During Episode 44 of the Brewbound Podcast, myself and Chris Furnari, in discussing a story on beer influencers of Instagram, had a conversation that was in poor judgment and poor taste. We missed the mark, and that discussion does not reflect the thought-provoking conversations that we strive to have at Brewbound.
After a lot of self-reflection, I owe an apology to everyone — the women included in the story; those called out by name, One Hoppy Lady, Bigwrldsmallgrl, Beer Bitty, Is Beer a Carb; the author, Zach Johnston; our listeners; our featured guest, Julie Verratti of Denizens Brewing Company; Brewbound’s parent company, BevNet; and anyone else I hurt.
Our discussion was lazy. Any real research would have shown that all of the people included on the list are deserving. They’ve worked in the industry at some of the top craft breweries. Others are brewers at smaller craft outfits. Some are certified beer servers through the Cicerone program. Others are photographers and writers. All deserve more consideration than we gave them.
I made a mistake, and I was rightfully called out for it, and deserve to be held accountable. It was not our intent to degrade or demean anyone, and I feel awful that my words hurt or angered anyone. I wish it never would have occurred, not to hide my blindspots or poor judgement, but so no one would be made to feel marginalized by something I said.
That conversation is not who we are as people — or as an organization — and I am ashamed and embarrassed. Our words are indefensible, and the thought that they have undone any of the work we’ve done on diversity and inclusion in the beer industry — including the featured interview in the very podcast in question — leaves me incredibly disappointed in myself. I never intended to make anyone feel excluded or belittled in this industry or the beer community.
It’s clear that I need to listen more and learn more, both personally and professionally. I need to be better than this, and I hope that I can earn the forgiveness of those we’ve hurt, angered or alienated.
Justin Kendall, News Editor, Brewbound