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NC’s craft beer scene has a diversity problem. Scholarship initiative aims to help

Drew Jackson, The Charlotte Observer on

Published in Business News

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — The American craft beer boom has not been a diverse one.

In a 2018 survey of its members, craft beer trade group the Brewers Association reported that 88% of brewery owners are white and that only 1% of breweries were Black-owned. At the time, there were around 8,000 breweries in the country.

But a new scholarship program among North Carolina’s acclaimed beer scene aims to improve diversity in the industry.

Named the Many Faces Initiative, the program will host interns at four breweries and one cidery in North Carolina.

In the Triangle, Cary’s Bond Brothers Beer Company is the participant. The deadline to apply is April 8.

Other participants include Town Brewery in Charlotte, Wise Man in Winston-Salem, Archetype Brewing in Asheville and Good Road CiderWorks in Charlotte.

 

“The goal of the project is to cast a very wide net,” said Whit Baker, Bond Brothers co-owner and head brewer. “The paid internship is aimed for someone who is interested in beer but may not have the avenues to get into brewing by themselves.”

This is the second year for the program, which started last summer at Town Brewing in Charlotte, which brewed the “Many Faces” West Coast IPA to raise funds for the NC Craft Brewers Guild Diversity Scholarship Fund. The proceeds of that helped subsidize this year’s interns.

There is also a GoFundMe campaign raising funds for the program.

The internship is for 10 weeks this summer, paying $15 an hour. Interns will be full-time employees and rotate through all aspects of brewery operations, from production to sales and service.

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