Updated on May 5, 2022

Inclusion, equality, and justice.

These three words have become a cornerstone for Hop Culture Magazine.

For the past two years, movements around the country have spotlighted racial injustice and police prejudice and acts of aggression against women and minorities. The craft beer industry has been called to action. Our community realized that beer has the power to create change. An industry that has traditionally been predominantly straight, cis-male, and white saw people speaking out about being more inclusive, crafting events supporting equality, and breweries showcasing the stories of underrepresented communities, bringing justice and voices to those who may not have previously been heard.

For our part, in April 2022, Hop Culture hosted its fifth annual Beers With(out) Beards, the largest festival of its kind supporting the achievements of women in the industry.

And most recently, we announced our second-ever Hop Culture x New Belgium Present Queer Beer Fest, aimed at capturing the unique, diverse, vibrant, and colorful voices of the queer community in craft beer.

GET TICKETS HERE

All together we’ve seen a surge of Black, Brown, woman, Latine, Indigenous, and Queer voices urging change, bringing new perspectives to the table, and highlighting BIPOC businesses that deserve recognition.

One of those breweries is also one of craft beer’s most prestigious pioneers.

New Belgium is not only one of the world’s revolutionary craft breweries, but also a longtime and ardent supporter of the LGBTQIA+ community. In fact, last year the Human Rights Campaign (HRC), an organization leading the fight for LGBTQ+ rights and “creating a society where none of us is left behind,” recognized New Belgium as one of the Best Places to Work for LGBTQ+ Equality on its Corporate Equality Index, giving it a perfect score of 100. At the time of writing, New Belgium is the only craft brewery in the country to receive this distinction.

Similarly, New Belgium was one of the first breweries to hire a Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) Specialist. Most recently, Patrice Palmer (they/them/theirs), a Black, queer, trans intersectional leadership educator, held the position, working to create and manage programs and projects on diversity and inclusion within the brewery.

For instance, brewing a beer called Biere de Queer that celebrated National Coming Out Day, an annual LGBTQIA+ awareness day observed on October 11th, to support lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people to “come out of the closet” and celebrate their sexual identity.

They also started an internal program at New Belgium called Pride@NBB with over eighty members that hosts bi-monthly Queer Sips.

Their groundbreaking work led us to name them one of “The Most Important Voices in Craft Beer in 2020.

All in all, New Belgium has made huge strides to support the Queer community. And Hop Culture is honored to announce this pioneering brewery will be our presenting partner for the second annual Queer Beer Festival.

So, here’s the all-important question: What can you do?

How You Can Support LGBTQIA+ Folks in Craft Beer

queer beer festival

For one, join us at Hop Culture x New Belgium presents Queer Beer, which will have you drinking beer from Queer-owned and Queer-supporting breweries and engaging in conversations in the community.

GET TICKETS HERE

But if you can’t make the actual event to help celebrate, we wanted to share a shortlist of forty-seven Queer-led and Queer-supporting breweries that you can be buying beer (or merch) from and championing right now.

These are breweries that either have Queer people in prominent leadership positions or are simply putting the work into the community to establish a more diverse, equitable, just, and inclusive space for the Queer community. We’re talking everything from small steps such as making beers that celebrate Pride AND more importantly donate proceeds to a specific LGBTQIA+ organization (no just slapping rainbows on cans here and calling yourself an ally) all the way to breweries such as New Belgium, whose huge strides have made diversity and inclusion a pillar of their organization.

From pioneers such as Samuel Adams, who donated $100,000 to GLAAD, an organization committed to rewriting the script for LGBTQ+ acceptance and that launched Love Conquers All, a Pride platform created in partnership with GLAAD, inspired by Love Conquers Ale, a Blackberry Basil Lime Gose limited release brewed by and for the LGBTQ+ community.

To younger breweries taking charge like Queer-, Indigenous-owned Bow & Arrow Brewing Co. and Queer- and woman-owned and Latina-founded Lady Justice Brewing Co. that donates the proceeds from all of their beers to organizations across the country.

To be clear, both Queer Beer and this list include breweries that are Queer-owned or have Queer representation in leadership or in brewing and production along with Queer-supporting breweries. Those that may not necessarily be Queer-owned, but ones that through direct action support the Queer community. Whether by brewing beer that donates proceeds to LGBTQIA+ organizations, creating events such as Pride parties, drag brunches, etc., or other ways.

As a Queer person, I can confidently say that it is just as important for our community as it is for others to have respectful, diligent, and caring allies. Our voices are stronger together. Or as I like to say, a rising tide lifts all boats.

Below we’ve rounded up some fantastic Queer-led breweries to check out.

47 Queer-Led and Queer-Supporting Breweries

queer brewing
Photography courtesy of Queer Brewing

While this list is a great start, we know that there are many more breweries out there, so if we missed your favorite, feel free to reach out and leave your suggestions. And then, come celebrate the vibrant voices of the Queer community with us at Hop Culture x New Belgium presents Queer Beer on Friday, June 3rd, and Saturday, June 4th, 2022, or safely get out there and champion the rad Queer community in craft beer.

GET TICKETS HERE

Breweries are presented in alphabetical order.

Allagash Brewing

Portland, ME

allagash two lights
Photography Courtesy of Allagash Brewing

Although not Queer-owned, Allagash is committed to supporting the Queer community in brewing and beer. Last year, Allagash partnered with Queer Food Foundation, a community mutual aid project designed to feed and nourish those impacted by food insecurity in the Black Queer and Trans community, to organize a virtual cooking class during our inaugural Queer Beer Fest. Allagash’s supporting and work in the community has made them incredible pioneers in more ways than one.

Note: Allagash will be joining us for the Hop Culture x New Belgium presents Queer Beer Fest. Get your tickets here.

GET YOUR TICKETS TO QUEER BEER

Almanac Beer Co.

Alameda, CA

almanac love hazy IPA
 

Over the past couple of years, Almanac Beer Co in Alameda, CA, has shown up in a big way. Often they’ve brewed benefit beers with the direct goal to use the sales from each beer to support organizations “working to create a safe, stronger, more equitable, and just future for our community.” Almanac has set a high standard.

One of the beers, Love Hazy IPA: Pride Edition, transforms Almanac’s most popular hazy IPA during Pride month into a beer to support the Oakland LGBTQ Community Center. This is a nonprofit dedicated to enhancing and sustaining the well-being of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and Queer people through educational-, social-, health-, and wellness-related activities, programs, and services.

