Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Brewers of Indiana Guild: "We obviously don’t condone sexism or racism."

I'd have posted this statement sooner, but only now was made aware of its release. No such sentiment is perfect, but I'm just glad the Brewers of Indiana Guild said something publicly about an issue I feel is significant (my column on sexism and racism in "marketing messages" is here).

These thoughts are appreciated.



January 23, 2015 | Tristan Schmid, Posted in News | Be the first to comment.

As the craft beer industry grows rapidly (there are already 100 craft breweries in Indiana alone), so grows the array of associated marketing messages–and the likelihood that a beer name, or even a whole brewery’s branding, will offend someone.

We’ve recently been alerted to questionable beer branding put forth by some of our members. While we, the Brewers of Indiana Guild, do represent all Indiana craft breweries, we do not exist to police them or offer a moral authority on the way they conduct their business.

Our objectives are to:

  • promote the highest standards of professional brewing in Indiana
  • increase public awareness and appreciation for the variety and quality of Indiana craft beer
  • advocate for state and federal laws that promote Guild Members’ ideals and that foster brewery profitability
  • provide a forum for discussion, support and initiatives for the common good of Indiana’s brewing industry

Given the above, we obviously don’t condone sexism or racism.

Yet we cannot enforce regulations or principles upon any of our members. We support their constitutional right to free speech and their ability to run their businesses as they see fit.

However, the Guild, as a non-profit trade association, can offer guidance to our member breweries that can help prevent issues which are likely to cause offense–or even the failure of their business.

We’re working on offering continuing education opportunities, like our first-ever Indiana Brewers’ Conference this spring, and creating an Indiana Brewers’ Handbook, all of which will offer guidance to to both new and established breweries and decrease the likelihood that our members will make mistakes.

We’re working hard so we can bring the craft brewing industry in Indiana to a higher level–together.

Monday, January 26, 2015

The PC: Getting our SHIFT together … again.

The PC: Getting our shift together … again.

A weekly web column by Roger A. Baylor.

It may surprise some readers to learn that I have determined to stand in this year’s New Albany municipal elections as a candidate for mayor.

It should surprise no one that my aim is to do so as an independent candidate, freed from the encumbrances of America’s two-party duopoly – whether Democratic and Republican ... or AB InBev and MillerCoors.

Are the thought processes prefacing the advancement of better beer all that different from those encouraging improved local governance? Colorado Governor John Hickenlooper, founder of Denver’s Wynkoop brewery, surely has thoughts on the matter.

It’s hardly a secret that many of us frequently borrow ideas from the world outside beer, primarily because beer hardly exists in a vacuum, although try telling this to (a) burrowed survivalists, or (b) chasers of the current Great White Whales of rare beer.

Whether it’s better beer or the little shop on the corner, concepts of shift and economic localization are cross-disciplinary. The following essay was originally published at LouisvilleBeer.com on January 15, 2013, and has been edited to reflect a handful of altered details.


Political stump speeches differ very little from religious sermons, and that’s probably why we call it a bully pulpit, not a milk crate.

However, a soapbox might be useful, or better yet, a couple cases of Bud Light in tall cans, because if the pet shampoo is too disgusting to drink, at least you can stand atop it and preach.

(By the way, President Theodore Roosevelt was the originator of the “bully pulpit” usage. Roosevelt was one of the last and best examples of a species now extinct, the progressive Republican)

During these past few years at the bully pulpit, I’ve endeavored to echo two important, recurring themes – economic localization and shift – because both notions should be of interest to the well-informed contemporary beer drinker, even if their foundations are rooted elsewhere.

Beer loving Louisvillians are familiar with LIBA, the independent business association that coordinates the annual Louisville Brewfest. LIBA works to “Keep Louisville Weird,” primarily through advocacy and education about the fundamental merits of economic localization. My city’s version of the same is called New Albany First, and my company, New Albanian Brewing Company, belongs to both organizations.

