Brewers Association Names First Diversity Ambassador

Building on its efforts to promote a more inclusive brewing industry, the Brewers Association (BA) today announced the appointment of Dr. J. Nikol Jackson-Beckham as its first diversity ambassador.

Jackson-Beckham, an assistant professor of communication studies at Randolph College in Lynchburg, Virginia, will work closely with the BA’s Diversity Committee, which was established during last year’s Craft Brewers Conference in Washington, D.C.

The BA, a not-for-profit trade association dedicated to furthering the interests of small and independent domestic brewers, said Jackson-Beckham will also be tasked with traveling the country to speak to brewers and state guilds on how to build more diverse staffs and consumer bases.

Jackson-Beckham has given keynote addresses and lectures as well as authored books — including Untapped: Exploring the Cultural Dimensions of Craft Beer — about diversity in the brewing industry. She has also been an avid homebrewer for more than a decade, a press release noted.

“I am really grateful for the opportunity to be part of authentic efforts to overcome some of the challenges I’ve spent a good amount of time researching and writing about,” Jackson-Beckham said, via the press release. “I’m really excited to have the opportunity to change how a lot folks in the industry think about diversity and inclusion.”

BA president and CEO Bob Pease added that “diversity and inclusion are opportunities for businesses to lead and succeed.”

“Jackson-Beckham will help to reinforce this idea, identify occasions where efforts can be strengthened and educate our members on being an even more inclusive community,” he said, via the release. “We welcome her to the Brewers Association team.”

Jackson-Beckham will make her first official appearance as diversity ambassador during next week’s CBC in Nashville, Tennessee, and give a presentation titled “A Brewery for All: Tactics for Being Inclusive and Building Diversity” on Thursday, May 3.

Launched about a year ago, the BA’s 12-member Diversity Committee is chaired by BA board member Julie Verratti, co-founder of Silver Spring, Maryland-based Denizens Brewing Co.

In announcing the launch of the diversity committee last year, the BA also said it would attempt to prevent breweries that use offensive or sexist names and labels from marketing their businesses with the trade group’s intellectual property in regards to World Beer Cup and Great American Beer Fest awards and medals. Although those members may still join the BA’s ranks and compete for awards, medal winners with offensive names will not be celebrated during awards ceremonies.

A press release with more information is included below.

J. Nikol Jackson-Beckham Named First Diversity Ambassador at the Brewers Association

Boulder, Colo. • April 24, 2018—Furthering its commitment to diversity, the Brewers Association (BA)—the not-for-profit trade association dedicated to small and independent American craft brewers—today announced that it has tapped J. Nikol Jackson-Beckham, Ph.D. as its first-ever Diversity Ambassador.

Similar to other ambassador roles at the BA, Jackson-Beckham will travel around the country to state guild and other craft brewing community events to speak on best practices for diversifying both customer bases and staff and to listen to current challenges in this area. She will work closely with the recently established Diversity Committee, helmed by Julie Verratti of Denizens Brewing Co. and comprised of a cross section of industry members of varied backgrounds and geographical regions.

“Craft beer is made by and for everyone,” said Bob Pease, president & CEO, Brewers Association. “Diversity and inclusion are opportunities for businesses to lead and succeed. Jackson-Beckham will help to reinforce this idea, identify occasions where efforts can be strengthened and educate our members on being an even more inclusive community. We welcome her to the Brewers Association team.”

An Assistant Professor of Communication Studies at Randolph College, Jackson-Beckham has a storied history in the brewing community. She has been an avid homebrewer for over a decade and has researched and written about beer and its place in American culture. She has delivered keynote addresses, presentations and guest lectures on the culture and inclusiveness of craft beer.

“Serving the Brewers Association in this capacity ‘closes the loop’ on things I have been doing for nearly a decade now. I have been fortunate enough to have successfully combined a genuine passion for craft beer and a career in academia,” said Jackson-Beckham. “I am really grateful for the opportunity to be part of authentic efforts to overcome some of the challenges I’ve spent a good amount of time researching and writing about. I’m really excited to have the opportunity to change how a lot folks in the industry think about diversity and inclusion.”

Jackson-Beckham will make her first appearance as Diversity Ambassador at the Craft Brewers Conference & BrewExpo America, in Nashville, Tennessee from April 30 – May 3. Her presentation is “A Brewery for All—Tactics for Being Inclusive and Building Diversity.”

About the Brewers Association

The Brewers Association (BA) is the not-for-profit trade association dedicated to small and independent American brewers, their beers and the community of brewing enthusiasts. The BA represents 4,000-plus U.S. breweries. The BA’s independent craft brewer seal is a widely adopted symbol that differentiates beers by small and independent craft brewers. The BA organizes events including the World Beer Cup, Great American Beer Festival, Craft Brewers Conference & BrewExpo America, SAVOR: An American Craft Beer & Food Experience, Homebrew Con, National Homebrew Competition and American Craft Beer Week. The BA publishes The New Brewer magazine, and Brewers Publications is the leading publisher of brewing literature in the U.S. Beer lovers are invited to learn more about the dynamic world of craft beer at CraftBeer.com and about homebrewing via the BA’s American Homebrewers Association and the free Brew Guru mobile app. Follow us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. 

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