Over 93 Percent of Brewery Owners Are White According to Latest Data

Additionally, over 58 percent of breweries are owned entirely by men while just 2.9 percent are entirely woman-owned.

Brew masters testing beer in brewery
Photo: Getty Images

The brewing industry has been actively working to increase diversity and inclusivity. In 2018, the Brewers Association (BA) — America's trade group for independent and craft brewers which represents thousands of breweries nationwide — established its first Diversity Committee and named its first Diversity Ambassador. Then, in 2019, the BA followed up by releasing its first data on gender and ethnicity in the brewing industry — numbers that confirmed what most already realized: brewery owners and employees are predominantly male and white.

This year, the BA is back again with fresh demographic data on brewery owners, and despite efforts to the contrary, things haven't improved — in fact, if anything, the data says that things are less diverse. However, the BA emphatically states that these findings are because they've taken proactive steps to reduce response bias in their survey, and insists "this data should not be compared to the 2019 results."

Still, the statistics paint a very clear picture: After collecting data from 500 randomly selected breweries, 93.5 percent of brewery owners were "White (non Hispanic)," 2.2 percent were "Hispanic, Latina -o, or of Spanish Origin," 2.0 percent were "Asian," 0.4 percent were "Black (non Hispanic)," 0.5 percent were listed as "Other," and 1.1 percent said they preferred not to answer.

Meanwhile, for gender, 75.6 percent of respondents were male, 23.7 percent were female, 0.2 percent were listed as "Non-Binary/Third Gender," while 0.6 percent said they preferred not to answer. Additionally, looking at breweries as a whole and taking into account multiple owners, the majority — 58.6 percent — of breweries contained no woman ownership compared to 41.4 percent that had at least one woman owner. Only 2.9 percent were entirely woman-owned.

"The American beverage alcohol consumer is increasingly BIPOC and female… That shift is ongoing and will likely continue going forward," Bart Watson, chief economist for the Brewers Association, wrote in his analysis of the data. "For example, female drinkers under 25 now outnumber male drinkers under 25. So for craft to continue growing and moving more in the larger beer and beverage alcohol consumer market, it will need to connect better with that diverse customer base. While there's nothing that says white and male owned businesses can't connect with that more diverse customer base, it's going to require additional work in building diverse organizations and shoring up blind spots."

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