One of the things I love most about being a homebrewer is ruminating on how so many of the processes involved in producing a batch of beer are excellent metaphors for other aspects of life. These metaphors run the gambit from the technical to the spiritual and inspire me to see the world in new and interesting ways. I offered one such metaphor in a recent article in The New Brewer:
Don't mistake friendliness for inclusivity.
This suggestion challenges the commonly held belief that being decent and kind is equivalent to being diversity-minded. It is not. Often times, the lack of overt bias or hate speech is taken as evidence that product or space is equitable and inclusive. This is akin to concluding that a lack of off-flavors results in a flavorful beer. The two are at least on some level related, but are by no means equivalent.
5. Off-flavor: Salty
E&I Myth: "There are universally applicable ways to take advantage of opportunities to be more inclusive and equitable."
When detected as an off-flavor, saltiness in beer is often the result of being heavy-handed with brewing salts. I made this mistake as a novice brewer by following a completely natural and logical impulse. I asked a fellow brewer what they did to produce a positive result and then copied their procedure exactly, assuming that doing so would allow me to achieve the same result.
- What is the demographic and psychographic make-up of your labor force and surrounding community?
- What are the needs, desires, and situational constraints of those who produce and consume your beer?
- What is the current state of your organizational climate and your relationship with your community and customer base?
- What resources do you have access to that can be leveraged in service of inclusion and equity work?