tell me what you want to say and what you need to say, and I’ve got you,” says White.
Describing herself as a Black woman first, then a mom, wife, sister, and daughter, White says she’s become known with @afro.beer.chick for keeping it real. “I would say it’s a truth teller,” she says. “I’m a straight shooter. … I know I’m going to say something to piss someone off, and I won’t care. … I’m always going to keep it real.”
For White, that means using @afro.beer.chick to help brewers with genuine hurdles, trying to find ways to help them get funding or find scholarships.
White says, “I’m here for the beer, and I’m here to help anybody that needs assistance; that’s me.”
Originally started as a brand to spotlight breweries hosting active events such as yoga and run clubs, etc., Work For Your Beer morphed over the years into an influential media platform promoting social activism on its Instagram @workforyourbeer.
As it says on Work For Your Beer’s website, “The ‘work’ we’re talking about is the work of learning about yourself, about the things you love, and about what your definition of ‘living a happy, health, balanced lifestyle without sacrificing the things you love’ looks like—then relentlessly pursuing that for yourself.”
But co-founders Mel Fox and Alicia Valenski go further, ensuring that the “work” part of the Queer-owned Work For Your Beer means striving for a more inclusive, equitable industry. On @workforyourbeer, posts promote Queer-owned, Black-owned, women-owned breweries and more.
And with over 31k followers, people are listening.
@workforyourbeer reminds us to do the work every day. Just enjoy a beer and yourself while doing it.
You can’t miss @jenniferthebeerdedlady’s huge shoulder tattoo of a woman with a giant hop for a beard. Bringing visibility to women in beer, @jenniferthebeerdedlady continued to share posts and support lesser-known breweries while pregnant a couple of years ago. More recently, she has been very open about her postpartum life. Often in the craft beer industry, women starting families have been discriminated against or ridiculed. Becoming a strong symbol for women in beer nationwide, @jenniferthebeerdedlady proves that you can enjoy craft beer, have a family, and continue to work hard and succeed. As @jenniferthebeerdedlady says on her profile, she’s “pint-sized and full-bodied with a hoppy attitude.”
@uncapeverything and @capsoulbrewing
Founder and president of Capsoul Brewing Collective (@capsoulbrewing), Richmond’s first Black-owned brewery, Eric Jackson is also the mastermind behind @uncapeverything. Both projects seek to diversify the craft beer industry by connecting people through beer, music, art, and fashion.
Nine years ago, while working in the hospitality industry, the previously non-beer-loving Jackson took a team trip to a local craft brewery. As many stories like this go, Jackson tried the beer, instantly becoming hooked.
So Jackson started @uncapeverything to educate other non-beer drinkers on breaking down preconceived boundaries around beer and “uncap everything.”
Similarly, @capsoulbrewing seeks to diversify taprooms, a venture born out of Jackson traveling around to breweries and realizing he was the only Person of Color in the room. With the motto “where craft meets culture,” Jackson seeks to introduce a new demographic into taprooms.
Most recently, @capsoulbrewing collabed with @theanswerva on two beers—a hazy IPA called Kettle Cycles and a Cold IPA called Pure Pressure.
Editor’s note: Eric Jackson served as Hop Culture and Beer Kulture’s editorial internin 2021.
Allison Bloch started @beersoverboston with her partner during the pandemic to continue supporting their friends at local breweries struggling from lockdowns and uncertain times. At the time, that meant visiting the breweries, buying beer, and sharing these breweries’ stories through Instagram.
The message of @beersoverboston resonated, growing to over 12.3k followers in just a few short (well, long) years.
“We just want to make beer approachable for everyone,” says Bloch, who has experienced sexism from men in the industry trying to one-up her in their beer knowledge.
Bloch says her strategy to counteract discrimination is with a smile before “spewing off my knowledge,” she says. “They’re usually like, wow, you one-upped me, and it becomes a calmer interaction as opposed to aggressive.”
With @beersoverboston, Bloch takes the same approach, calling her posts “a never-ending cycle of putting good energy out there.”
Which means @beersoverboston isn’t your typical Instagram handle with stunning, filtered pictures of beer.
Instead, Bloch shows her quirky, unfiltered, uncut approach. “It’s not perfect photos; they’re not filtered or photoshopped—it’s me with a double chin or my hair messed up,” says Bloch.
For instance, she shares one of their most successful photos was of her partner Bill rolling up his shorts and showing off his beer belly.
“We try to be us, and that tends to work well,” Bloch says.
With @beersoverboston, Bloch shows that “beer is for everyone, and my adventures are for everyone.”
A grassroots project supporting education and advocacy through critical content and journalism, Beer Is For Everyone is a collective group of folx in the industry working tirelessly to make the spaces in which we drink and consume more diverse, equitable, and inclusive.
