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Station 26 Brewing Co. Announces Craft Beer Scholarship for the Underrepresented

Station 26 Brewing Co. Announces Craft Beer Scholarship for the Underrepresented
Chea Franz

With systemic racism and police brutality at the forefront of the national conversation, many are taking pause to reflect on how we move forward. Inclusivity and diversity have been a part of much of that conversation, and we’re seeing these themes discussed in the craft beer community.

It’s no secret that craft beer lacks diversity.

In a brewery operations survey taken last year, Brewers Association Chief Economist Bart Watson noted that “similar to craft consumers, brewery employees are disproportionately white relative to both the general U.S. population and where breweries are located.” According to Watson, race and ethnicity demographics of U.S. brewery employees ranged from 72.6% white for production staff (non-managers) to 89% (brewers).

Beyond social media blackouts and public support for causes like Black Lives Matter, some brewers are taking action to help bridge the gap with efforts like the Black is Beautiful campaign and the formation of Garrett Oliver’s Michael Jackson Foundation. The For you For All Diversity in Craft Beer Scholarship is yet another valiant effort from brewers, this time from the Denver-based Station 26 Brewing Co.

Teaming up with Regis University, Station 26 announced today the founding of this scholarship program, which will provide financial aid to deserving, underrepresented students in the Applied Craft Brewing Certificate program, an 18-month adult certification at the private Jesuit university.

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We are proud to announce the For You For All Diversity in Craft Beer Scholarship. Station 26 Brewing Co. is a company built upon inclusivity for all. We, and our industry at large, still have work to do to achieve the kind of diversity we espouse. The For You For All Diversity in Craft Beer Scholarship will provide scholarship support to deserving, underrepresented students in the Applied Craft Brewing Certificate Program at Regis University. We recognize and empathize with the heartbreak, fear, anger, frustration, confusion, indignation, and powerlessness that many feel as a result of the killings of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Elijah McClain, Ahmaud Arbery, and so many others. We asked ourselves what we could do in our space to make a difference. Our goal in establishing this scholarship is to build a more diverse workforce in the craft brewing industry in Colorado. We believe that increased diversity and access to brewing jobs for underrepresented individuals will lead to greater creativity and engagement and will enable Colorado’s craft beer community to work towards to the systemic change our country needs. We are contributing an initial $10,000 to this scholarship fund. We call on our colleagues in the industry, our partners, vendors, friends, and customers to help us reach a $50,000 fundraising goal, at which point this scholarship will become endowed and live on in perpetuity. Visit the scholarship’s page on our website to make a contribution to the For You For All Diversity in Craft Beer Scholarship. www.station26brewing.co/scholarship.

A post shared by Station 26 Brewing Co. (@s26bc) on

“As we watched (and some of us participated in) protests across America in the wake of the murders of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Elijah McClain and so many more, we spent a long time discussing as a company how we could make an impact in our space,” says Hamlet Fort, marketing and events manager at Station 26. “We feel that improved diversity in our industry will lead to greater creativity, engagement, access to jobs and a better overall health of the craft brewing community in Colorado. We asked ourselves what kind of concrete actions we could take, and we settled on the scholarship idea.”

Station 26 plans to contribute $10,000 to the scholarship and fundraise to get to a minimum of $50,000 to create an endowed scholarship. This means that the funds will be invested and live on in perpetuity, allowing for scholarship support every year to a deserving student.

To learn more about the For you For All Diversity in Craft Beer Scholarship, or to donate, visit Station 26’s scholarship page.

The beloved Julia Herz penned in this diversity piece last year that “Our collective work in this area is not about optics or grandstanding. This is about taking meaningful action and determining concrete outcomes on a topic that permeates every industry. This is more than a noble effort. It’s an effort that, with diligence and intention, will pay off in spades both in beer and culturally.”

Kudos to you Station 26 for helping to move that needle.

Feature image photo credit: Station 26 Brewing’s Facebook page.


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