Hazy IPAs, pale ales, sours, lagers … there are hundreds of different types of beer, with new tastes, combinations and hybrids being created every day. But the diversity we love in our beer isn’t always reflected in the brewing industry itself. Fifty-one percent of the U.S. is female, but according to a recent survey by the Brewers Association, less than 8% of brewers are women. Similarly, while people of color make up 38% of the population, they represent less than 11% of brewers in the country.
To help increase representation in the brewing industry, UC Davis Continuing and Professional Education is launching its 2022 UC Davis Tapping Potential Fund campaign, a crowdfunded, diversity-focused scholarship program to support full-ride scholarships to the prestigious UC Davis Online Master Brewers Certificate Program and other online brewing courses. Donations can be made at the campaign website starting 9/29/22.
“There’s room in brewing for a broader range of people, perspectives and experiences. By educating a more diverse pool of brewers, UC Davis will help make that happen,” said Dr. Glen Fox, academic director of the UC Davis Master Brewers Certificate Program. “By supporting the UC Davis Tapping Potential Fund, beer enthusiasts create opportunity. They give students around the world access to the incredible expertise and resources of UC Davis brewing.”
The UC Davis Tapping Potential Fund campaign runs September 29 through October 31 and has a goal of $30,000. Last year’s campaign raised more than $21,000. A kick-off event for the campaign is being held at Sudwerk Brewing Co. (2001 2nd St, Davis) on Thursday, 9/29 from 5 to 8 p.m. Two other Sacramento-area breweries, Touchstone Brewing and Oak Park Brewing, will also be pouring at the event. A percentage of proceeds will benefit the UC Davis Tapping Potential campaign.
From breweries to suppliers, the brewing industry has been extremely supportive. Industry sponsors for the 2022 UC Davis Tapping Potential Fund include Barebottle Brewing Company, United Malt Group, Sudwerk Brewing Co., North Coast Brewing Company, Touchstone Brewing Company, the Sacramento Area Brewers Guild, El Segundo Brewing Company, CLS Farms and Amager Bryghus.
“As a brewery in San Francisco, we’re fortunate to serve one of the most diverse populations in the country,” said Lester Koga, cofounder of Barebottle Brewing Co. “We’re committed to making sure our crew reflects our environment and are thrilled to be supporting the UC Davis Tapping Potential Fund. We look forward to seeing the next generation of diverse brewers and owners emerge from the program.”
Koga is also a member of the UC Davis Tapping Potential Fund Advisory Council. He’s joined by Dr. J Jackson-Beckham (Brewers Association, Equity & Inclusion Partner), Dr. Missy Begay (Bow & Arrow Brewing, Co-founder), and Garrett Oliver (Brooklyn Brewery brewmaster and founder of the Michael James Jackson Foundation for Brewing and Distilling).
“There are equity and opportunity gaps in professional brewing, and the industry has been actively working to address that by identifying and removing barriers to access and advancement,” said Jackson-Beckham. “Increasing access to professional brewing education is an approach that has an immediate impact on individuals and a lasting, systemic impact on the industry.”
The scholarships will be available to students who are committed to diversity, have experience and/or understanding of the barriers traditionally faced by people of color and demonstrate a high potential for leadership in promoting cross-cultural understanding in the brewing industry.
Scholarships cover all fees and materials for the Online Master Brewers Certificate Program, including a week-long, in-person bootcamp at UC Davis’s state-of-the-art August A. Busch III pilot brewery and Sierra Nevada Brewing Science laboratory. Individual course scholarships will also be offered, giving brewers at all stages of their career the opportunity to grow their skills.
Mariana da Silva Schneider, the 2021 scholarship winner, said, “You’ve changed my life. The goal to change the industry is absolutely amazing, but you’re also changing lives along the way. You are helping build the roads to people’s dreams – in more ways than you can imagine.” With the help of Global Ladies of Wort, a diversity-based group she founded, da Silva Schneider brewed a limited-edition pale ale which benefits the UC Davis Tapping Potential Fund.