And another brewed in December 2021, The Inclusion Beer Project, requires every brewery that brews one to commit to forming a Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion committee within their brewery. “We believe that by having consistent, tough conversations about diversity, equity, and inclusion in the workplace, the culture of the industry can change one brewery at a time,” wrote Almanac in an Instagram post.

Note: Almanac will be joining us for the Hop Culture x New Belgium presents Queer Beer Fest. Get your tickets here.

GET YOUR TICKETS TO QUEER BEER

ANXO Cidery

Washington, D.C.

 

This is one of the few cidery’s we know of that has been an active participant in the Queer community. The past couple of Junes to celebrate Pride month, the D.C.-based cidery partnered with nonprofit Casa Ruby, an organization run by transgender women of color with the vision to “create a world where transgender, genderqueer, and gender non-conforming people can pursue their dreams.”

ANXO transformed its flagship Cidre Blanc into special-edition Pride cans, donating $1 from the sale of each 4-pack along with a standalone $800 donation that came directly from the cidery. Sporting an ombre rainbow hue, the limited-edition can celebrates Queer culture, but most importantly puts money back into the community to create a better world for all.

Note: ANXO Cidery will be joining us for the Hop Culture x New Belgium presents Queer Beer Fest. Get your tickets here.

GET YOUR TICKETS TO QUEER BEER

Arizona Wilderness Brewing Co.

Gilbert, AZ

arizona wilderness ashley benson queer led breweries
Photography courtesy of Ashley Benson (@ashlerb)

Queer head brewster Ashley Benson has been manning the helm at this renowned Arizona brewery since September 2021. Benson climbed her way through the ranks at Arizona Wilderness. Five years ago she sent in an anonymous job application email with a resume. Although at the time they weren’t hiring at the brewery, the taproom needed a hostess. Ashley joined up, but during her shifts she would pester the brew crew. Eventually, they let her help out in production washing kegs and scrubbing the floor. Slowly, she worked her way up, finally accepting the position of head brewer last year. Now Benson is the top dog, making classics like Don’t F#%K It Up that includes 100 percent Arizona-grown malted grains and local seasonal honey, and new creations like Moonage Daydream, a hazy IPA with Belma, Idaho 7, and Triumph hops.

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Backward Flag Brewing Co.

Forked River, NJ

backward flag brewing torie fisher
Photography courtesy of Backward Flag Brewing

A Queer-, woman- and Veteran-owned brewery in South Jersey, Backward Flag works hard to raise awareness about veteran’s issues…and make terrific beer. Try the Something’s Missing IPA, with 100% of sales donated to Veteran-focused mental health charities. Or the flagship Oak Armored Ale, a crisp pale conditioned on toasted American oak.

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Beer Tree Brew

Port Crane, NY

beer tree brew queer led breweries
Photography courtesy of Beer Tree Brew

We met Beer Tree’s Marketing Manager, Abigail Roe, who identifies as Queer, at Hop Culture’s fifth annual women in craft beer festival Beers With(out) Beards. We were impressed when Abigail told us how Beer Tree has been supporting the Queer community in their tiny town of Port Crane, NY. Now we’re excited to invite Beer Tree to join us for our second annual Queer Beer in Washington, D.C., this June.

Note: Beer Tree will be joining us for the Hop Culture x New Belgium presents Queer Beer Fest. Get your tickets here.

GET YOUR TICKETS TO QUEER BEER

Big Rip Brewing Company

North Kansas City, MO

big rip brewing co bri burrows queer led breweries
Photography courtesy of Cassie Taylor | Fountain City Co.

Big Rip Head brewer and Co-Owner Bri Burrows, who identifies as a Queer woman, didn’t find it easy to break into beer. In a predominantly straight, white, cis-male industry, Burrows found that oftentimes she was overlooked or ignored. But she persevered, working her way up from assistant brewer to head brewer at Big Rip, eventually becoming part owner of the brewery in January 2020.

At Big Rip, Burrows finds ways to support the Queer community, whether its hanging a Pride flag in the taproom to make people feel more safe and welcome or working with local Queer-, female-, or BIPOC-owned busineses.

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Bosk Brew Works

Woodinville, WA

bosk brew works rachael engel
Photography courtesy of Rachael Engel | Bosk Brew Works

Every year Good Beer Hunting names people to its list of Signifiers, aka people who are making the beer world better. In 2021, Bosk Brew Works Head Brewster Rachael Engel (she/her) made the list for her work advocating for equality in beer. Trans and proud, Engel has unfailing and selflessly been a voice for the Queer and trans community in craft beer. Often sharing her experiences on Facebook and Twitter, Engel has become a voice for the silent, confidently showing that everyone has a place working in and enjoying craft beer.

Note: Bosk Brew Works will be joining us for the Hop Culture x New Belgium presents Queer Beer Fest. Get your tickets here.

GET YOUR TICKETS TO QUEER BEER

Bow & Arrow Brewing Co.

Albuquerque, NM

Shyla Sheppard of Bow & Arrow

Partners in business and life, Shyla Sheppard and her wife, Missy Begay, opened their Native-, women-, and Queer-owned brewery in New Mexico to incorporate ingredients and culture from their Native American heritage. Born and raised on the Fort Berthold Reservation in North Dakota, Sheppard is a member of the Three Affiliated Tribes while Begay is the granddaughter of Navajo silversmiths and weavers. Together this dynamic duo weaves delicate threads of Native American customs and legacy combined with a vision for the future across their entire brewery.

The beauty of this synergy explodes in the can with beers like Denim Tux American Pilsner inspired by the classic symbol of the American West and made with premium New Mexican blue corn or Sunbloom described as an East x Southwest variation on an American Saison featuring Thai basil, lemongrass, ginger, tamarind, lime, and Sonoran White Wheat, a heritage grain found in the Southwest.

Last year the two started a project called the Native Land Beer Campaign designed to increase awareness about ancestral Native land and raise funds for current Native communities and organizations.

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Brooklyn Brewery

Brooklyn, New York

A revered gay bar in Greenwich Village in New York City, The Stonewall Inn is the site of the historic Stonewall Inn Riots, six days of protests and riots in response to New York City police raiding the bar. Often recognized as igniting the gay rights movement in the United States and around the world, the Stonewall Uprising and The Stonewall Inn have become an integral part of Queer history and the Queer community.