“As a space primarily dominated by a certain hegemonic group, it can frequently be an uncomfortable place for people who do not fall within the demographic. What’s worse—many people often feel invisible,” writes Beer Is For Everyone on its website. By spotlighting projects, collaborations, beers, and brewery initiatives to bring everyone who drinks into the fold, the group’s Instagram has become a pivotal pillar in the fight to change the industry.
On @beerisforeveryone, you’ll find ways to directly contribute to making the industry more equitable. Whether that’s a post on a new beer from Jester King called Noble King Hoppy Farmhouse Ale speaking out in opposition to Texas Senate Bill 12, which would criminalize drag performances, or one on Hot Plate Brewing Co.’s new platform called Tag In, a platform asking others in the industry to “tag in” and create a plan to support DEI initiatives and create safe zones in craft beer.
If you’ve ever wanted to help change the world but didn’t know where to start, go to @beerisforeveryone.
Join the movement and follow @beerkulture. If you haven’t heard of them, Beer Kulture is a non-profit organization that is making a tremendous impact in the craft community. They’re on a mission to create opportunities that promote diversity, equity, and inclusion in the overwhelmingly white craft beverage space. Through sponsorships, scholarships, mentorships, collaborations, and more, Beer Kulture is creating opportunities for beer to reach BIPOC neighborhoods and to change the world, one beer at a time.
On @beerkulture, you’ll find opportunities such as the “This Ain’t The Beer That You’re Used To” Scholarship, a collaboration with the Cicerone Certification Program to bring beer education to those from underrepresented communities. Or Black History – Black Present – Black Future, an initiative promoting scholarships, internships, and jobs that support Black businesses throughout the year.
If you’re wondering about the impact of @nyccraftbeer, just take a look at one of Ann Reilly’s most recent posts encouraging all to support the Queer community for 365 days instead of only during Pride month every June.
“Quick reminder — equality, inclusion, unity, and care are things that need to be a part of daily practice all year.
Not just for one month.
Pride is about support and showing up, not about performative actions.
Stonewall was a riot.
Real humans are being directly affected *every day* by the wretched hate-fueled laws being enacted & legislated. Every human deserves the basic right to exist as themselves.
Stand up and speak out for 2SLGBTQIA+ rights. Every day, not just this June.”
Reilly, who has also served as the NYC Brewers Guild Executive Director, is known by almost everyone in the NYC craft community and beyond. @nyccraftbeer uses its platform to speak out widely on issues in the industry, recently collaborating with @underthejenfluence and @beerisforeveryone to write a joint letter to the Brewers Association objecting against the organization’s lack of acknowledgment or action around addressing safety concerns for the Queer community attending CBC in Tennessee, a state repeatedly passing anti-LGBTQIA+ and anti-trans legislation. Reilly also joined Tag In, a campaign striving to “tag in” and create a plan to support DEI initiatives and create safe zones in craft beer.
Advanced Cicerone and National BJCP judge Jen Blair also counts beer educator and activist as one of her many titles. On her Instagram @underthejenfluence, the 2023 Imbibe 75 Person to Watch works to bring beer education to all while advocating for more safe and inclusive spaces, especially in beer competitions.
For instance, Blair created her own beer-judging online course last year, attracting over 800 folks. Most of whom were from underrepresented groups.
A co-collaborator on the Brave Noise initiative, a collaborative beer initiative calling for breweries to develop actionable plans to create safe spaces in their workplaces and taprooms, Blair also recently took part in penning a letter to the Brewers Association asking for accountability around the organization’s lack of transparency regarding safety for its Queer participants at CBC in Nashville.
If there is an initiative supporting inclusion and equity in beer, chances are @underthejenfluence is either participating in it or promoting it.
Go check out her page now, find something you believe in, support it, and be the change you’d like to see in craft beer.
An award-winning journalist and world-renowned beer authority, Dennis Malcolm Byron, aka Ale Sharpton covers everything on his feed from craft beer and food to cars, sports, music, and clothing.
Sharpton also recently joined the Board of Directors for the National Black Brewers Association (NB2A), the country’s first collective organization supporting the Black brewing community and striving to increase the number of African Americans in the brewing industry and foster an understanding of the history and legacy of African American brewing in the U.S.
“This is the first time we could work together, not be crabs in a bucket,” remarked Sharpton at the first-ever NB2A bottle share at CBC this May. “Let’s work. There’s money for everybody.”
If you’re like us or one of his 15.2k followers (at the time of writing), you’ll tune into @realalesharpton not only to figure out what to drink, but also to understand how to take a stand in this industry (along with deciding what to wear, eat, and watch while you’re drinking).
