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On Friday afternoon, we received word that St. Louis had been named “Best Beer Scene” by the USA TODAY 2018 Readers Choices Poll. With a community of roughly 75 breweries and breweries in planning, and a history rich in beer, we of course celebrated this honor with pride and excitement.

Simultaneously, we at the St. Louis Brewers Guild choose to use this recognition as an opportunity for reflection. While we celebrate our accomplishments, we also acknowledge there are ways in which we can guide our community from “best” to “even better.” This win offers St. Louis a platform to position ourselves as thought-leaders and change-drivers in the national brewing community, and we are eager to make use of that privilege.

There have been a handful of instances lately whereby practices within the St. Louis brewing industry have been called out as insensitive, misogynistic, sexist, etc. These concerns highlight issues impacting not only our local brewing community, but every community. As the national conversation continues to address equality and inclusivity, we too are taking a solutions-oriented approach to pushing forward progress.

The St. Louis Brewers Guild is proud to announce initiatives for the promotion of inclusivity and a commitment to championing positive change within our local industry. Some of these initiatives for 2018 and beyond include:

  • The creation of a “standard of excellence” for St. Louis breweries, as a way to hold ourselves and our peers to a higher standard.
  • Facilitating the launch of a new program under the Guild, spearheaded by a diverse group of local industry professionals with a mission to both address issues impacting underrepresented individuals within the industry and promoting a “beer scene” where all beer lovers feel welcome.
  • Making a commitment to ensure employees from area breweries participating in our recently announced St. Louis Brewers Guild Marketing and PR Steering Committee represent the diverse population we serve.
  • Ongoing educational programming and resources specifically focused around inclusivity and driving change.

To those who have been on the forefront of change within the industry, we salute your efforts and look forward to working alongside you. For those who are curious to learn more, we will be launching these initiatives with a panel discussion featuring the voices of women in the St. Louis brewing industry. This offers an opportunity to identify and acknowledge the challenges women face within the industry, and offer some insight into how we as a community can all work together to address those challenges. Look for further details about this event including timing and location to be announced in the coming weeks.

This win of “Best Beer Scene” confirms what we already believed – that St. Louis should be looked to as a leading voice within the national brewing industry. To make good on the promise and potential of representing the best of our brewing community requires action. The St. Louis Brewers Guild is eager to guide the way for local change that will hopefully inspire ripples into the greater St. Louis community and beyond.

Troika Brodsky
Executive Director
St. Louis Brewers Guild

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