A chart provided by LIBA illustrates in simple, introductory fashion one aspect of the stakes involved with localism. The chart has to do with circulation and reinvestment.

These and other topics pertaining to economic localization can be explored at one’s leisure, and at numerous web sites. Here are two of them: AMIBA and BALLE.

At LIBA’s web site, I’m struck by this single, brief paragraph. There is much to consider in just these few words.

Each time we spend a dollar, LIBA encourages you to weigh the full value of your choices, not solely to yourselves immediately, but for the future you want for Louisville.

Granted, it may not seem immediately evident that one’s spending choices have value, although we’ve long seen that a principled refusal to spend can make a difference when such a calculated abstention aims at facilitating a desired end, as in the practice known as the boycott – so named after Charles C. Boycott, a 19th-century English property manager in Ireland, who was targeted by an organized, non-violent, systematized campaign of disinvestment that eventually came to be named in his dishonor.

A more recent example of sustained economic sanctions came during the 1980s, when numerous investors, from institutions to corporations, and from individuals to governments, expressed their protest against apartheid in South Africa by an international campaign of disinvestment. The objective of this boycott was to compel South Africa to commence the dismantlement of institutionalized discrimination, which in time did indeed occur.

However, for those readers despairing of history lessons buried within a beer column, LIBA’s wording suggests outcomes ranging beyond those pertaining merely to the withholding of expenditures. In fact, one’s spending choices absolutely can reflect positive, active shadings of value beyond the short term and ephemeral … so long as they are weighed, a notion that implies thought and at least some measure of deliberation.

I believe that most self-identified beer lovers/enthusiasts/aficionados grasp instinctively this crucial point in a broad sense. They realize that in a modern consumer society driven by mass marketing, saturation advertising and various insider tricks (legal or otherwise), those dedicated to pursuing better beer must learn to disregard norms previously judged as acceptable, and instead to think their way past the easiest and most commonly available beer, not to mention the cheapest.

Grasp is one thing and reach quite another, and for this reason, I view the second significant pillar of economic localization to be the ongoing process of shift, which by its very nature is gradual.

In an economic system largely predicated on non-local spending, where there may not be an independent grocery or filling station (whether it dispenses gasoline, beer or both) to patronize, going cold turkey isn’t always a viable option.

Rather, one begins to support economic localization by shifting spending where and when such a shift is practical.

Perhaps the single greatest misconception greeting soapbox speakers like me who tout economic localization is that the listener is being expected to boycott non-local entities in their entirety, and either buy local or starve. Nothing could be further from the truth, and the forward march of better beer is a fine example.

That’s because better beer itself did not explode full-blown into the phenomenon it is in this day and age. Better beer evolved and grew slowly and continuously over three decades, incorporating constant shift as breweries were established and communities served. Now most of the country is within range of a local brewery, and with proximity comes a wider array of choice.

When it comes to craft beer, the implications of economic localization and shift are increasingly obvious. You needn’t digest them all at once. Little sips work just fine.


In 2014, the NABC shipped limited quantities of 22-oz bomber bottles to Indiana, Ohio and Florida (via Cavalier); Kentucky (River City Distributing); and Massachusetts and Rhode Island (Humboldt Imports). In 2015, we’ll pick up most of Kentucky through Clark.

Appropriately, a friend and NABC supporter proffers this excellent question:

How does shipping beer to Ohio, Rhode Island, et al, fit in with a "buy local" message?

Economic localization involves the incremental shifting of spending choices. Shift is ongoing, and shift happens. It’s real. As the shift evolves and market for better beer further progresses, brewery owners must nonetheless continue to view our marketplace the way it actually functions, not the way we wish it to function some day in the future. We live and work in the present as we strive for the ideal. We make decisions accordingly, and hope they bear fruit.

During his Indiana U.S. Senate campaign in 2012, eventual winner Joe Donnelly was asked by a reporter whether he would renounce PAC money from outside the state’s boundaries – a particularly plentiful source of campaign financing for his opponent, the GOP’s Richard Mourdock. Donnelly said no. He would continue to accept out-of-state contributions, and explained why he didn’t view this act as hypocritical.

