How the Beverage Alcohol Industry Prioritizes DEI Initiatives

Lizzy Connolly
November 28, 2023

Diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) initiatives have quickly become staples for numerous businesses across industries. The beverage alcohol industry is also demonstrating that these efforts are as core to their company successes as lobbying and member education.

We’ve gathered a handful of examples of DEI programs that our partners have implemented, showcasing how ensuring a diverse and inclusive workplace can benefit both the organization and its customers.

American Cider Association

The American Cider Association (ACA) has its Cider is for Everyone equity pledge, which is part of its larger initiative work from its Antiracism, Equity and Inclusion Committee.

“We are committed to creating an industry that promotes zero tolerance for discrimination and harassment; creates space for and amplifies voices from underrepresented and marginalized groups; and allows for individual and company growth around equity and justice,” the ACA states on its website.

Brewers Association

Along with committing “to fostering a diverse craft brewing community by providing resources, educational opportunities, and a powerful community of advocates,” the Brewers Association (BA) offers DEI Mini Grants and a mentorship program.

“The BA is proud to fund grants in support of local and regional events, media production projects, and educational and training initiatives that thoughtfully and intentionally promote and foster a more diverse, equitable, and inclusive craft beer community,” states the BA website.

The mentorship program aims to provide guidance and work to further promote diversity within the workforce, leadership and ownership of small and independent breweries. Mentors can be knowledgeable in numerous parts of the brewing industry, including but not limited to technical brewing, guest experience, brewery operations and sales and distribution.

American Craft Spirits Association

Increasing diversity is a top priority listed on the American Craft Spirits Association (ACSA) website, with the ACSA acknowledging that diversity in distiller leadership and other positions within the industry can still be improved upon.

“We are committed to creating and fostering an environment that is welcoming and accepting of all individuals, and ensuring that all members of our community are treated with dignity and respect,” the ACSCA explains on its website. “We believe that a person’s background, identity, or beliefs, should not be a hindrance to their being in a position to contribute.”

Distilled Spirits Council of the United States

The Distilled Spirits Council of the United States (DISCUS) formed its DEI Committee in 2021 and held its inaugural DEI Summit in partnership with Pronghorn in June 2023.

“This is the first time we are leveraging our collective power as an industry to come together and drive a broader impact for all our people and consumers,” Victoria Russell, Beam Suntory Chief Diversity & Inclusion Officer and Chair of the DISCUS DEI Committee, said in a statement. “Historically, we’ve worked in the silos of our respective organizations with marginal impact on the diversity of our industry.  We are better together, and this inaugural DEI Summit has the potential to positively impact the industry as a whole.”

Continued DEI growth

Remember: this roundup is hardly comprehensive. There are numerous other DEI initiatives in place throughout bev alc – and more to be created! Is your company or association engaged in DEI-focused work? Let us know if you have positive examples of the industry working to become more inclusive.

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Lizzy Connolly

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