Hopportunity Awaits is a brew on a mission to help highlight careers in craft beer, and inspire more of us to hold the door for the unique talent among us, creating more pathways for diversity, in every sense, across every role. Partial proceeds will benefit Craft x EDU as we work together to launch an educational grant for emerging professionals in craft beer.
On the cans, you will meet 10 industry professionals who are ready to tell their remarkable stories of how they got their start and paved their own path in craft, rules be damned.
Without further ado…
Meet Stephanie Grant, a savvy storyteller focusing on diversity and inclusion.
How did you discover the world of craft beer, or what inspired you to join?
It started with Allagash White. I remember thinking, “what is this?”
If you don’t know about craft beer, it is such a shocker to the palate. To this day, Belgian beers are still my favorite. They are freaking delicious.
After that, my husband and I went on a craft beer journey together. We would go to new shops and try different beers. After a few trips I thought, “how can I be in the craft beer industry?”
As a writer by trade, I wanted to marry the two passions. That’s when I started doing journalism for craft beer, and ended up as a social coordinator for Monday Night Brewing, a brewery based out of Atlanta, Georgia.
After doing some trials, they asked me to write for them full-time. I worked with them for a year, and it was an incredible experience. I left them to start my own writing business, which lets me work with even more breweries and people in the beer community.
What do you love about the craft beer community?
I love that it is a community.
At any bottle share, you can sit down and drink a beer with anyone in the industry and have a great conversation. There’s amazing people here in Atlanta, who embrace you completely.
At the height of COVID-19 pandemic, I totally missed it.
Where would you love to see it grow or improve?
I mean diversity, right?
Let’s consider what’s going on now with the #MeToo movement in the craft beer industry.
It boils down to the fact we don’t have good human resource systems built into the structure of a brewery.
Breweries are great on one end. You go there to have fun, you go there to have a good time, but it’s still a business and should be treated like a business on the other side.
We can do a better job of being inclusive and making people feel comfortable in the space, whether it’s me as a woman, women in general, or people of color.
It’s great that we have this community, but at the end of the day, the craft beer industry is filled with people, and issues within our country bleed into the industry, and there has to be better ways to bring in more diverse people into the industry, and ensure they have a safe space to enjoy their job.
If we’re serious about the beer, we need to be as serious about the people who are bringing it to the consumers. A casual environment can mess things up.
Tap Takeaway >> If HR policies are not in place in your workplace, start the conversation with your employer. Just because you aren’t aware of any issues, doesn’t mean they don’t exist. If you see or hear something out of line, speak up for coworkers who need your assistance.
What types of skills have helped you personally succeed in this industry?
I’m an introvert, but I’m really good in social situations. I know how to have conversations, and build connections. Not everyone can do it well, but I have a good personality for it.
I’m a life-long learner. Around the brewery, I was constantly asking questions, talking to our brewmaster, trying to learn more about our beers so we can communicate to people on social media. It’s gotten me far in life because I’m inquisitive and I know how to communicate well.
Who in the craft beer industry do you admire?
I’m going to say Jen Price.
She’s opening a bottle shop called the Atlanta Beer Boutique. She had to leave the space during the COVID-19 pandemic, although she was weeks away from opening. She finished her first beer conference last week, and planned it in six weeks. She’s just relentless. She loves this industry, and has a passion for it. She helped build a group to help women in craft beer connect. (Read more about Jen Price here in Eater Atlanta.)
I also love Dr. J Jackson-Beckham. She tells it like it is, and does it in a way that’s approachable. She’s so freaking smart. She’s supported the articles I’ve written so far and is always happy to answer questions.
What is the most memorable brew you’ve ever had?
Oh man. I wasn’t ready for that.
I’d have to say Allagash White. That was the pivotal beer that changed my life, and my trajectory. I had no intentions of going into this industry. I still drink it to this day, and might get myself a six pack later today.
Bonus Question: What’s the feedback been like for your beer coverage?
I’ve had positive experiences in the industry, which I’m very grateful for.
The articles I’ve written, people have been very supportive of what I have to say, and have resonated with so many.
After I wrote “Drinking While Black” on Good Beer Hunting, not only did black people feel it resonated with them, but I had struck a chord with people of every color.
It opened up a dialogue that I didn’t expect. We dropped it in June, right after George Floyd, and it was great to talk about what’s happening.
Tap Takeaway >> Be open. Listen and learn from diverse perspectives, and educate yourself on how you can create more inclusive spaces.
Sometimes, it’s hard to find the right words. Thankfully, Stephanie has a few powerful ones here.
Say hi on Social!
Click here to meet more of our talented rule-makers and read their remarkable stories. Once you hear what they have to say, you will realize that yes, you can brew it too.