The Brewers Association (BA) recently dropped us a line announcing the launch of its Travel Grants Program for its always-busy Craft Brewers Conference (CBC) through which 25 awardees will receive up to $1,500 in support for eligible travel expenses. The Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) Committee has been incubating the idea for the program for more than two years.
“We have seen firsthand the professional development benefits that come from the emerging leaders on our staff attending and presenting at CBC,” said Heather Sanborn, member of the DEI Committee and co-owner of Rising Tide Brewing Co in Portland, Maine. “As a small brewery in one corner of the country, the cost of sending employees to CBC can be prohibitive. A program like this could help breweries like ours lower that barrier.”
The timing of the program’s launch comes on the heels of an eventful two years for the DEI team at the BA. “Now that we’ve been able to establish the BA’s internal DEI infrastructure, build out and recruit the DEI Committee’s four subcommittees, launch the Mentorship Program, and develop the THRIVE educational track and pre-conference workshop at CBC, we can turn our attention to some items on our wish list,” said Dr. J Jackson-Beckham, BA Equity & Inclusion Partner. “CBC is such an impactful event and we’re excited to pursue some of the opportunities it presents.”
Eligibility for CBC Travel Grants
The CBC Travel Grants program will support the goals to bring new voices to the conference speaker lineup and to enable more individuals who are not brewery owners or leaders in production roles to attend CBC. To be eligible to apply for a CBC Travel Grant, applicants must be employed by a Brewers Association member brewery-in-planning or brewery who produces less than 15,000 bbls. Examples of eligible brewery types are:
- Contract Brand/Alternating Proprietorship
“Many individuals employed by breweries who are members of the Brewers Association don’t realize that as employees they are part of that membership and can directly access BA resources. They simply need to be added to their brewery’s roster,” says Sarah Billiu, BA Membership Manager. “Those who are interested should contact their brewery’s membership administrator to be added or they can simply reach out to the BA Membership Department. We’re here to help.”
Because of the limited availability of grants, preference will be given to eligible applicants who have had a seminar proposal accepted for the Craft Brewers Conference, first-time attendees, and those who have experienced cultural or situational barriers to attending the conference.
Members of the Philanthropy and Outreach Subcommittee and DEI Education Subcommittee will begin reviewing applications for grants in November. Jennie Olson, the Philanthropy and Outreach Subcommittee chair and Senior Accountant for Arryved, is excited to expand the professional opportunities that CBC offers to industry members who don’t normally have the opportunity to attend the conference. She offers, “Regardless of your affiliation to the brewing industry, attending CBC accelerates career growth. The seminars and trade show provide endless opportunities for education, and the networking you’ll do at CBC will prove to be invaluable for years to come. It really is the ‘don’t-miss’ event for those just starting out or seasoned professionals. I work at a brewery tech company and every year I walk away with tools on how to better myself and, in turn, my company.”
Pay It Forward
The Brewers Association Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) Committee invites all members of the craft brewing community to contribute to the CBC Travel Grant fund to support the health and vitality of craft brewing as whole. “A more engaged, educated, and vibrant community benefits us all,” says Jackson-Beckham, “Communal investments in the future of the industry are the key to making positive impacts that lasts. Be on the lookout for a ‘Pay it Forward’ option during checkout for CBC Registration. A small contribution could make a huge impact on someone else’s career.”
How to Apply
To learn more about how to apply for a CBC Travel Grant, please visit the Brewers Association website. For more information about the 2023 Craft Brewers Conference in Nashville, Tennessee, please visit the Craft Brewers Conference website.