To paraphrase Donnelly:

Until campaign finance reform is bilateral and the playing field becomes level for all, a candidate cannot pursue campaign finance reform unilaterally; after all, the object in politics is to win, because without winning, how can the candidate pursue his platform?

The same goes for my business.

Shift may be happening, but pieces of brewing equipment still are machines that make beer; using them makes money, and unfilled excess capacity costs money. Losses impede the business cycle, and the business cycle remains in large measure dependent on larger-scale market precepts. The regulatory regime largely precludes genuine marketing innovation.

If one can do what must be done while retaining the bulk of his principles, there can be periodically restful sleep … and the bills get paid. My fundamental objective remains as before: Shifting toward economic localization on as many fronts, whenever and wherever possible.

As I pursue this objective, selling more beer to the folks nearest to our brewery is a priority, and that's precisely where most of our beer is sold: Close to home. Concurrently, pragmatism ordains a clear view of other business prospects in other places.

Given the innate complexities of life and living, it's impossible for human beings to entirely escape shadings of hypocrisy. The trick is to shift inexorably away from self-contradiction, and to keep moving progressively forward. This I intend to continue doing.

Last week's PC column: Ripped straight from the pages of an Onion satire: “13 white males not really so eager to discuss issues like racism and sexism.”

Sunday, January 25, 2015

The draft list for Gravity Head 2015 is complete.

The whole process each year of organizing Gravity Head begins with a pervasive pea soup fog. Around the holidays, Eric Gray will provide a list. Foraging continues, and it becomes a bit easier to see the goalposts. Vision gradually clears. As of today, we have a final list.

We're over our self-imposed limit, but not by very many kegs. We might yet pull a few for another year's aging.

Gravity Head 2015: “We’re Only in It for the Money,” with Against the Grain leading off with a showcase on Friday, February 27 at NABC’s Pizzeria & Public House.

Flat12, Founders and NABC selections comprise a third weekend wave (Friday the 13th of March). Others will appear according to no apparent plan throughout the fest’s run, into early April.

There’ll be a special Sunday Sunrise & Gravity Head Brunch at Bank Street Brewhouse on Sunday, March 1, with food and draft selections (with guests cooking and curating both), to be announced.

See any mistakes? Let me know. Gravity Head deploys BJCP style categories, and I try to get the information as "right" as I can. Go to the NABC web site to see the list.

The Pour Fool on Elysian and AB InBev's "malignant tentacles."

The Pour Fool rules.

During the course of discussing Elysian's absorption into the Evil Empire, I found myself chatting with an employee of Trojan Goose (Island), who freely noted the pride with which he served AB InBev, the single most destructive entity in the history of American brewing.

All I can say is this:

"I'd rather remembered for giving middle fingers to the corporate brewing oligarchs than rim jobs to their shareholders."

Read the Pour Fool. He waxes heroic.

Elysian and AB/InBev: Greed, Overweening Ambition, and the Whoring-Out of a Culture, by Steve Foolbody (Pour Fool)

 ... For those who want a basic primer on how I feel about AB getting its malignant tentacles into ANY part of what has been, for 30 years, the most uplifting, soulful, life-affirming, humane, and decent business segment in American history, this link will take you to my piece on their acquisition of Bend’s 10 Barrel, and this link will go to my Seattle P-I post on AB’s take-over of Chicago’s legendary Goose Island. There’s no need for me to plow all that ground again but just know, if you decide to click over, that every single thing said in those posts applies here."

Friday, January 23, 2015

Read all about Tailspin 2015.

Kevin Gibson on the local beer beat means that bloggers can relax, drink and link.