In 2016 The Stonewall Inn reached out to Brooklyn Brewery to see if they’d be interested in collaborating on a beer for the announcement and launch of The Stonewall Inn Gives Back Initiative (SIGBI) whose mission is to bring critically needed education and financial assistance to grassroots organizations providing advocacy, guidance, and shelter to LGBTQ+ youth in mostly rural and underserved communities throughout the United States and abroad. Brooklyn Brewery immediately said yes. The Stonewall Inn IPA was first released on draft during Pride Month in June 2017.

Brooklyn Brewery describes The Stonewall Inn IPA on its website as “a fearless IPA for all. With unabashed notes of citrus peel and grapefruit, the unapologetic and refreshing IPA reminds us of where we’ve been and celebrates where we’re going. This is a beer for everyone, no exceptions.”

Each year Brooklyn Brewery brews The Stonewall Inn IPA to support SIGBI and the LGBTQ+ community. And, aside from their annual donation and direct support for SIGBI through their Stonewall Inn IPA, Brooklyn Brewery is implementing fundraising efforts, directing more donations to LGBTQ+ causes, and working to create a more inclusive and welcoming environment for LGBTQ+ people in the craft beer industry

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Collective Arts Brewing

Hamilton, Ontario

 

Well-known for bringing together art and beer, Collective Arts made has made it a priority the past couple of Junes to celebrate Queer artists by releasing a series of special-edition cans of their flagship Life in the Clouds IPA.
Last year, the Hamilton, Ontario-based brewery featured artwork from Ethan Barry (Vancouver, Canada), Matthew Willie Garcia (St. Joseph, MO), Gabriella Grimes (Philadelphia, PA), and Henri Campeã (São Paulo, Brazil).

Hop Culture even showcased the design from Henri Campeã on a limited-edition tumbler that we sold prior to the fest. All of the net proceeds from the sales of this exclusive glass were donated to Queer | Art, an organization launched in 2009 to support a generation of LGBTQ+ artists that lost mentors to the AIDS Crisis of the 1980s. They offer mentorship, exhibition opportunities, funding, and other support to LGBTQ+ artists.

GET THE LIMITED-EDITION TUMBLER

Note: Collective Arts will be joining us for the Hop Culture x New Belgium presents Queer Beer Fest. Get your tickets here.

GET YOUR TICKETS TO QUEER BEER

CraftRoots Brewing

Milford, MA

craftroots brewing maureen and robin fabry queer led breweries
Photography courtesy of CraftRoots Brewing

Last year, Maureen Fabry, co-founder of CraftRoots Brewing in Milford, MA, joined us during our inaugural Queer Beer for a discussion on How to be an LGBTQ Leader in Craft Beer presented by Samual Adams. That should really tell you all about how important Fabry and her wife Robin Fabry have been in the craft beer community.

Maureen and Robin opened CraftRoots in 2015. Then, and even now, the brewery is one of only a handful of Queer- and woman-owned breweries in the state. At CraftRoots’ taproom, the goal is to make people feel comfortable drinking beer no matter how they identify. And while Queer representation may still remain small in the industry, folks like Maureen and Robin are setting the standard for equality and inclusion.

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DC Brau

Washington, D.C.

dc brau pride pils queer led breweries
Photography courtesy of DC Brau

The country’s capital has become a powerhouse for Queer-owned and Queer-allied breweries. Every June, the D.C.-based brewery rebrands its flagship Brau Pils to Pride Pils, collaborating with the Washington Blade, America’s oldest LGBTQ newspaper that originated just a few months after the infamous Stonewall riots in 1969. All proceeds from the sale of the limited-edition beer benefit SMYAL, the Sexual Minority Youth Assistance League and The Blade Foundation that funds enterprise journalism projects focused on LGBTQ+ and other underrepresented communities. Since 2017, the Pride Pils Project has sold over 81k cans and raised over $42,000 for these organizations.

This year, DC Brau held a contest, asking fans to decide the winning can design. Although voting has closed, the winning artwork will be announced in early June with cans of 2022’s Pride Pils available through DC Pride.

Note: DC Brau will be joining us for the Hop Culture x New Belgium presents Queer Beer Fest. Get your tickets here.

GET YOUR TICKETS TO QUEER BEER

Denizens Brewing Co.

Silver Spring, MD

denizens beer garden in maryland
 

Since 2014, after co-founding Denizens in Silver Spring, MD, wife-and-wife team Julie Veratti and Emily Bruno have been consistent advocates and voices for the Queer community in the craft beer industry. As one of the only women- and minority-owned-and-operated breweries in Maryland, Denizens focuses as much on community organizing as on their crisp lagers, hoppy IPAs, and barrel-aged stouts.

The idea behind the brewery is to be a gathering place for all, often hosting (pre-pandemic) craft fairs, trivia, live music, a running club, and drag shows.

And, the brewery has often given back to specific LGBTQ+ organizations such as the Human Rights Campaign, the Sexual Minority Youth Assistance League, and the MoCo Pride Center.

Outside of the brewery, Veratti served as chair of the Brewers Association’s Diversity Committee and most recently actually left her full-time role with the brewery to accept a presidential appointment with the U.S. Small Business Administration. As the Associate Administrator for Field Operations, Veratti will be in charge of sixty-eight field offices and ten regional offices across the country.

In October 2020, Veratti joined us during our Women in Beer Leadership Roundtable during Hop Culture’s virtual women in craft beer festival, Beers With(out) Beards.

Note: Denizens will be joining us for the Hop Culture x New Belgium presents Queer Beer Fest. Get your tickets here.

GET YOUR TICKETS TO QUEER BEER

Dorchester Brewing Company

Boston, MA

dorchester brewing co queer led breweries
Photography courtesy of Dorchester Brewing Co.

Massachusetts’ gayest brewery makes damn good beer. Cool, modern, and relaxed, Dorchester Brewing has become a pillar of the sprawling Dorchester community since opening in 2016. Co-founder Matt Malloy and his husband moved there after leaving their South End home in 2006; like many other LGBTQ Bostonians, he craved the diversity for which the South End once was known. “Dorchester has been nothing but wonderful,” Malloy says. “It’s truly a community for everyone, not just black, white, but straight, gay.”

Although many people look at him strangely when he says he lives in Dorchester (it was once considered uniquely dangerous compared to other areas of Boston), diversity and inclusivity make it an attractive place to put down roots.

