Tidal Creek Brewhouse, which has long prided itself on supporting its local community and marginalized groups, is taking another step forward in fighting discrimination, but within its own industry.
The Myrtle Beach Brewery this week began making a new beer called “Brave Noise,” a beer invented this year as a result of online discussions and activism against racism, sexism and misogyny within the the beer and hospitality industry as a whole.
Conversations around discrimination in the brewing industry began earlier this year when Brienne Allen, a brewer for Notch Brewing in Massachusetts, asked a question on Instagram: “Have you ever experienced sexism in the brewing industry? beer ? That simple sentence set off a flood of people to tell stories about the discrimination they’ve faced at work, said Taylor Garrity, head bartender at Tidal Creek.
The overwhelming response led Allen and others to launch “Brave Noise,” a collaboration between breweries to create a safer environment for everyone – people of color, women, and LGBTQ + people.
“It has turned into a revolution in the beer world to take over and prove that women can do whatever they want,” Garrity said. “And we belong to women, I thought that was super important.”
The collaboration includes brewing the beer of the same name, a hazy lager, and making several commitments to ensure the bar is a safe place for employees and customers.
“By brewing this beer, your brewery stands in solidarity with those who shared their stories of abuse and who survived gender discrimination, racism, sexual assault and harassment within the industry. By joining us now, you are part of the long overdue change movement in beer, ”said a statement from the Brave Noise website.
There are several requirements to be part of the collaboration. Bars should develop a code of conduct, outlining various unacceptable behaviors, and provide a “safety word” that customers and employees can use to seek help. In Tidal Creek, Garrity drafted the code of conduct, which is now posted around the bar, including all of its bathrooms.
The code of conduct states that the bar does not tolerate any form of discrimination – homophobia, racism, sexism, misogyny or anything else that might make others uncomfortable – and includes multiple ways of asking for help. The Tidal Creek phone number is listed on the code of conduct, along with the safety word “When is high tide?” Which will signal to bar staff that the person needs help, whether it’s walking to their car or calling to pick them up.
Last week, the staff at Tidal Creek started working on the beer. The four staff working on the beer were women: head brewer Jordan Skeen, Garrity, beer cellar worker Leah Antonelli and bartender Amanda Post.
“We’ve all experienced a lot of misogynistic behavior in this industry,” Garrity said. “It’s frustrating to know that people still act like this to this day. I’ve seen people come to the bar and they would rather have a man tell them about our beers, and they would rather ask the men for their opinion when I’m probably one of the best qualified behind the bar to tell them that.
Making Brave Noise is just the latest step in Tidal Creek owner Dara Liberatore’s efforts to make her business a welcoming place for everyone. The bar has Black Lives Matter and LGBTQ + Pride flags outside. Liberatore also doesn’t tolerate customers being rude to her staff and is known to quit dinners to sort out problems at the bar.
“Women are often put on the back burner here in the industry, and it’s really not fair because it’s becoming a growing industry, and there are a lot of women who really want to be successful in it. craftsmanship. So for us it’s very important, ”said Liberatore. “We hire and employ so many women. It’s not that we choose men over women, but there are so many women who are interested in getting involved and being involved behind the scenes of the craft that we wanted to bring it to the fore. .
Although beer brewing is a male-dominated industry, she hired Skeen as her second head brewer and gives Skeen the freedom to experiment.
“While my personal experience has been very positive, especially with my colleagues, I have received negative comments from clients or others in the industry who just don’t really understand what it is like to be. be a female brewer, ”Skeen said.
“Anything that makes me talk about something I’m not most comfortable with, that pushes me to a new place, maybe could help someone else who is struggling with the same thing but not. doesn’t want to talk about it, ”she said. added.
Six months ago, she opened her doors to events hosted by Pride Myrtle Beach, a local LGBTQ + community organization, and made their presence a must-attend for her staff.
“We told them it was happening and we said, ‘If you have a problem you have to come forward because it might not be the right environment in the end for you’ because we want to make sure. that we accept everyone, “Liberatore said in October.” Every teammate was like, ‘This is who we are and this is what we are.’ “
Tidal Creek doesn’t make a beer to show solidarity. It’s also about more concrete steps, including helping to raise funds for the non-profit association Another Round, Another Rally. The association supports service workers who have gone through difficult times, whether they have lost their jobs or have had a personal emergency.
“When you’re in this industry you have to support everyone,” Garrity said.