Tailspin Ale Fest 2015 will prove inaugural event was just getting started

The news has been out for a while that this year’s Tailspin Ale Fest has grown to two days — Feb. 20 and 21 — and added several new lead-up events. Let’s face it, last year’s inaugural event was a huge hit. In fact, I walked away thinking it was one of the better beer festivals I’d ever attended thanks to its diversity, specialty beers and various other attractions — beer-related and otherwise.

Speaking for NABC, we have a few bookings in February:

BIG Winterfest in Indianapolis on January 31
Lafayette Brewing Company's Winter Warmer on February 7
Cincy Winter Beer Fest on February 13 and 14
Tailspin in Louisville on February 20 and 21

And then the 17th convening of Gravity Head at the Pizzeria & Public House, beginning on Friday, February 27.

Got exhaustion?

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

A shout-out to the employees at NABC's Pizzeria & Public House.

The following is a reprint of a short piece I posted to the NABC company website. For obvious reasons, it seems worth repeating here.


And here is WHY you should cross the Ohio for the NABC Pizzeria & Public House.

As longtime NABC fans know, we seldom become engaged in the more ephemeral manifestations of social media — voting, click bait and seemingly endless lists.

However, I’m making an exception for this list, not so much because NABC’s Pizzeria & Public House comes in at number one, but because being number one illustrates the pride, hard work and professionalism of our employees, who quite simply rock, and have been rocking full-tilt for almost 28 years.

They’re the best, and so are our customers. Thanks to all of you for helping to create and perpetuate the NABC community. Here’s the link.

11 Reasons Louisvillians Should Cross the Ohio for Indiana, by Colleen O’Leary (Impulcity)

Pizza and beer – what more could you want in life? Not just any beer, either. New Albanian Brewing Company has become a legend in the region, and for good reason.

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

"A Bar Calls Out Negativity."

Been there, written that.

My disillusionment goes deeper than my own position of admittedly self-inflicted enslavement to bankers. It extends further than my ongoing annoyance with “beer geeks spend(ing) all their time hunting (great) white whales instead of drinking beer in their back yards,” their historical ignorance, or Trojan Goose’s sad masquerade.

It’s even worse than knowing how few present-day “craft beer” enthusiasts and “craft” brewing entities have so much as heard the phrase Think Globally, Drink Locally, and that’s because they’re not even thinking locally nowadays.

It's just this colossal buzz kill. Time to go back to beer, sans adjectives ... been there, said that.

A Bar Calls Out Negativity. Something I Totally Get [Op-Ed], by Reid Ramsay (Beer Street Journal)

The Common Table, craft beer gastropub in Dallas, Texas let their feelings about the state of craft beer and some of their clientele fly on Facebook today. It’s pretty amazing ...

... A bar calling out the negativity in craft beer is incredible. These folks understand the hatred. Yelp, Beer Advocate forums, Reddit forums, email listservs. There really is no perfect way to distribute a case of rare beer. They are basically set up to fail, but they keep doing it for the love of beer. I’ve seen people complain in places that have an amazing tap lineup, that there’s “nothing new.”

Monday, January 19, 2015

The PC: Ripped straight from the pages of an Onion satire: “13 white males not really so eager to discuss issues like racism and sexism.”

It's a "double" IPA -- get it?
The PC: Ripped straight from the pages of an Onion satire: “13 white males not really so eager to discuss issues like racism and sexism.”

A weekly web column by Roger A. Baylor.

This column is written by an individual. It doesn’t necessarily reflect the views of businesses and organizations with which I’m affiliated.

The rise in support for same-sex marriage over the past decade is among the largest changes in opinion on any policy issue over this time period. A new national survey finds that much of the shift is attributable to the arrival of a large cohort of young adults – the Millennial generation – who are far more open to gay rights than previous generations … The long-term shift in the public’s views about same-sex marriage is unambiguous (Pew Research).

Shift happens, but today’s column is not about same-sex marriage. Rather, it’s about changing one’s mind.

To me, not only is this possible. It’s inevitable, and old dogs can indeed learn new tricks. Pertaining to humanity’s evolution, change and adaptation are necessary for our very survival, and if you need proof for this assertion, read Jared Diamond’s 2005 book Collapse: How Societies Choose to Fail or Succeed.

