Women in the craft beer industry

Towards the close of 2019 Laine Brew Co, also based in the UK, launched an apprenticeship scheme to encourage diversity within the beer industry. The scheme was created alongside Hospitality Industry Training Brewer to allow one apprentice the opportunity to learn the ins and outs of the brewing world. To launch the initiative Laine invited renowned US brewer Megan Stone to brew some collaborative beers and present talks on diversity.

“In the US, I’ve learned you have to ¨fight and be pushy to get on in the sector,” says Stone. “No one necessarily gives you permission as a female or as a person of colour. As a young, gay woman, I still have to constantly prove myself to be worthy of a place in the industry. Laine launching an apprenticeship scheme to invite people in is a fabulous move. More perspectives in the beer-making process – from people coming together, all unique in their own way – will give us new tastes, inspirations and influences and that is not just a positive way to go, it is the right way to go and we can all benefit – workers, colleagues, friends and drinkers.”

Diversity probably wasn’t at the forefront of thinking when Yorkie launched It’s Not For Girls! in 2002, and big brands need to take note of what the craft movement is doing in order to avoid another Yorkie Pink scenario. The craft beer industry has influenced the big brands in many ways over the past 20 years and increasing diversity, particularly women, is another big step which needs to be taken to grow beer sales internationally.