“Beer and community are really the same thing,” Malloy says. “You don’t just build a brewery to make great beer, but to serve a community and make people happy.”

Malloy and the Dorchester Brewing Company (DBCo) crew take their responsibility seriously. DBCo serves the same gathering function as gay bars, which have slowly been disappearing from places where once they were conrnerstone, leaving Queer people in short supply of spaces to call their own.

That means hosting gay-oriented events (like Bears, Brews, & Boys) and participating in citywide events (like the Boston Pride Parade, which awarded DBCo Best Float in 2019). Additionally, the brewery works with Boston BAGLY, the Boston Alliance of Gay and Lesbian Youth.

DBCo is the Queer-owned community space in Dorchester. And that’s exactly what Malloy has been trying to achieve.

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Dyke Beer

New York

dyke beer sarah hallonquist and loretta andro chung queer led breweries
Photography courtesy of Dyke Beer

Started by grassroots activists Loretta Andro Chung and Sarah Hallonquist, Dyke Beer “honors and celebrates LGBTQIA+ spaces and history.” Dyke Beer started when Andro Chung and Hallonquist saw a lack of good craft beer in lesbian bars. They thought they could create one.

“People could grab a Dyke Beer to go and bring home some solidarity with them,” Dyke Beer writes on its website. “Dyke Beer says, ‘You exist and you are important.’” Beerwise, you’ll find each release supporting the community in a myriad of ways.

For example, most recently, Dyke Beer dropped Tall Girl Gose, a salty wheat beer with hibiscus, lingonberries, raspberry, and Himalayan pink salt, that Andro Chung and Hallonquist made in honor of Transwomen, Femmes, Drag Queens, and all the tall Queer girls in their community.

Beyond the beer, Dyke Beer hosts events around NYC, including Queer axethrowing nights and a Dyke Nite every Tuesday at Nowhere Bar, among others.

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Fullsteam Brewery

Durham, NC

fullsteam brewery ari sanders queer led breweries
Photography courtesy of Fullsteam Brewery

Fullsteam Brewery’s Director of Taproom Operations Ari Sanders has helped create a more inclusive environment at the Durham-based brewery. Sanders, who identifies as a BIPOC Queer woman, helped the brewery put up inclusive bathroom signage, a huge step for breweries looking to be more gender inclusive.

She also oversaw decisions to sell Pride merchandise year round (because supporting Queer folx is really a 365-days-a-year kind of thing, not just something to only celebrate in June) and ensure that BIPOC and Queer artists make it into the music rotation at the brewery.

Note: Fullsteam will be joining us for the Hop Culture x New Belgium presents Queer Beer Fest. Get your tickets here.

GET YOUR TICKETS TO QUEER BEER

Gay Beer

Brooklyn, NY

gay beer jason pazmino and jon moore gay led breweries
Image courtesy of Gay Beer

Similar to Dyke Beer, Gay Beer was designed to encourage inclusivity in craft beer. Started by craft beer lovers and members of the Queer community, Jason Pazmino and Jon Moore, Gay Beer honors the heritage of the Queer community and speaks directly to a diverse audience.

Beer cultivates conversation, so Gay Beer in particular emphasizes talking about about how we can make the industry more diverse. All over a great beer.

With all this in mind, a portion of proceeds from the sale of Gay Beer go directly back to supporting LGBTQIA+ advocacy. In the past Gay Beer has worked with organizations like Project Renewal, Center for Black Equity, Housing Works, and more.

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Goldspot Brewing Company

Denver, CO

goldspot brewing company kelissa heiber queer led breweries
Photography courtesy of Goldspot Brewing Company

A one hundred percent Queer- and women-owned brewery in Denver, CO, Goldspot Brewing Company has become a pillar in the community. It’s a brewery with an interesting trajectory. For example, Goldspot wasn’t always Queer- and women-owned. Now-owner Kelissa Heiber (who identifies as Queer) moved to Denver to attend the Applied Craft Brewing Program at Regis University in 2012. After school, a stint at TRVE Brewing led to a bartending job at Goldspot Brewing, where Heiber would move on to assistant brewer and then head brewer. At the time, Matt Hughes and Alex Sward owned the brewery. But in 2018, the duo sold to Ryan and Winnie DuBois with Heiber purchasing a thirty-percent stake. In Feburary 2021, Heiber bought out the DuBois to assume full ownership, making Goldspot a one hundred percent Queer- and women-owned brewery.

Accordingly, Heiber has been able to lay the groundwork for the brewery as a community-driven, inclusive business. Which meant hosting the first-ever festival dedicated to LGBTQ+ causes called Big Queer Beerfest featuring Pride-focused beers last year. Or supporting projects like Making Noise Beer and organizations such as One Colorado, the state’s leading advocacy group for LGBTQIA+ Coloradans and their families.

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Guardian Brewing Company

Saugatuck, MI

guardian brewing company queer led breweries
Image courtesy of Guardian Brewing Company

Another one hundred percent LGBTQ- and women-owned brewery, Guardian Brewing Company “is for everyone,” as they proudly proclaim on their homepage. Kim Collins and Dr. Catherine Bishop co-founded the Saugatuck, MI-based brewery in 2018.

The beer is certainly for everyone with twenty-two taps dedicated to year-round, seasonal, one-off, and barrel-aged beers across a wide range of styles. But way beyond the beer, Collins and Dr. Bishop have dedicated Guardian to supporting the community, donating to organizations like the Lakeshore Ethnic Diversity Alliance, Out on the Lakeshore, and Drag Queen Story Hour, while also hosting their own events.

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Hillcrest Brewing Company

San Diego, CA

hillcrest brewing company queer led breweries
Photography courtesy of Hillcrest Brewing Company

The first and only LGBTQIA+-owned brewery in San Diego, Hillcrest invites you to come in, enjoy a beer, watch the game, and “be yourself with like-minded individuals.” Owned by Joey Arruda, Hillcrest is at the core of the Queer community in San Diego. With its colorful chairs, beers, and staff, this very well could be “the first gay brewery in the world!” as it proclaims on its website. We can neither confirm nor deny that, but Hillcrest is an incredible example of inclusivity in craft beer.

