News, nuggets and longreads 6 June 2020: Black Lives Matter

Here’s everything about beer and pubs that caught our attention in the past week, from #BlackLivesMatter to the mysteries of bitter.

For Good Beer Hunting, beer writer and broadcaster Jamaal Lemon provides a succinct, cutting summary of his experience as a black American, from worrying about how to teach his son to present himself to the world to being the odd man out at craft beer events:

My great-great-grandfather Ernest Barber Sr. was born in Catawba, South Carolina on April 15, 1889. His grandfather was born in 1845, and his grandmother in 1830. They, too, lived, worked, and died in Catawba, but they were born into slavery. Ernest Barber Sr. died in 1976… I was born in January 1979… Slavery in America is only a few generations away from all of us—in my case, its direct reach extends to three years prior to my birth. Most Americans mark their birth year by a TV show they remember, or a popular song. I mark it by how far away slavery was from my body.


Dr. J Nikol Jackson-Beckham has been reflecting on the purpose behind her Craft Beer for All project. Perhaps beer doesn’t feel hugely important at this particular moment, she suggests, but…

it is in the banality of beer that I see its greatest potential to affect positive social change. Systemic anti-black racism is not born of malicious intents, spectacular violence, or complex conspiracies. Rather, it is continuously reproduced in everyday acts of carelessness and comfort, quiet omissions and revisions, and unthinking webs of justification that are woven into the fabric of our daily lives–webs so well made that when malicious and spectacular acts of racist violence are set before us, we swaddle them–excuses drifting from our lips like lullabies. I can think of no better tool, no better place, no better community than craft beer to do the everyday work of unraveling American racism.


At Craft Beer AmethystRuvani urges the US craft beer industry to opt-in to the principles of diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) and to mean it:

No one is dying in the beer industry. It’s not our fault that ignorant, brutal police officers and other individuals are committing racially motivated murder. What possible relation could this have to our own lack of diversity and inbuilt reluctance to do anything about it? Everything. Absolutely everything… Whether you work in the beer industry or are a regular beer consumer, this is your landscape, your everyday, your home-from-home. This is the world that you inhabit, the world you see as normal, and if that world is not reflective of the wider world at large it becomes easy to forget that other people, different people, exist. If they cease to exist through their absence, then their concerns, needs and ultimately their voices disappear from that landscape and unconscious bias self-perpetuates in their absence.

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