Brienne Allan, a local brewer at Notch Brewery in Salem, set off a #MeToo reckoning this month over discrimination in the beer industry. Now, she’s working with an industry group to help ensure that such incidents don’t happen in the first place.
Allan has been in talks with the Virginia-based Craft Beer Professionals, a networking organization with more than 12,000 members, to launch a national program to certify establishments that have taken steps to educate their staff about how to prevent sexual harassment and assault.
The program is called P.A.C.T., or the Promise of Awareness, Compassion, and Trust.
Participants commit to providing their staff with appropriate training to prevent discrimination and abuse within their ranks. The effort also encourages brewers to each produce a P.A.C.T. Pale Ale beer, and funnel some of the proceeds into such training, said Andrew Coplon, the founder of Craft Beer Professionals.
Each can’s label would have text indicating that “by purchasing this beer, you are supporting a brewery that is taking the following steps to help combat sexual harassment and assault in craft beer.”
Craft Beer Professionals is partnering on P.A.C.T. with Safe Bars, a D.C.-based advocacy organization that provides “bystander” trainings that teach staff at breweries, bars, and other venues what to do if they witness harassment or other misconduct. Participating businesses are certified as “Safe Bars’” on the group’s website. While the program has mostly been concentrated in the D.C. area so far, Allan and the group are hoping to expand it nationally.
“What’s Brienne’s doing is absolutely amazing spreading awareness,” Coplon said. Breweries “have this big platform, and we need to use it for good.”