In some exciting news, I’m going to be working with the team at Cloudwater Brew Co, as the first participant in their exciting and meaningful new Wayfinder initiative.
This is an initiative that opens up the brewery’s resources, team, and their collective experience to be used by the participants to create meaningful change work. You can read about what that means to Cloudwater via the link above, but, essentially, this is a brewery recognising their limitations in terms of change work, and using their brewery and all that it entails as a platform for others.
I started The Queer Brewing Project with a handful of aims, but not much else: I wanted to take up space and provide visible representation for LGBTQ+ people in a predominantly cisgender, heterosexual industry, using collaboration beers to start conversations around LGBTQ+ issues that might not otherwise happen, whilst raising money for LGBTQ+ charities. In the year and a half it’s been running, Queer Brewing has grown into a recognisable brand within the industry, has raised thousands for invaluable and incredibly worthwhile charities, and even won an award!
I’ve written a lot in my work as a beer writer about the need for the industry to step up and do more for LGBTQ+ people—as well as all other marginalised groups. There is a lot of work to be done for the industry to reach a point where it is truly as diverse and inclusive as it proclaims itself to be. I created Queer Brewing, in part, as a way to work with the industry to not necessarily outright reach that goal, but do some of the work to get there. But Queer Brewing has the potential to become so much more than a means to an end: there’s room for it to grow beyond fighting to simply take up space. And I want to start by bringing other LGBTQ+ people on board.
In order for Queer Brewing to reach its full potential, however, it needs to grow and change. And to do so, it needs external input. That’s why I jumped at the chance of working with Cloudwater as part of the new Wayfinder scheme: here’s an opportunity to steer Queer Brewing in the direction it needs to go, with the help and guidance of an established, highly capable, and experienced team. I’ve got a number of big ideas for my project, so who better to work on them with than a brewery with big aspirations, loud voices, and strong values?
I’m incredibly excited to be working with the team at Cloudwater from October to December, and for the work we can undertake together, and as well as helping equip me with the skills and knowledge I need to step Queer Brewing up a level (or two!), working on future Queer Brewing plans, we’ll also be brewing some delicious beer.
Though Queer Brewing has been somewhat quiet in recent months, due to a number of predominantly-pandemic-related reasons, things are starting to pick up again. As well as a collaboration with London’s wonderful Mondo Brewing Company, I’m in the planning stages of collaborations with a number of breweries in the UK and USA. Though I can’t be there to physically collaborate (i.e. dig out the mash tun…), remote collaborations will certainly be going ahead.
On top of all of this, there are plans to give Queer Brewing a bit of a face lift, with a few new merch pieces in the works, as well as a website redesign, which is all possible due to the generosity of the project’s Patreon supporters. To help with this, my partner Charlotte will be doing some work for the project, and I couldn’t be happier to be working with her.
Though it’s been a tough year on pretty much every front, there are some positives on the way. Expect big things of Queer Brewing in 2021!
The work done by The Queer Brewing Project is made possible by the generous support of our Patreon subscribers, including Gautam Bhatnagar, The Twelve Taps Whitstable, Peter Burger, Jolly Good Beer, Bob Preece, Ed Sharman, Edwin Methu, Hannah Davidson, Joe Hillyard, Michelle Midwinter, Timo Laak, CJ Ward, Charlie Docherty, Charlotte Cook, Claire Bullen, Daniel Barrowcliffe, David Holden, Doreen Joy Barber, Georgia Gallant, Kaleigh Watterson, LipstickNLager, Phill Palgrave-Elliott, Sarah Harding, Steve Rimington, Tina Ambury, and Weiyu Chen.