Em Sauter’s path to craft beer has been unique.
While attending graduate school for cartooning in 2010, Sauter started @pintsandpanels. But what began as visual beer reviews eventually turned into informational graphics. Because while studying for her Master Cicerone exam, Sauter thought, Why not draw these comics on complex topics?
You’ll find Sauter’s comics covering everything from what makes a witbier to the difference between English and American porters.
“There are a lot of right answers in beer,” says Sauter. “When you make a porter, it’s not like baking a cake where you need X amount of this … to equal a cake. You can brew a porter in myriad different ways.”
Pints and Panels aims to provide accurate, trustworthy, accessible, and free information.
“I want everyone to have the best beer experience and get the right answers,” says Sauter.
No matter who you are and how you want to get into this industry, if you’re looking for a great way to learn more about beer without any pretentiousness, barriers, or cost, check out @pintsandpanels.
“One of the best pieces of advice I ever got was: Perhaps the thing you want to do doesn’t exist yet,” says Sauter. “You don’t have to be a brewmaster to enjoy beer. You can forge your own path in this industry.”
And for Sauter, education also extends to diversity, equity, and inclusion. In April, @pintsandpanels created a Best Practices for Brewery Ownership PDF outlining how breweries can create a safe space for their employees.
Edgar Preciado’s, aka @Beerthuglife, story is uniquely his own.
As a Mexican-American, Preciado wanted to create the representation he didn’t see in the craft beer space. So a couple of years ago, he posted a video to Instagram where he chugged an entire can of Monkish’s Enter the Fog Dog in just a few seconds. Within twenty-four hours, the post had over a thousand views. The video flipped craft beer’s perceived pretension on its head, breaking the stereotype of craft beer drinkers as snooty, white, bearded hipsters.
Since that original video, Preciado started his own brewery—Beer Thug Brewing Co., which continues to support Preciado’s mission through making his beer.
Preciado has continued pushing the norms of the industry—all without betraying his love of beer and the community.
And sometimes, that has meant standing strong and tall amongst a sea of bigots and haters.
Most recently, Beer Thug Brewing Co. posted about and hosted a drag show in the brewery, sparking many homophobic comments and one-star reviews from these XXX on Yelp.
@beerthuglife has asked for our help combating these incredibly unjust and unfair negative reviews by posting your own positive ones. Visit Beer Thug Brewing’s Yelp page to contribute.
Few folks like Eugenia Brown have managed to shake shit up on their platform. The woman behind @blackbeerchick, Brown uses her Instagram to promote and advocate for justice in the craft beer industry.
For instance, she launched the Road to 100 Campaign, an initiative that works to help a hundred women of color become Certified Cicerones. The campaign has received widespread acclaim and has been supported by folks like @craftbeerpire, and she started her own “More Bridges, Less Barriers” line of merch.
On a mission to bring diversity and equity to the craft beer space, Black Brew Culture celebrates Black beer and food culture.
Started by Mike Potter, one of the original founders of the country’s first festival celebrating Black brewers and creator of Blacktoberfest, @blackbrewculture highlights Black brewers and Black-owned breweries.
Such as Spaceway Brewing, which made People’s Jubilee IPA last December as a part of the People’s National Beer Collaboration, honoring Ted Mack, one of the first African American brewery owners in the U.S.
Jumping off the page, @blackbrewculture also curates events to empower craft beer fans from all different backgrounds.
Such as Si Ha, a culinary experience pairing sushi and beer that represents the celebration of diversity in craft beer and food between the East and West. Standing for “try it” in Cantonese, Si Ha will feature an evening of drinks, food, and conversation with Potter and Marco LIang from @newmoondurham.
Garrett Oliver (@igarrettoliver) is a man of many talents as his Instagram feed shows. He’s the brewmaster of The Brooklyn Brewery in New York City, Author of “The Brewmaster’s Table,” Editor-in-Chief of “The Oxford Companion to Beer,” and an incredible chef.
In 2020, Oliver founded the Michael James Jackson Foundation (MJF) for Brewing and Distilling, which funds scholarships for technical education in brewing and distilling for People of Color in the U.S.
“Michael Jackson pushed me into rooms where people were not prepared to see me and used the fact he was a god to whom no one could say no,” Oliver shared with everyone during an event at CBC this year. “‘Who is he, and what is he doing here?’ That is what I heard in England while judging the Champion of Beer of Britain final panel in 1992 … If you’re a Person of Color, you have heard that whispered or felt that from behind a bar.”
The MJF aims to rewrite that narrative, equipping People of Color in the industry with the tools and education to advance in this industry despite its systemic barriers.
