Expertise: food/drink (esp. craft beer & cider), travel, arts + culture. Bylines: Washington Post, Saveur, Playboy, VICE, Civil Eats, Food & Wine, VinePair, Good Beer Hunting, San Diego Mag & more
A monthly column of interviews featuring diverse voices in the global craft beer community.
You Must Be Mad
Monthly column in Good Beer Hunting: Commentary, musings, and hot takes from San Diego-based contributor Beth Demmon.
Craft brewers are tapping into cider to appeal to more drinkers
If the beer and cider industries had royalty, Greg Hall would be close to the throne. He spent 20 years as brewmaster at Chicago’s Goose Island, where he created Bourbon County stout, one of the first bourbon-barrel-aged beers and one that remains a cult phenomenon to this day.
But it was on a beer trip to England — years before Anheuser-Busch InBev purchased Goose Island for $38.8 million — when Hall and a group of brewers inadvertently stumbled into a pub hosting a cider festival. Sampling ...
(PDF Version) Craft brewers are tapping into cider to appeal to more drinkers
Breweries are beginning to clue into cider’s potential. Cider has increased its retail share more than 10 times over the past decade, according to Nielsen, and today there are commercial cideries in all 50 states as well as the District, with about 1,000 cideries across North America. Comparatively, there are more than 9,000 operational breweries in the United States — by far the most in American history — but in 2021, overall U.S. beer volume increased by only 1 percent.
Work, Worth, and Wreckage — When Your Job Is Your Life, What Happens When You Lose It?
“It’s very American to have our identities completely driven by our professions,” says Julia Herz.
Herz is both familiar with the concept as well as representative of it. For over 16 years, she was an integral part of the Brewers Association, and for 13 of those years, she served as the face of its craft beer programming. Her responsibilities included writing and publishing content for CraftBeer.com, helping update bylaws and codes like the 2017 Marketing and Advertising Code, presenting at n...
Craft Beer Faces a Gender and Race Reckoning
In May 2021, an exasperated Brienne Allan had had enough. In a single morning, two different men had approached the now-former brewer at Notch Brewing in Salem, Massachusetts, and questioned her craft-beer credentials.
“What sexist comments have you experienced?” Allan later asked her roughly 2,200 Instagram followers.
The offhand remark sparked the largest reckoning against misogyny the craft beer industry has ever seen, leaving her with nearly 60,000 new followers and worldwide media covera...
Keeping Neurodiversity in Mind — How Two Groundbreaking Breweries are Making Beer Spaces More Accessible
Every time I walk into a public bathroom with my autistic, preschool-aged son, I instinctively do a visual sweep. Are there paper towel dispensers, or do they have air dryers? Does the toilet flush automatically or manually? Is there anyone in a stall who might flush unexpectedly, which may trigger him to have an unpleasant sensory reaction?
If there are any air dryers or automatic flush mechanisms, I know what comes next. My son will reflexively cover his ears, prompting me to help him use t...
The Time Is Now - Podcast on Good Beer Hunting
It’s no exaggeration to say that the arrival of COVID-19 has completely upended the beer industry. Breweries large and small have had to radically change their approach in order to survive the pandemic. But these changes prompted a major question: why have beer businesses been so willing to overhaul the way things have always been when faced with economic issues, but so reluctant to address long-standing social issues within the industry, like its lack of inclusion and equity?
Sweeping Accusations of Sexism, Assault Rock The Craft Beer Industry
Content warning: This story describes instances of sexual harassment and abuse.
What started last week on Tuesday, May 11 as an offhand request for women’s stories about experiencing sexism in the beer industry on a personal Instagram page has escalated into a mass callout of craft beer industry members across the world, sending shockwaves across the industry.
Thousands of messages — and counting — sent to brewer Brienne Allan (who goes by the Instagram handle @ratmagnet) include accusations ...
Buzz, Kill — The Physical, Psychological, and Financial Price Women Pay for Working in Beer
“I feel like our society is conditioned to know that women get abused, and we’re all just kind of okay with it because we’re expecting it.” A deep dive into the mental, emotional, financial, and physical toll many women pay to simply participate in the craft beer industry.
Craft, Community, and Children: The State of Parenting in the American Beer Industry
No two days are the same for Danii Oliver. She’s the owner and brewer at Brooklyn’s Island to Island Brewery as well as a homeschooling mother of two. Like many parents who are also small business owners, Oliver’s life isn’t neatly separated into “work” and “family,” which means her kids are beside her every step of the way.
“My children are my coworkers. They are where I am,” explains Oliver. “Breweries are classrooms. They are laboratories. They are places where people come together.”
Has Craft Beer Already Imagined a Better Future?
For just about every business, industry and individual, 2020 forced long-simmering issues to a boiling point. The beverage industry, like so many others, had to react quickly to address shutdowns, sheltering in place and supply shortages, all while confronting the burgeoning social justice movement and cries for accountability after years of exclusion, inequity and prejudice.
Some beverage segments have responded quicker and more deftly than others, and while contrasting the approaches of win...
EP-329 Brienne Allan of Brave Noise Beer
Brienne Allan became a household name in the beer industry last year, when she inadvertently sparked a reckoning against sexism in beer that quickly went global. Her face and words were featured everywhere from Imbibe to the Boston Globe, Eater, right here at Good Beer Hunting, and her Brave Noise initiative with Ash Eliot was named Brewbound’s Cause of the Year for 2021.
But now that nearly a year has gone by, what’s changed? For starters, Brienne left her home at Notch Brewing in Salem, Mas...
EP-289 Ren Navarro, Founder of Beer.Diversity.
At the end of every year, it’s common for publications to put together roundups of notable people who’ve made their mark: who you should read, who you should listen to, who you should follow on social media, and so on. And every year, while those mentioned absolutely merit recognition for their work, some people also deserving of attention inevitably get missed. Any list covering the craft beer industry that doesn’t i...
Where Everybody Knows Your Name — Searching for Community During COVID-19
“Sometimes you want to go / Where everybody knows your name / And they're always glad you came / You want to be where you can see / Our troubles are all the same / You want to be where everybody knows your name.”
The theme song from Cheers has never quite landed the way it does now—weeks into COVID-19-induced quarantines, when imposed isolation has deepened into deprivation. Following its sudden arrival several months ago, the virus has since brought the entire world to a collective halt. Wit...