*This post contains coarse (East Coast beer drinking) language
I think it’d be a gross understatement to say that the last year in beer has been interesting. Many statements were made, some were followed through and some were performative. Conversations were started and some have continued while others have fallen silent. I get it, it’s hard to sit with discomfort or find a starting point. But thank you to those who’ve kept talking and engaging. Please keep it up and quite frankly, keep taking my money.
I’m pretty much over chasing ‘hype beer’. I used to chase down rare releases, head to one store for raffles in the hopes of getting a special bottle or two, or line up for new, ‘cool’ releases. It was kind of fun to go on the hunt, but my priorities have shifted. Don’t get me wrong, I’ll try the hype stuff if I happen across it on a shelf or on tap if it’s something I’m interested in. But some places are really only clearly making statements for clout or to look like they’re doing the work (i.e. they’re being performative rather than sincere) and some places just cannot give a shit. Several places will not be getting any more of my money.
Some places that are not deemed ‘cool’ by local high-falutin’ beer snobs will be getting WAY more of my money. Personally, I’m far more concerned about community connection than hype beer and Untappd check-ins. When a brewery posts that they’re donating to a
community org, or working on a safe space program, or donating to a queer or BIPOC org and keeps us updated on progress, I take note. And then I buy beer.
I’m gonna name some names here:
Lighthouse Brewing (Victoria) made an excellent post on International Women’s Day that laid out a framework and steps they will be taking over the year to ensure they engage with the community and give back.
Townsite Brewing (Powell River) met with me for an info session and they are working on some excellent projects to make their space safer for LGBTQ2S+ folks.
Strange Fellows (Vancouver) regularly work with BIPOC artists and vendors by giving them space for pop up markets.
Steel & Oak (New Westminster) sponsor New West Pride every year, host events when it’s not Plague Times and will make the Rainbow Shark an annual release.
A-Frame (Squamish) work very closely with Squamish Pride, host events with Sounding Room Squamish and regularly have Pride hats for sale in the tasting room (which I will finally be able to buy in August when I visit!).
Wildeye and House of Funk (North Vancouver) will have fundraiser beers releasing soon with partial proceeds going to 2 local queer charities.
Fernie Brewing (Fernie) have a ‘Cheers to Charity’ program which regularly donates to local community organizations.
I’m sure there are more. Tell me if you know of any! I want to support folks who support marginalized communities.
This isn’t me telling you how to spend your money. You’re a grown-ass adult, and you can spend your cash however you see fit. I’ve just made a personal choice to be far more conscious of who gets my money going forward.
Follow @bruceandbeer on Instagram for the perspective of a trans-nonbinary individual in the craft beer industry.