I’ve changed my mind many times when presented with persuasive evidence contrary to my previous assumptions. I used to be satisfied drinking Stroh’s – then I wasn’t. My mind and my tastes evolved, and an immensely enjoyable 30-year journey through the world has followed. Changes in latitude could not have occurred without changes in attitude.


In 2011, the New Albanian Brewing Company participated in a collaboration with De Struise Brouwers and the Louisville Beer Store. The beer we brewed together at Bank Street Brewhouse was (and is) called Naughty Girl.

I’m not entirely certain who coined the name, though probably it was Urbain from De Struise. With characteristic irreverence, we all agreed to describe it as a Belgo India Blonde Ale. Tony Beard, NABC’s one-man graphics department, created a mermaid image, and we’ve used it ever since. Naughty Girl has been brewed once or twice a year, and the current plan is to do so again this spring.

A question has been asked of me on more than one occasion since 2011, most recently yesterday: Is NABC’s Naughty Girl an offensive example of stereotyping, using sexual imagery to sell beer?

My flippant stock reply has been consistent. Given the painfully small amount of Naughty Girl we’ve actually sold, in this instance the sex hasn't been nearly salacious enough. It’s a seasonal release, we’re a small brewery, and for us, viral remains something applicable to prevailing influenza strains and not annual barrelage growth rates. We don’t sell as much of anything as we’ve hoped, and the biggest mover remains Hoptimus, which bears a depiction of an anthropomorphized children’s toy.

In fact, when it comes to shameless stereotyping, we’ve thought of putting IPA in big, block letters on every label of every beer we produce: Belgian Table IPA, Robust Porter IPA, English Mild IPA, Doppelbock IPA, and so on. Now, there’s a strategy for cynical exploitation as it pertains to spotlighting and unfairly targeting obliviousness-ism.

But seriously: Is NABC Naughty Girl representative of sexism? Does it reinforce sexist responses?

Sexism or gender discrimination is prejudice or discrimination based on a person's sex or gender. Sexist attitudes may stem from traditional stereotypes of gender roles, and may include the belief that a person of one sex is intrinsically superior to a person of the other (Wikipedia).

Maybe it is sexist, and maybe it isn't, but either way, I’m prepared to think about it, to discuss it, and to open my mind to ideas differing from those I previously took for granted. I think Tony’s images reinforce positive tenets, because they’re strong women – and yet I can see where there is disagreement.

Although I don’t have any children, maybe it would be a good idea for me to imagine that I did -- and not only daughters. Granted, I could make the argument that my company is 67% female-owned, but I won’t. It’s irrelevant.

So much for stock replies, because I’m in the process of changing my mind, as well as slipping the leash. That’s because at the risk of hypocrisy, I’m suggesting that more “craft” beer advocates, whether brewers or consumers, insiders or outsiders, should take a step back and glance outside our self-congratulatory perimeter, out into the real world, especially when confronted with an image like this one.

I know what you’re probably thinking, so let’s pause here. Two weeks ago in France, fundamentalist Islamic terrorists of medieval outlook ruthlessly murdered twelve people over satirical cartoons, and this sickens us all, so you need to know that I’m on Voltaire’s side as it pertains to Route 2 Brews in Lowell, Indiana, and in defending the absolute right of this brewery to be utterly, remorselessly tasteless.

I suppose raincoaters have needs, too.

As an individual whose viewpoint is capable of evolution, I accept the customary dictate: I support your right to hold views contrary to mine, and when our spheres overlap, I reserve my right to try with all my might to persuade you otherwise, stopping short of physical violence, and relying on the veracity of my ideas.

Irrespective of the potential outcome of my efforts, it remains clear that individual conscience is the first step in this evolution. It can take time. So do a great many good things.


Now, to the next interconnected ring. From individual conscience, one moves to communities both great and small.

