Who Are Beer Festivals Actually For?

For many beer lovers, festivals are fun events. Others, however, cannot overlook their exclusionary reality. Festivals are overwhelmingly filled with people who are cisgender, white, straight and male. Some within the industry are trying to change this. Pittsburgh’s Fresh Fest and London’s Craft Beer Cares festivals are dedicated to increasing diversity within the community. Larger players such as the Great American Beer Festival and the Great British Beer Festival are also attempting to become more inclusive. Just from a purely a business standpoint, it makes sense to appeal to the very large minority, LGBT and women’s markets. As Day Bracey of Fresh Fest puts it, “adapt or die.”

Key Takeaways:

  • Beer festivals tend to not be very diverse, filled mostly with white males; this is starting to change, however.
  • Inclusivity is economically beneficial for small and large beer festivals.
  • Include a diverse group of individuals, such as women, people of color, etc. in the planning of festivals.

“For many in the beer industry and community, beer festivals are fun, vibrant events, and chances to catch up with everything (and everyone) happening in the beer world.”

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