4. Does it even matter?
Here’s where I’m going to make us all uncomfortable. Should we, the white craft beer majority, care that black people don’t partake in the culture we love? If craft beer is indeed “white people shit,” and black people are cool with that, then what’s the harm, right? Isn’t this all just a big, foamy glass of white guilt masquerading as a beer story?
I don’t think so. There are two major downsides to allowing craft beer to remain homogeneous.
The first is simple: we miss out on enjoying singular brewing talents like Annie Johnson. Johnson is a black woman who won the American Homebrewers Association’s Homebrewer of the Year title in 2013 with a light lager -- a difficult brew with which to score notice, much less take the top prize. When Johnson won the title, she became the first woman to do so since 1983, and the first African-American to do so ever. The year before, she’d won Pilsner Urquell’s Master Homebrewer Competition, where head brewmaster Vaclav Berka told her that her beer was the best he’d had, she said. She’s also a Beer Judge Certification Program judge, and proctors certification exams.