In general, the “craft” beer business is avoiding this dialogue about sexism, and I view this as a high horse in urgent need of dismounting.

In particular, Leg Spreader is a “craft” beer brewed in the state of Indiana. Does it convey the message desired of Hoosier beer?

In turn, this begs other questions: Collectively, what is our message? Exactly what are we espousing? Are we a collective, or does each brewery stand alone? If we are a collective, what are our rights and responsibilities as free-standing breweries within the broader grouping?

Why ask these questions?

I’ll answer this with another question, one referencing a familiar example: How many rugged individualists, by themselves, ever managed to convince the Indiana legislature to allow Indiana breweries to sell carry-out beer on Sunday?

The answer is none. Rather, it was all of them working together, collectively and cooperatively. That’s the message, at least in part.

As many of you know, I’m a director on the board of the Brewers of Indiana Guild (BIG). It’s a chartered non-profit professional trade grouping that works, organizes and lobbies on behalf of all Indiana breweries, including ones as small as Route 2 Brews and NABC, and as large as Three Floyds and Sun King.

To me, as it pertains to Route 2 Brews as a de facto member of this guild, irrespective of precise obligations implied by a dues structure, which the guild does not yet enforce (in my view, it should), there are certain understandings that need to be shared, and certain obligations that need to be recognized.

Most prominently, the guild works very hard, all year round, to make the business and regulatory atmosphere in Indiana more amenable to “craft” beer, as the growler sales example above illustrates. By extension, the guild obviously helps to improve the bottom lines of Indiana “craft” brewers, including Route 2 Brews. Leg Spreader has the potential to harm these efforts, and while censorship is out of the question, a firmly friendly chat about collective cooperation surely is not.

Interestingly, and in my opinion something fully applicable to the present discussion, the conceptual basis of BIG’s annual legislative agenda rests on a plea of exceptionalism. Because Indiana’s brewers are small-scale, artisanal producers, we qualify for special minority status. We get breaks. We can self-distribute. We’re delighted to pour growlers to go on Sunday when other outlets cannot. In a heartbeat, we’d accept lower excise taxes awarded us by virtue of our minority status.

To a greater or lesser extent, “craft” beer’s outreach in legislatures across the nation, and also with the federal government, is reliant on this argument from an exceptionalism based on size. We accept what amounts to affirmative action on the production end of the beer supply chain, and some (like me) advocate openly extending it to product placement in government-owned venues like sports stadiums, and at government-sponsored civic fests.

Given this, wouldn't you think that whether the grouping is Route 2 Brews, Craft Beer Nation or the BIG board itself, there’d be a bit more, shall we say, sensitivity to the sort of “minority” issues typically experienced by people who have been marginalized by discrimination?

Like women?


When Leg Spreader was brought to my attention, I duly forwarded the information to the BIG board, reasoning that as we enter the perilous rapids of the 2015 Indiana legislative session, sexist crotch shots with beer bottles might come to be seen not only as disturbing to one’s own conscience; they’d also would not likely be tidiest images to be allowed to define Indiana Beer as we walk the corridors of the Statehouse.

After all, does anyone really want me to be seen wearing a logoed t-shirt like this one to the important annual legislative reception tomorrow?

Yes, I expected differing opinions from the board in response.

No, I did not expect to be outnumbered 11-2 (thanks, Nick), even after offering the suggestion that take no more action as a guild than issue a faux coincidental, non-specific, general statement reaffirming the guild’s commitment to universal principles of non-discriminatory fairness as the legislature reconvenes.

Even this was too much.

We don't need to make statements regarding this type of stupidity. It just draws more attention to them. The guild needs to ignore their tactics and let the consumers make their own choices.

Yes, except we’re a professional trade grouping, aren’t we, and these sorts of entities can have standards, can’t they?

I do not like it either, it’s not my style, BUT... we have no authority or moral high ground to talk to an independent business owner about how he promotes his business … it seems obvious Route 2 Brewing has realized their branding wasn't going to work for them, so they canned it. There is absolutely NO reason to reach out to them with some bizarre I'm-big-brother-and-I'm-watching-you message.