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Honeygirl Meadery

Durham, NC

honeygirl meadery diane currier
Photography courtesy of Honeygirl Meadery

The Triangle’s (that’s Durham, Chapel Hill, and Raleigh) first meadery, Honeygirl Meadery has racked up awards for its small-batch seasonal meads. Queer owner and head meadmaker Diane Currier first discovered mead at Ring of Fire Meadery. Now she ferments incredible creations with fruits, botanicals, and flowers at her own place, much to the delight of folks all around the state.

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Lady Justice Brewing Co.

Aurora, CO

lady justice brewing
 

Queer- and woman-owned and Latina-founded Lady Justice Brewing Co. in Aurora, CO, set out with the goal to make beer for a better world across all genders, nationalities, races, and sexualities. Founded in 2010 by Betsy Lay, Kate Power, and Jen Cuesta, Lady Justice holds the distinction as the world’s first fully female-owned and philanthropic brewery at the time it opened.

The brewery focuses heavily on giving back, raising over $32,000 to date for over thirty organizations across the country such as Women’s Wilderness, whose mission is to cultivate courage, confidence, connection, and environmental stewardship among girls, women, and the LGBTQIA+ community through year-round outdoor immersions; and The Gathering Place, the only daytime drop-in center in Denver serving transgender individuals experiencing poverty.

In addition to donations, Lady Justice employs a Queer staff, creates a safe space for Colorado’s LGBTQIA+ population, and brews a Pride beer with rainbow glitter that has benefited the Transformative Freedom Fund.

Note: Lady Justice will be joining us for the Hop Culture x New Belgium presents Queer Beer Fest. Get your tickets here.

GET YOUR TICKETS TO QUEER BEER

Local Brewing Co.

San Francisco, CA

local brewing co. regan long
Photography courtesy of Local Brewing Co.

Queer co-owner Regan Long is just quite simply a badass. She’s holding down the fort as one of the only Queer, woman brewery owners in the Bay Area. And it shows.

Local Brewing Co. is a favorite among SF residents. Local whips up delicious, inventive craft beers and serves fantastic food on-site. But Regan and her co-founder Sarah Fenson have also built a place dedicated to inclusivity for everyone.

That includes making beers across a variety of styles with the common theme of accessibility. From citrus-forward hazy IPAs to rich, robust black lagers, there’s something for just about any drinker. Plus, the brewery releases exciting limited-edition offerings in colorful, artistic cans. And sometimes you’ll find a beer like Gay Beach (named after a nickname for San Francisco’s Dolores Park, a well known venue for Pride), released for Pride 2018, that just explicitly shows the brewery’s Queer roots.

Note: Local Brewing will be joining us for the Hop Culture x New Belgium presents Queer Beer Fest. Get your tickets here.

GET YOUR TICKETS TO QUEER BEER

Lost Boy Cider

Alexandria, VA

lost boy cider tegan biun
Photography courtesy of Lost Boy Cider

Although not Queer-owned, Lost Boy Cider does have Queer-identified cidermaker Tegan Biun helping to craft the award-winning ciders. Plus, the cidery has consistently made strides to support the Queer community.

For example, last year Northern Virginia’s first urban cidery and winner of Virginia’s 2021 Governors Cup gave a Pride makeover to their award-winning Comeback Kid dry cider. The new label included the colors of the Pride flag.

But way beyond the updated design, Lost Boy donated a portion of the proceeds from the sales of the cider to The Trevor Project, a national organization focused on crisis intervention and suicide prevention for LGBTQ+ youth. Plus, the cidery hosts community-oriented events such as drag brunches and drag bingo nights.

Note: Lost Boy Cider will be joining us for the Hop Culture x New Belgium presents Queer Beer Fest. Get your tickets here.

GET YOUR TICKETS TO QUEER BEER

Marz Community Brewing

Chicago, IL

marz community brewing gay ipa best beers april
Photography courtesy of Marz Community Brewing

Marz Community Brewing isn’t pulling any punches here. The Chicago-based brewery’s Gay IPA represents exactly what the name says—being Gay. And being proud to be gay. The colorful phalluses on the can were originally designed by Zipeng Zhu, a Queer, Chinese-born designer, art director, illustrator, and animator whose work aims to razzle-dazzle. His label certainly did just that.

Beyond turning heads, Marz’s Gay IPA also supports the local LGBTQ+ community with a portion of the proceeds from sales donated to organizations such as The Legacy Project, Equality Illinois, and ALMA Chicago.

What we love so much about this double dry-hopped hazy IPA is that Marz has been unapologetically unafraid to embrace Queer culture and proudly and loudly represents what makes the Queer community so colorful and spirited.

Note: Marz Community Brewing will be joining us for the Hop Culture x New Belgium presents Queer Beer Fest. Get your tickets here.

GET YOUR TICKETS TO QUEER BEER

Mountain Toad Brewing

Golden, CO

moutain toad brewing company queer led breweries
Image courtesy of Mountain Toad Brewing Company

Thad Briggs and his partner Brian Vialpando own Mountain Toad Brewing, a small community-focused spot in Golden, CO. Mountain Toad joins other Colorado breweries on this list—such as Goldspot and Lady Justice—as a taproom committed to creating beers and an atmosphere that is inclusive to all.

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Necromancer Brewing Co.

Pittsburgh, PA

necromancer brewing lauren hughes head brewer
Photography courtesy of Necromancer Brewing

Necromancer Head Brewer Lauren Hughes is killing it in the Pittsburgh beer scene. Last year, we named Necromancer Brewing one of the 10 Best Breweries to Watch in 2021. We had a good feeling about the new spot.

We love it when we’re right.

You’ll be hard pressed to find another brewery out there like Necromancer, which focuses on resurrecting bygone beer styles (hence the name Necromancer… Get it?).

Helmed by Hughes, the second-ever female head brewer and one of the only Queer brewers (as far as we know) in Pittsburgh, Necromancer’s brewing program focuses on this “Resurrection Series.”

In just the last year, Hughes has brewed a Kentucky common ale, a grisette, a purl (a strong English pale ale brewed with the tops of the wormwood plant), a Belgian IPA, an Adambier (a strong, dark, hoppy, sour ale extensively aged in wood barrels), a grodziskie, and biere de garde.

It’s a love of oft-forgotten styles that put Necromancer on our best new brewery list in 2021.

But it’s Hughes’ incredible work that will keep us gratefully consuming Necromancer’s beers for years to come.

Note: Necromancer will be joining us for the Hop Culture x New Belgium presents Queer Beer Fest. Get your tickets here.

