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Taplines: Craft Brewing’s ‘White Dudes with Beards’ Dilemma

What does diversity have to do with craft beer? Depending on whom you ask, the answer is either nothing, or everything. The brewing industry has long been skewered as the redoubt of white dudes with beards, and for most of its history in the U.S., that was the dominant aesthetic for its most prominent practitioners. But things are changing in the American craft brewing business, thanks in no small part to the tireless efforts of Dr. J Jackson-Beckham.

In the mid-2010s, J Jackson-Beckham, PhD, was an academic with a homebrewing habit, blogging about what she called “the unbearable whiteness of brewing.” Her deep expertise and singular voice eventually caught the eye of the Brewers Association, which tapped her in 2018 to serve as the trade group’s first-ever “Diversity Ambassador.”

Today, “Dr. J” joins “Taplines” to reflect on that moment — not only a pivotal one in her own career, but also in the trajectory of the craft beer industry at large. That work is ongoing: Shortly after we recorded this episode in late 2023, she joined the BA full-time as its director of social impact. Tune in for more.

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The article Taplines: Craft Brewing’s ‘White Dudes with Beards’ Dilemma appeared first on VinePair.

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