Craft breweries will have to do more than brew and sell a batch and donate proceeds from it to join the newest cause-driven global collaboration beer project.
The organizers behind Brave Noise, a collaborative project “advocating for safe spaces and inclusive environments” in the beer industry, are asking participants to create and publish a code of conduct for employees and patrons, as well as donate the majority of the beer’s sales to an organization that supports the project’s mission.
“Though we personally cannot hold the breweries accountable, we have framed it in a way that there are steps and actions that they have to take,” Ash Eliot, founder of Women of the Bevolution, said during a recent episode of Brewbound Frontlines. “It’s coming into the long-term work for change in the industry. It’s having a code of conduct and making sure it checks all these boxes, that it is focused on safe and inclusive environments for staff and consumers.”
The first batch of Brave Noise was brewed last month at Salem, Massachusetts-based Notch Brewing. In May, Notch production manager Brienne Allan used her personal Instagram account (@ratmagnet) as a platform to share the stories of sexual harassment, assault and discrmination experienced by beer and hospitality industry employees. Those workers, mostly women, continue to flood Allan’s inbox with stories of experiences they’ve had that point to toxic masculinity’s entrenchment within the industry.
Brave Noise was never intended to be brewed outside of Notch, and Allan and her co-workers rejected requests to make the recipe available because they were leery of how past large-scale collaboration beers played out.
“We actually turned it down for a couple of weeks because we’re like, every time somebody does a global collab like this, everyone finds out later that nobody actually donated,” Allan said.
Brave Noise’s website offers resources for participating breweries to create a code of conduct to create safe and inclusive workplaces and public spaces. Participating breweries are expected to release their batch of Brave Noise before the end of October, and to share their codes of conduct via a QR code on the beer’s label or at their taprooms.
The organizers have suggested 27 non-profit groups with global, national and regional reach for breweries to select for donation.
“These non-profits are advocating for safe spaces, they’re creating resources for hospitality workers, they’re providing mental health support, sexual harassment training, diversity training,” Eliot said. “It kind of reflects this initiative and what we want for this industry and that’s how I feel that this collab is different than others.”
In addition to publishing a code of conduct and making a donation to a verified non-profit, the Brave Noise team asks that breweries “be transparent with their policies and commit to long-term work.”
“We’re trying to make it so that consumers and other people in the industry can hold these breweries accountable, because you can’t just post something on fucking Instagram and then expect people to just believe you,” Allan said.
Allan and Eliot are joined by Beer. Diversity. founder Ren Navarro and Orpheus Brewing beer quality and education manager Jen Blair on Brewbound Frontlines to discuss the movement to shine a light on misogyny and misconduct in the beer industry.