GET YOUR TICKETS TO QUEER BEER

New Belgium Brewing

Fort Collins, CO, + Asheville, NC

new belgium biere de queer
Photography courtesy of New Belgium Brewery

A stalwart in the craft beer industry, New Belgium was founded by Kim Jordan in 1991 during a time when very few women held positions in the industry. Jordan and the brewery have pioneered over the last 30 years, recently hiring Patrice Palmer, a black, Queer, trans intersection leadership educator as the brewery’s Diversity and Inclusion specialist. We’ve been so impressed with Palmer’s work to create and manage programs, projects, and lead initiatives on diversity and inclusion within the brewery that we actually named Palmer one of the most important voices in craft beer in 2020.

In addition to Palmer’s revolutionary programs, New Belgium recently received recognition as one of the Best Places to Work for LGBTQ+ Equality from the Human Rights Campaign’s Equality Index, with a perfect score of 100. They’re the only brewery to be awarded this distinction in the industry. Last but not least, New Belgium released Biere De Queer last year to celebrate National Coming Out Day, an annual LGTBQ+ awareness day observed annually on October 11th. The purple Belgian-style ale with honey, cinnamon, apricot, and sweet potato raised money for the Blue Ridge Pride in Asheville, NC, and the Pride Resource Center at Colorado State University in Fort Collins, CO.

Note: New Belgium is our presenting partner for this year’s Queer Beer and will be joining us for the festival. Get your tickets here.

GET YOUR TICKETS TO QUEER BEER

Night Shift Brewing

Everett, MA

night shift brewing proud queer led breweries
Image courtesy of Night Shift Brewing

This May, the uber popular Boston-based brewery will release a double dry-hopped IPA called Proud. At Night Shift, one of their core values is “All Styles Welcome.” This references their commitment to inclusivity throughout their organization and to every person who enjoys a Night Shift beer or visits one of their facilities.

By brewing Proud, Night Shift stands by their commitment to be an ally to the LGBTQIA+ community. A portion of the proceeds will benefit Fenway Health, which is a Boston-based non-profit committed to bringing accessible healthcare to the LGBTQIA+ community.

In addition to the release of Proud, Night Shift is committed to supporting the community throughout Pride Month (any beyond!). They will be hosting a Pride Market at one of their facilities, and they are partnering with the Boston Gay Sports Alliance on sponsorship programs throughout the month of June.

Note: Night Shift will be joining us for the Hop Culture x New Belgium presents Queer Beer Fest. Get your tickets here.

GET YOUR TICKETS TO QUEER BEER

Ponysaurus Brewing Company

Durham, NC

ponysaurus brewing company queer led breweries
Photography courtesy of Ponysaurus Brewing Company

In 2016, North Carolina signed House Bill 2 (HB2) into law requiring transgender people to use restrooms that corresponded to their sex at birth. Ponysaurus responded by teaming up with forty-plus NC brewers to create Don’t Be Mean to People: A Golden Rule Saison.

Why?

Because they believed that HB2 violated the Golden Rule, a principle stating that you should treat others as you want to be treated. Each beer sold raises money for Equality NC and Queer Oriented Radical Days of Summer (QORDS), an organization leading camp trips for queer and transgender youth.

Moreover, the brewery backed up the beer with direct action. Last December, Ponysaurus launched “The Lieutenant Governor Fund for the Fabulous” as a response to Lt. Gov. Mark Robinson’s negative comments about the Queer and transgender community. And this past February, the brewery sent Robinson Valentine’s Day balloons and cards (like those in the photo above) to try and start a conversation over the lieutenant governor’s controversial actions.

This is a brewery truly putting its beer where its mouth is.

Note: Ponysaurus will be joining us for the Hop Culture x New Belgium presents Queer Beer Fest. Get your tickets here.

GET YOUR TICKETS TO QUEER BEER

Port City Brewing Company

Alexandria, VA

port city brewing company
Photography courtesy of Port City Brewing Company

Port City Brewing Company has LGBTQ+ representation in leadership roles within the company. For instance, Emma Quinn, former Events and Marketing Manager at Port City Brewing (who has moved on to a new position at Building Momentum). For several years in her position, Quinn helped plan and execute LGBTQIA+-focused events such as Priday, a huge celebration of Pride month in Alexandria.

This year, Priday 2022 will include Queer musical performances, outdoor games and activities, featured artists from the Torpedo Factory Art Center, and a drag show from the Brewery Babes. Plus, Port City will donate a portion of all ticket sales to the Alexandria-Arlington Gay and Lesbian Alliance (AGLA), aiming to help the organization achieve its mission to improve the LGBTQIA+ community in Northern Virginia.

Note: Port City Brewing will be joining us for the Hop Culture x New Belgium presents Queer Beer Fest. Get your tickets here.

GET YOUR TICKETS TO QUEER BEER

Provincetown Brewing Co.

Provincetown, MA

provincetown brewing company double rainbow queer led breweries
Photography courtesy of Provincetown Brewing Company

Founded on progressive ideals and activism as its ethos, Provincetown Brewing Co. (PBC) brews beers that highlight a cause or organization important to them. From LGBTQIA+ rights to conservation and more, charities receive a percentage of sales from each product sold.

People from far and wide come to Provincetown (a self-proclaimed safe space for Queer folx that attracts thousands of LGBTQIA+-identifying people especially during the warmer months) and love it for its unique character. PBC is the taste that will take you back to Provincetown year round.

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Queer Brewing Project

London, England

queer breiwng project and cloudwater wayfinder beer
 

The Queer Brewing Project founded by Lily Waite, a Queer trans woman, builds community and fosters advocacy for LGBTQ+ rights by brewing beer. How? Waite, who has worked in the industry at places such as Good Beer Hunting, We Are Beer, and Wild Beer Co., traveled around the world brewing specific Queer-focused collaboration beers with well-known breweries. Beginning with Marble Brewery’s Dinosaurs Will Die, a beer brewed as part of an art exhibition during Manchester Beer Week in 2018, Waite would go on to craft over 30 collaborative beers in 5 different countries. Each time, Waite set out with the goal to unveil the intersectionality of the Queer and trans communities in craft.

In 2020, Waite served as the first participant in Cloudwater Brew Co.’s Wayfinder program. Wayfinder serves as an incubator for those looking to create a positive change in the beer industry. Waite was able to gain more experience through working with the Cloudwater team and ultimately craft some exciting releases—including Statement of Intent, pictured above and as the featured image in this article!