“If you don’t know how meaningful that is, ask them; ask me,” said Oliver. “I wished to god there was someone there for us. We have their back. And that’s important. You have their back. This is a beautiful thing.”
Most recently, he joined the board of directors for the National Black Brewers Association.
Continuing to be an incredible person of impact and empowerment in the industry, especially for the BIPOC community, @igarrettoliver’s page is full of personal musings and snapshots of celebration and passion in the daily life of Garrett Oliver.
Waite is a Queer, trans woman who worked around the beer industry, including at organizations like Good Beer Hunting, We Are Beer, and Wild Beer Co.
At its crux, TQBP seeks to eliminate intolerance and prejudice in the Queer community through the vehicle of beer. Beginning in 2018, Waite brewed a collaboration beer with Marble Brewery called Dinosaurs Will Die as a part of an art exhibition during Manchester Beer Week.
The beer and companion art examined how Queer and Trans identities intersect with an intolerant society. The response was so positive that Waite started looking for more ways to brew change. Waite would go on to craft over thirty collaborative beers in five different countries. Each time, Waite set out to unveil the intersectionality of the queer and trans communities in craft.
@queerbrewing has turned into a page “providing visibility and representation for LGBTQ+ people, using beer as the vehicle for social change.”
Stephanie Grant is an award-winning journalist with an eye for visual storytelling. As the former social media coordinator for Monday Night Brewing and current CEO and Creative Director of her own company, Stephanie Grant Co., she’s turned those skills into her full-time gig.
On her own platform @shelovescraft, Grant shares her incredible cooking and favorite craft beers with her followers.
Such as a piece for Good Beer Hunting titled ”Hidden Heritage – A Search for Culture, Heirlooms, and My Grandma’s Red Rice Recipe,” which chronicles Grant’s journey to rediscover her family’s traditional Gullah-Geechee recipe for red rice.
If you want to understand how beer and food can reach into our souls, bringing us together around a table to create change, give @shelovescraft a follow.
Editor’s Note: Grant has written pieces for Hop Culture, including Where the Wild Things Are: Finding a Place for Wild Ales in Craft Beer.
As a contributor at VinePair and contributing editor at Good Beer Hunting, Beth Demmon has become a crucial voice for diversity and inclusion in craft beer. Many of her articles for VinePair, Good Beer Hunting, Vice, Civil Eats, and more cover topics like “Craft Beer Faces a Gender and Race Reckoning” and “Buzz, Kill – The Physical, Psychological, and Financial Price Women Pay for Working in Beer.” She is a fantastic journalist, and that carries over into her Instagram (@thedelightedbite), where you’ll be treated to food and beer shots while keeping up with her latest creative works.
The co-founder of BlaQ & Soul, Toni Boyce (she/they), is blazing a new trail through craft beer.
BlaQ & Soul is a primarily virtual space “centering Black LGBTQ+ folks through food and beverage, community activism, and lived experience-based education.”
An engineer by trade, Toni has also worked in the beer industry as everything from a writer to an analytical chemist. They are also a Certified Cicerone and BJCP Judge. Their time in the industry exposed them to an enormous gap for Black, Queer, and Trans representation.
Through pieces Toni’s written, such as ”Selective Outrage: Does Inclusion Include Us?” and ”The Time Is Now, Part Two – Why Beer’s Culture and Workplace Practices Must Change” for Good Beer Hunting, BlaQ & Soul offers blunt critiques of the problems in the industry and solutions on how we can work together to solve them.
Toni shares some of their newest beer finds and thoughts on their Instagram page. Go here for a refreshing perspective on creating change in our industry.
Supporting women in craft beer dominates @ally.in.cally’s Instagram page where you can find photos of her and other women drinking, brewing, and just generally being badasses in the industry.
For instance, collabing with San Diego Girls Pint Out and Hopnonymous Brewing Co to brew Man, I Feel Like a Sour or West Brew San Diego to celebrate International Women’s Month.
It’s all in the name for @womeninventedbeer. If you travel back in time centuries ago to the beginning of fermented beverages, you’ll find that women were actually the OG brewers. Something self-proclaimed patriarchy crusher and beer educator Ana Alexandra “is dedicated to moving the industry towards the future, a future without discrimination, harassment, sexism, homophobia, ableism, and toxicity,” as it says on Alexandra’s Women Invented Beer platform.
On Alexandra’s Instagram, you’ll find questions posed, such as “Why does it matter that women invented beer?”, knowledge drops into the history of women in beer, and constant explorations of how beer has become so gendered. All with a dose of humor and humility courtesy of Alexandra’s playful personality.
But make no mistake, @womeninventedbeer is here to seriously question the state of the industry and completely revolutionize the narrative.