I agree: No reaching out, EVER. But ... guys, we don’t exist in a vacuum, do we?

If we venture into making policy statements about things non-beer related issues do we include drone strikes, child labor, sex trafficking, domestic violence? All of which are horrible, offensive, and much more oppressive than Route 2 Brews poorly planned branding exercise.

Unfortunately, even if we had the time to think about policy statements, there’d be no time to act on them.

I believe we should ignore it, because it is not even close to being the biggest issue on our plate … why are we wasting time on this at all? … issues like this need to be prioritized, and right now this need not be a priority.

Go tell it to Rosa Parks and Dr. Martin Luther King … but wait.

Perhaps I needed a supporting example, so I asked. “What if an Indiana brewery were to attach to a beer an image such as this one from the 1920s?”

Well, yeah, THAT might be considered off-limits – kinda sorta, as long as they're males.

I am in absolute opposition to the Guild having any sort of moral standards being dictated or implied in any manner as part of our mission. Trying to equate racism and sexism, is misguided. No racism is acceptable in our culture (but) a level of sexism is acceptable and it pervades almost every part of our society, every gender (assuming there might be more than 2), and is the basis for whole industries.

So, sexism is acceptable, and whole industries profit from it, although it remains that while Victoria’s Secret is supposed to be about sexy lingerie, since when is “craft” beer supposed to be about spreading legs?

Furthermore, who’s to say that we as “craft” brewers cannot have a higher standard rather than a lower bar?

At least this comment offers hope that my thoughts didn’t go entirely unheard.

I don't believe that policing and judging our membership is part of our mission as a guild, but I do think that we have a responsibility to membership to act on those items and issues that impact our industry as a whole. How we define what those are is for us to decide as we move forward.

Let’s hope we do move forward. As Dr. King once said, "We must keep moving. If you can’t fly, run; if you can’t run, walk; if you can’t walk, crawl; but by all means keep moving."


My term on the BIG board ends this year, and I’ll be up for re-election at the annual meeting in March. I understand and accept that my thoughts today might harm my chances of remaining on the board, although this ultimately depends on whether others want to serve. However, my father raised me to speak my mind, and to fight for my beliefs. It’s what I’m trying to do, right now. I'm not at all sorry if it "bugs" you.

Would I have done so two decades ago? Ten years ago? In 2011, when Naughty Girl was brewed for the first time? The record shows I didn’t. But my mind seems to be changing, and now I must be willing to follow where it takes me.

After much deliberation, I’ve chosen to use real quotes, but to pass them along anonymously, because at the end of the day, I enjoy serving on the board, and I respect my fellow board members. More than anything else, the “craft” sexism issue is about a collective mindset, one composed of individual consciences that I hope are evolving. The collective group-think extends far beyond our own board, into the whole of Craft Beer Nation, and I believe that as opposed to a glass of Pilsner, it requires lots and lots of sunlight.

I’m not angry at the individuals on my board. After all, their views are no different from those I’d expect to hear from the man in the street.

Yet maybe – just maybe – that’s an important aspect of this issue, because my board is composed of 13 white males. Typically, they're quite busy. Are we really hearing about racism and sexism?

Maybe – just maybe – this homogeneity causes us to miss a few important social and cultural nuances. Like I said, we get busy.

Maybe – just maybe – we all get so involved with "dollars and cents" issues that we forget about the varied composition of the marketplace supporting our efforts. I have never been in this game for the money, and yet as a closing remark, here is a snapshot of the “craft” beer market, gleaned from survey data captured in 2014, as contributed by Julia Herz of the Brewers Association (thanks TM):

Women consume almost 32% of craft beer volume, almost half of which comes from women 21-34.

Even as our minds are changing, perhaps we could do a better job of thinking with our wallets. How can there ever be an "acceptable" place for sexism in craft beer?