Popular breweries she’s collabed with include Fifth Hammer Brewing Co, New Belgium, and 7venth Sun Brewery (and that’s just here in the U.S.). Together these beers have raised thousands of dollars for LGBTQIA+ charities.

Note: Queer Brewing Project will be joining us for the Hop Culture x New Belgium presents Queer Beer Fest. Get your tickets here.

GET YOUR TICKETS TO QUEER BEER

Red Bear Brewing Co.

Washington, D.C.

red bear brewing co best breweries washington d.c.
Photography courtesy of Red Bear Brewing Company

Call Red Bear Brewing Co. a safe space. Call it Washington D.C.’s only 100 percent gay-owned brewery. Or call it just call it an amazing taproom and community hangout. But don’t just call it a “gay bar.” This is a proud place striving for equality and inclusivity in a safe and positive environment.

Started by Bryan Van Den Oever, Simon Beer, and Cameron Raspet—all who identify as Queer—Red Bear aspires to be a place of community for its diverse team members and neighbors. “We have a slogan: Just like craft beer, diversity is delicious,” said Van Den Oever in an article for CraftBeer.com. Peruse the brewery’s core values and you’ll find diversity listed as one of its top core values along with adventurous, quality, conscientiousness, community, you, aka embracing the spirit of the unicorn.

Note: Red Bear will be joining us for the Hop Culture x New Belgium presents Queer Beer Fest. Get your tickets here.

GET YOUR TICKETS TO QUEER BEER

Right Proper Brewing Company

Washington, D.C.

right proper brewing company
Photography courtesy of Right Proper Brewing Company

Supporting the Queer community should happen year round. Not only during the month of June. Every Sunday, one of our top breweries to visit in Washington, D.C, Right Proper Brewing Company partners with An Indivisible Art Collective to bring an educational series fostering open dialogue through storytelling and raising the voices of marginalized POC, women, and Queer-identifying artists. But of course, the brewery does it right during Pride too, hosting an incredible drag show last year. We’ll be keeping our eyes peeled for Right Proper’s plans this year.

Note: Right Proper will be joining us for the Hop Culture x New Belgium presents Queer Beer Fest. Get your tickets here.

GET YOUR TICKETS TO QUEER BEER

Rising Tide Brewing

Portland, ME

rising tide brewing company
Photography courtesy of Rising Tide Brewing Company

It’s not often that you find an ally brewery specifically stating in its mission statement that they are dedicated to giving back to the Queer community. But that’s what you’ll find at Rising Tide Brewing. Guided by their community, Rising Tide specifically states that, “We take pride in our investment in the revitalization of our neighborhood and the great Portland area and strive to give back as much as possible to create a thriving and safe space for all. We focus our efforts on supporting economic development, LGBTQ+ issues, BIPOC equality, women’s reproductive health, combating hunger, stewardship of Maine’s oceans and rivers, local land trusts, and outdoor activities.” For that reason, Rising Tide will be joining us for the first time at Queer Beer this year.

Note: Rising Tide will be joining us for the Hop Culture x New Belgium presents Queer Beer Fest. Get your tickets here.

GET YOUR TICKETS TO QUEER BEER

Samuel Adams

Boston, MA

samuel adams queer beer love conquers ale
Photography courtesy of Samuel Adams

Samuel Adams has not only been a pioneer of the entire craft beer movement, but also of supporting the LGBTQ+ community. The brewery’s work includes a $100,000 donation in 2020 to GLAAD, the creation of Love Conquers All, brewing Love Conquers Ale, showcasing a powerful video series called Poetry of Pride, and forming its own internal diversity and inclusion group called Labels Out. From top to bottom, inside and out, Samuel Adams has made huge strides to support the Queer community and Hop Culture was honored to partner with this revolutionary brewery as a presenting sponsor for its inaugural Queer Beer Festival in 2021.

Note: Samuel Adams will be joining us for the Hop Culture x New Belgium presents Queer Beer Fest. Get your tickets here.

GET YOUR TICKETS TO QUEER BEER

Servaes Brewing Company

Shawnee, KS

servaes brewing company courtney servaes queer led breweries
Photography courtesy of Servaes Brewing Company

Queer-owned Servaes (pronounced like serivce) in Shawnee, KS, is helmed by Courtney Servaes. Courtney started homebrewing in 2012 before eventually turning her hobby into a professional career, opening Servaes Brewing in April 2019. The 2,700-sq-ft brewery and taproom has become Courtney’s mad scientist laboratory. There she cooks up crazy sours and barrel-aged beers with everything from red velvet cake to pumpkin pies. Courtney has even pioneered a line of craft sodas named after her son (who loves soda). Aaron’s Craft Soda features unique flavors inspired by her family.

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SingleCut Beersmiths

Queens, NY

singlecut beersmiths mighty real
Photography courtesy of SingleCut Beersmiths

As an ally, SingleCut has made it a priority to celebrate the Queer community. For several years, every June they brew a Pride beer with proceeds going directly to a specific LGBTQIA+ organization. For example, last year Shake It Little Tina, a blonde rice ale with rhubarb and lime, supported The Audre Lorde Project. And in 2020, Mighty Real helped fund The Lesbian & Gay Big Apple Corps.

Note: SingleCut will be joining us for the Hop Culture x New Belgium presents Queer Beer Fest. Get your tickets here.

GET YOUR TICKETS TO QUEER BEER

Sloop Brewing Co.

East Fishkill, NY

sloop brewing co michelle demetillo open water internship queer led breweries
Photography courtesy of Sloop Brewing

In the summer of 2020, Sloop Brewing did something practically unheard of up until that point; they started the Open Waters Internship Program, an internship aimed at giving Black, Queer, women, and other minority folks a chance to gain an educational experience in a brewery.

Helmed by Marquita Reese, a black female Queer brewer at Sloop, who also serves as the chairwoman of the brewery’s diversity and inclusion committee, the internship program has broken barriers in the industry.

This past winter, Michelle Demetillo, a Queer woman of color in the brewing industry, accepted an open position in the program. We hope that for years to come more Queer and minority individuals will have the opportunity to “dismantle barriers in the craft beverage industry, and pave the way for positive change in the world of brewing and craft beer by creating a more diverse and inclusive industry,” as it says on the brewery’s website. Which is the whole point of Sloop’s groundbreaking initiative.

