How Codes of Conduct Make the Backbone of Brave Noise Collab

Brienne Allan, Brewer for Notch Brewing, ​has ​announced “Brave Noise,” a global beer collaboration to advocate for safe spaces and inclusive environments by requesting breweries be transparent with their policies and commit to long-term work.

Brave Noise, a Pale Ale recipe, is a collaborative effort to provide inclusive and safe environments for women, BIPOC, and LGBTQ+ throughout the beer industry. By brewing the beer, breweries — more than 70 ​have ​so far — have agreed to take a stand 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. Brave Noise is advocating for safe spaces and inclusive environments by requesting breweries be transparent with their policies and commit to long-term work.

For breweries to participate, they will need to submit ​a code of conduct, publicly post ​it via their website, QR code, and/or signage at the physical location, ​and ​commit to the long term work and make a donation to a verified non-profit organization that best reflects the mission of this initiative.

​Dorchester ​Brewing​, ​Proclamation Ale​, and ​HenHouse have all agreed to do as such and shared with Brewer how they went about writing a code of conduct.

​”As soon as Brienne started to pull back the curtain to reveal this ugly underbelly of our industry, I knew we had to immediately start acting to ensure, one, that we were not allowing anything to be happening at Proclamation, but also to be an advocate for empowerment, equality, and equity, and stand against abuse and discrimination in the brewing industry as a whole,” said Proclamation Ale owner and Creative Director, Lori Witham. “Making sure people of all colors, sexual orientation, gender, or gender expression, feel comfortable and safe at Proc (and all breweries out there) is extremely important to us. 

“And as a majority-owned woman-run business, I felt it was even more important to stand up and set an example.​”

​HenHouse co-founder and CEO Collin McDonnell simply said they wanted to take part in this collab, ‘because we have a soul.​’

“The abuse and trauma Brienne and so many other women had to go through to get to this project is not something they should have to face alone and if our beer can make women in the industry feel safer, feel seen, and feel like progress is being made then we’ll call it a huge success,” McDonnel said. ​”​We don’t want to participate in a collab so much as we want people to treat each other with dignity and respect, and we want direct accountability for those who do not. 

​”​Participating in Brave Noise is a way for us to let our team and our community know that we remain committed to creating a harassment and discrimination-free brewery.​”

​HenHouse already had an anti-harassment policy in place​, McDonnell said. 

​”​Policies are only as helpful as they are remembered, so making sure people interact with the handbook more than just during their onboarding is key​,” he noted. ​”​Any effort to create a safe and respectful work environment needs to be specific and actionable, but it also needs long-term commitment and follow through. 

​”​Writing a policy is important, enforcing it fairly and consistently is crucial.”

Proclamation already had a pretty thorough handbook but Witham said they formed a committee of three women and two men, from both production and front of house, to re-review it and make sure they were addressing everything properly: from equal opportunity, harassment, and discrimination policies to how they communicate, support, and respect all people. 

“We already had a sort of “rules to live by” statement at the beginning of our handbook but it was a little more informal,” Witham said. “We added a more formal Code of Conduct to encapsulate what we will promote and support and what we will not tolerate.”

Proclamation Ale has also begun implementing a formal reporting system using a third-party company called, #NotMe.

“[It] is an app where reports and claims can be made anonymously or not,” Witham explained. “This will allow people to more easily report something that happened, made them uncomfortable, or even witnessed, and because it’s all in writing and through a third party, it holds all parties accountable. 

“We have made not only our Code of Conduct but sections of our handbook available to the public on the Who We Are page of our website.”

Dorchester co-founder/partner and Marketing Director, Holly Irgens said they were happy to get involved as the brewery has always worked with nonprofits and charitable organizations since ​opening. It has worked with local organizations like BAGLY, which supports the Boston-area LGBTQ community; Movember, which supports Men’s Health & Cancer initiatives; the Black Ale Project which supports veterans and the Travis Roy Foundation, which supports spinal cord injuries, and countless other organizations. 

​”​Our team loves brewing a beer that is dedicated to a specific cause and our customers love being able to support a meaningful cause through beer​,” Irgens said​.​ ​”​It really brings community together for the greater good, which is a big part of our mission here at Dorchester Brewing Company​.”​

Photo courtesy Orpheus Brewing

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