As craft beer live events comeback, it is imperative that they do not “return to normal.” Craft beer’s long overdue Me Too movement is underway, and the behavior at these events is part of that reckoning.
Christina Dowd, Executive Director of Philly Loves Beer and Philly Beer Week, is ensuring such changes. The organization is taking a very clear and proactive anti-harassment position to ensure Philly Beer Week events are safe and inclusive spaces. Here is an open letter Dowd sent our way, explaining the organization’s new code of conduct and how participating breweries and bars can start to enact changes:
Recently, Brienne Allan, Brewer and Production Manager at Notch Brewing of Salem, MA, @ratmagnet on Instagram, has provided an outlet for people to speak up and tell their stories of sexism, misogyny, harassment, and assault within the beer industry. This treatment and bad behavior has gone on far too long, and Philly Loves Beer will be at the forefront of this movement. We are ready and willing to do whatever is necessary to stop this unethical and illegal behavior.
For Philly Beer Week (PBW) to continue its standing as the largest and oldest Beer Week in the Nation, we need to take a proactive anti-harassment position to maintain consumer confidence and ensure PBW events are safe and inclusive space.
To achieve these goals, Philly Loves Beer (PLB) will develop a Code Of Conduct that the Board will adopt and incorporate into its bylaws. While PLB cannot and should not dictate the HR policies of breweries, bars, or any other member businesses, we must ensure that Philly Beer Week events are safe. This year not only means complying with existing COVID mitigation measures but also instituting anti-harassment policies with clear reporting mechanisms.
This Code Of Conduct will be distributed in advance of Philly Beer Week to all participating venues, bars, breweries, etc. All breweries, bars, and restaurants are strongly encouraged to be trained or have a staff member fully trained in “Safe Bar” and obtain a Safe Bar Certification.
We encourage brewery, bar owners, and operators to form an alliance and disband the culture of silence. Philly Loves Beer will provide resources and partner with organizations to provide safe spaces of disclosure and guidelines and good practices for the industry.
Apologies are important, but the best apology is changed behavior.
Craft beer is big into community, and it will take the full community — from the breweries to the beer bars to associated guilds and non-profits to all change the inappropriate norms of that industry. Hopefully others follow Philly’s lead.