Published on October 27, 2022 | Written by The Lasting Joy Brewery Team

Adding Our Voices to the Brave Noise Movement

From the Brave Noise website: Brave Noise is a global collaborative effort to provide inclusive and safe environments for women, BIPOC, and LGBTQIA+ throughout the beer industry. By brewing this beer, your brewery is standing in solidarity with those who shared their stories about mistreatment and who are survivors of gender discrimination, racism, sexual assault, and harassment within the industry. By standing with us now, you are part of the movement for change that is long overdue in beer.

A New York Born Hazy IPA

In September, Lasting Joy was thrilled to put our Brave Noise Hazy IPA on our tap list. The beer itself is a New England IPA brewed with Cashmere and Saaz hops and double dry hopped with Hydra and Excelsior hops. As a New York farm brewery, we are always excited to tackle the challenge of creating well-executed versions of our favorite styles with ingredients grown and malted right here in New York state. We’re very proud of how this beer turned out, with the distinctive hazy color and body that rocketed this American style to popularity, crafted from ingredients grown on farms right here in our backyard. The hop aroma entices you from the moment you lift the glass, and each sip comes with a balanced bitterness that showcases how far New York has come as a hop-producing state. But what we’re even more excited about and proud of is adding our support to the Brave Noise Initiative.

Silent No More

In May of 2021, brewer Brienne Allan, who is now the owner of the brand new Sacred Profane Brewery in Maine, posted a question aimed at other women in the craft beer industry on her Instagram story: “What sexist comments have you experienced?” Brienne’s DMs were soon flooded with stories ranging from a general “boy’s club” culture to harassment and assault throughout every layer of the craft brewing world. From festivals to brewery floors, behind and in front of bars, and in offices and boardrooms, the urgent problem of sexism gone unchecked was laid bare for the tens of thousands of people who viewed and shared as Brienne reposted the answers she received. What followed has been eighteen months of reckoning within craft beer, and Lasting Joy launched in the midst of that reckoning.

Lasting Joy co-founder and head brewer Alex Wenner shares, “When the brewing industry was forced to face its own modern history of sexism and homophobia (on top of the whole host of other issues like racism and ableism) over the past few years, we were in the planning, design and construction phase of Lasting Joy. The stories told by women, BIPOC, and LGBTQ+ members of the beer, alcohol, and service industries shared through Brienne Allan were completely anathema to what we wanted Lasting Joy to be. This was not the industry I have enjoyed and been a part of for most of my adult life. But it was. The hard truth is that what I had been welcomed into with open arms was not that way for many.”

A Mission Fortified Becomes a Dream Realized

Brewing a Brave Noise collaboration beer presented an incredible opportunity to support the growing movement to create a culture of accountability in the craft brewing industry and to showcase Lasting Joy’s Code of Conduct to our patrons. 

Co-Founder Emily Wenner says, “When we were launching Lasting Joy, we knew we wanted to cast a really wide net and create opportunities for people whom the industry may have overlooked. We were incredibly fortunate that some of those folks started showing up as soon as we began hiring. Our front of house staff is incredible, and our assistant brewer, Ali Moss, is a rockstar.” 

Ali’s love of beer was born on a tour of the Guinness factory in Ireland at the age of 18. “I remember seeing an old picture of a bunch of guys raking mash out of a kettle… and something in me felt like that was familiar. Who knows, maybe I was one of those guys in a past life, or maybe I had already begun manifesting this amazing career. All I know is that a seed was planted that day.”

And while Ali continued to be a craft beer lover from that day on, her desire to enter the industry was stymied by practices that exclude folks based on gender and experience, “When I tried to apply to breweries before, I felt like they’d look at me and laugh inside. It’s hard being a woman and having people trust that you’re strong enough to do challenging things. I had people tell me, ‘You know, this is hard work, and you get dirty and sweaty.’ If you know me, you can imagine the exaggerated eye roll I held back.” 

When Ali saw a friend share about Lasting Joy’s opening on Instagram, she became one of the brewery’s first patrons, “I immediately fell in love with the space, the land, and the energy that was there. It was beautiful, the staff was incredibly friendly, and the beer was DELICIOUS! I thought, ‘Wow, I’d love to work here!’ Lasting Joy was in the market for an assistant brewer, and Ali was an easy hire.

Lasting Joy’s Chief of Operations Katherine Farrell has played a leading role in building out the brewery’s team, ensuring an atmosphere of safety and transparency throughout the organization. “The easiest policy to implement is accountability and transparency with anti-discrimination and anti-sexual harassment handbooks. While it can be uncomfortable to address these things, it’s necessary. Recognizing that every human has biases that we need to work to unlearn is so important. The one thing to note is there is always room to grow and improve. I think the most important part of our training is recognizing that as a company, we are continuously evolving and ready to hold ourselves accountable.” 

That accountability and Code of Conduct extend to our patrons. Lasting Joy is committed to providing a safe experience for everyone who enters our space, “This specific initiative means a lot to me. I know too many people, myself included, who have been victims of assault, and it’s about time we vocalize that we are fed up. In a lot of places, there is an expectation from women to put up with inappropriate behavior from guests, employees, and whoever. It’s important to me that as a business, we let everyone who walks through this door know that we are aligned with this initiative and will not tolerate the sexism, racism, and misogyny that has long been excused in this industry.” 

When you visit the tasting room and order a Brave Noise IPA, you are joining an unstoppable force for change within the craft beer world. Ali has high hopes for the future of craft beer. “I just want the industry and other breweries to see that everyone is capable of everything. We just need to be given a chance to shine. More and more women are becoming brewers, and it makes me so happy to be in such a cool community. I’m honored that I get to be in this industry, and I hope I can show other women what an interesting and rewarding career this is!”

Katherine shares a similar vision of progress, “There have been folks paving the way for a more inclusive industry for a while now, and the most exciting thing for me is seeing them get the recognition they deserve. I’m excited to see a more diverse crowd take over.” 

A portion of the proceeds from Lasting Joy’s Brave Noise IPA will be donated to SAFE of Columbia County, which provides emergency shelter and services to survivors of domestic violence, sexual assault, and stalking. View Lasting Joy’s Code of Conduct here.

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