the good hop

Melissa Myers & Tara Nurin on Sexual Harassment in Craft Brewing

Steve Jaxon begins by mentioning this article in vinepair dot com, entitled, “As Allegations of Harassment and Abuse Send Shock Waves Through the Craft Beer Industry, Will Workers Take Action?” There are two guests on Brew Ha Ha with Steve Jaxon and Herlinda Heras on Brew Ha Ha today. First is Melissa Myers who is the owner of the Good Hop Bottle Shop in Oakland, Calif. Later, Tara Nurin will join Steve and Herlinda by phone. Both will discuss recent developments on the subject of sexual harassment in craft brewing.

Melissa Myers tells about a growing number of reports of women in the craft beer industry who have suffered harassment. The industry is going through a me too moment, beginning with one question about harassment in the brewing industry and there have been over a thousand stories. And they are naming names of companies where the culture is unhealthy for women. Change needs to be persistent. Some brewery owners have been accused of complacency when it comes to addressing this issue.

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The Good Hop Bottle Shop recently hosted an evening where women in craft brewing could come and tell about their experiences with sexual harassment. Melissa Myers tells about how the women had a wonderful meeting to tell their stories, and came from as far away as Washington and Hawaii to tell their stories. The next morning, she found their windows smashed the next morning, and it’s pretty hard to think it was not targeted and related to the event. Some men in the Bay Area beer industry got named. Melissa Myers says that the only way to make change happen is to tell these stories.

Tara Nurin calls in from New Jersey. Tara covers craft brewing and other adult beverage industries for Forbes magazine.  Tara wrote an article for Forbes magazine in March of 2020 entitled, “The #MeToo Movement Is Coming To Craft Beer … Will It Arrive Before All The Women Leave?” The article describes sexual harassment in the craft beer industry, coming from within the breweries, even among some bosses. Craft brewing is such a small, collegial industry, that the damage done by vengeful people can be devastating. She cites the same report on Instagram that Melissa Myers described of one woman asking one question and getting a flood of replies. Tara is covering this story describing the shocking impact it is having in many places.

Tara Nurin is writing a history of women in beer, which dates back to the earliest records of brewing in Sumerian civilization. Women have been the principal brewers in many civilizations, which she will describe in her book. It usually starts as a domestic chore, and in every civilization, brewing has been taken over by men when a profit can be made.



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