And we hope that more breweries will take Sloop’s example and start something similar in their own spaces.

Note: Sloop will be joining us for the Hop Culture x New Belgium presents Queer Beer Fest. Get your tickets here.

GET YOUR TICKETS TO QUEER BEER

TALEA Beer Co.

Brooklyn, NY

talea beer co
Photography courtesy of Nachman Blizinsky | TALEA Beer Co.

We’ve rained praise down on TALEA Beer Co. in the past for many reasons. The all-woman and veteran-owned brewery in Brooklyn was started by Tara Hankinson and LeAnn Darland. And while neither identify as Queer, they have made a conscious decision to cultivate an inclusive culture, from their packaging meant to attract all types of consumers regardless of gender to their incredibly friendly space to hiring Ariel Schwarz (they/them) as lead brewer.

Last year, Ariel joined us at our fourth annual Beers With(out) Beards to walk us through how they are making some of the softest, pillowiest, juiciest hazy IPAs.

If you’re looking for an example of one business that is just doing it right, look to TALEA Beer Co.

Note: TALEA Beer Co. will be joining us for the Hop Culture x New Belgium presents Queer Beer Fest. Get your tickets here.

GET YOUR TICKETS TO QUEER BEER

Temescal Brewing

Oakland, CA

 

Live in Oakland, CA, for any amount of time and you’ll quickly learn about Temescal Brewing’s Queer First Fridays. In fact, I visited Queer First Fridays with my wife the weekend after I first moved from NYC to CA in March of 2020. Actually, it was the last public gathering I went to before the COVID-19 pandemic forced breweries and taprooms to shut down.

The event, held monthly on the first Friday of each month (prior to COVID), brings together Queer musicians and drinkers to celebrate in a night uniquely Queer. The event gained popularity in the area for crafting a safe space for Queer folks to hang out with friends and listen to great music while also enjoying incredible beer. These vibrant often wild nights were the brainchild of then-bar manager Theresa Bale, who planned the inaugural Queer First Fridays as her birthday party. Without a place specifically for the Queer community to congregate outside of late-night clubs none too concerned with craft beer, Bale created her dream Queer party that married the two. And the Queer community took notice with over 500 people showing up to dance and drink at the first Queer First Fridays. Although Bale has since left Temescal, her legacy lives on—the first post-pandemic Queer First Fridays returned on April 2nd, 2021.

Note: Temescal Brewing will be joining us for the Hop Culture x New Belgium presents Queer Beer Fest. Get your tickets here.

GET YOUR TICKETS TO QUEER BEER

Ten Eyck Brewing

Queenstown, MD

ten eyck brewing company taildragger
Photography courtesy of Ten Eyck Brewing Company

Owned by a team of Queer women veterans and first responders, Ten Eyck Brewing Company makes it a mission to bring delicious craft beer to their Eastern Shore community. Ten Eyck features a standout crew of seven women making their mark in craft beer. We met many of them, including Yancy and her partner Jessica and Nicki, at our fifth annual women in craft beer festival Beers With(out) Beards. So we can tell you unequivocally that this is a really incredible group of people dedicated to promoting inclusivity and equality in craft beer.

Note: Ten Eyck will be joining us for the Hop Culture x New Belgium presents Queer Beer Fest. Get your tickets here.

GET YOUR TICKETS TO QUEER BEER

The Virginia Beer Company

Williamsburg, VA

the virginia beer company friends of dorothy
Photography courtesy of The Virginia Beer Company

Chris Smith and Robby Wiley started The Virginia Beer Company with a goal: to change Williamsburg and to be a place that’s comfortable for anyone. For Smith and Wiley that means supporting the LGTBQIA+ community.

The brewery’s Friends of Dorothy is one of the more well-known Queer-supporting beers in the country. The beer is named after a phrase—”a friend of Dorothy”—used as a secret signal between gay men dating back to at least World War II when being Queer was illegal. Saying you were “a friend of Dorothy” signified your orientation in code.

The beer respectfully nods to a very tough time for the Queer community. One where we persevered and survived.

This may be a Pride IPA, but the beer’s meaning really hits us and proves to us that Virginia Beer Co. embodies equality all year long.

Note: The Virginia Beer Co. will be joining us for the Hop Culture x New Belgium presents Queer Beer Fest. Get your tickets here.

GET YOUR TICKETS TO QUEER BEER

Threes Brewing

Brooklyn, NY

 

Threes brewed a Pride beer before Pride beers were a buzzword. Back in 2017, after then-American President Donald Trump had been elected to the White House, the Threes team tried to think of ways they could do something to respond. The brewery wanted to find a cause they believed in and support it to the hilt—Gender Neutral was born. Made to represent the full, colorful spectrum of gender identities, Gender Neutral has been canned and released in June each year since to “make a broader commentary on human nature and society at large.”

With 10 percent of all sales of Gender Neutral donated to various LGBTQIA+ organizations over the years such as the Human Rights Campaign or Anti-Violence Project, an NYC-based organization that works with LGBTQIA+ and HIV-affected communities, Threes’ dedication to the LGBTQIA+ community has been unparalleled.

Note: Threes will be joining us for the Hop Culture x New Belgium presents Queer Beer Fest. Get your tickets here.

GET YOUR TICKETS TO QUEER BEER

Urban Growler Brewing Co.

St. Paul, MN

 

The first women-owned craft brewery in Minnesota also happens to be Queer owned. Helmed by partners Jill Pavlak and Deb Loch, Urban Growler Brewing Co. is the perfect example of how to break through barriers in this industry. Pavlak and Loch had a dream: to open a brewery. But banks wouldn’t take them seriously. “We heard ridiculous things like, ‘How will you girls carry those big heavy bags of grain? How will women your age keep those late-night hours? What if you get divorced?… Would you ask that of a heterosexual couple?” said Pavlak in an article for October magazine. But the couple never quit.

They brewed beer, printed t-shirts, sold shares in their future brewery, and raised over $500,000. Still, the banks turned them down. Finally, at the suggestion of a friend, the ladies visited Pioneer Bank in Mankato, MN, and secured their loan. Seven years later Urban Growler has become a beacon in the industry. Their annual Pride beer Let’s Dance, a lavender lemon summer ale, celebrates the Queer community. But it’s really the story here of perseverance and tenacity that makes Urban Growler such a special place.

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