Beer with Purpose: Brave Noise
It started with an Instagram story from the personal Instagram account of Brienne Allan, head brewer and production manager at Notch Brewing in Salem, MA: “What sexist comments have you experienced?”
The question was posed on her account @ratmagnet earlier this year on Tuesday, May 11th, and Brienne soon began to see a flood of responses from people in the craft beer industry, most anonymous, who shared their stories.
What followed was a deluge of horrifying experiences, from microaggressions to sexual harassment, racism, and assault, proving that the #MeToo era is far from being in the past, especially for our industry.
Many of the accusations were against some of the country’s prominent brewers and breweries.
Just five days later, Brienne’s modest 2,200 followers had grown nearly tenfold to over 19,000, and more and more people began to share their own stories and experiences, which Brienne reposted in her stories and began to collect in segments at the top of her page. As of today, the account boasts over 62.4K followers, and she continues to post stories and raise awareness.
Here at Cape May Brewing Company, we followed the stories, in shock and with grim acceptance over what many have experienced all these years, and continue to experience in an industry that is rapidly becoming brighter and more innovative because of the very people affected by this.
The conversations sparked our own review of checking in with our Brew Crew, reaffirming our commitments, and looking for ways that we can continue to give back.
Thankfully, Brienne has also used this movement to continue to advocate for better conditions.
Brienne has spearheaded a massive beer collaboration movement: Brave Noise Pale Ale, which aims to provide awareness and create action for safe and inclusive environments in the beer industry.
We’re incredibly proud to be one of the over 100 breweries across the country, and in Canada, the UK, and New Zealand producing this beer. To date, we’re still the only New Jersey brewery supporting this particular initiative, and we’re committed to making sure that CMBC remains an inclusive, safe, and encouraging place to work in the years to come.
The recipe for this collaborative brew is being used by all the participating breweries; some have released their rendition already, and others will release it by the end of the year.
CMBC’s Brave Noise Pale Ale is 4.5% ABV, and brewed with Sabro and Mosaic hops for a crisp, refreshing brew that blends citrus and pine notes. You can order four-packs now from our Brewtique, or stop by our Tasting Room starting today, Friday, October 15th, to grab a pour or pick up cans while supplies last.
Each four-pack and pint sale proceeds of Brave Noise will go towards Crafted For All, a consulting firm and professional development platform that fosters inclusive, equitable, and just spaces and experiences in the craft beverage sector. We’re proud to be partners with them!
If you’re stopping by today, Hannah Stone will also be performing in the Beer Garden (attached to the Tasting Room) from 4pm – 7pm, so don’t miss that!
While the rampant sexism, violence, and mistrust is certainly far from over in our own industry, we hope you’ll join us by supporting this brew and standing up for those affected, and those who have been pushed out of the industry.
If you’d like to learn more about Brienne and the movement, check out this Boston Globe feature or this piece from WBUR News. To learn more about the Brave Noise initiative, check out their website here.