Why We Cheers to Pride MonthJun 01, 2017 Comments (5)
We believe beer unites and builds community. That’s why in 2012 we started our Beer is Love Donation Program, offering beer donations to nonprofit organizations throughout each state where our beer is sold. Beer is Love focuses on five non-profit categories (known as our Beer is Love DNA): arts and music, the environment, equality, recreation and women.
We are proud to support the great work of organizations that align with our company values. Each time we donate beer to these nonprofits, that beer is used as a way to bring people together through fundraising efforts, galas or other gatherings, and help these causes spread the word!
Today, June 1st, is a great day as we (and thousands of others across the nation) begin a month-long celebration for Pride Month. You’ll notice things might look a little different on our social media pages, and here’s why…
I’d like to start this post with a personal anecdote from when I started at Ninkasi about five years ago.
In the first year of working at the brewery, I attended a beer dinner with the sales team. It was at a local Eugene restaurant, Ambrosia, and we were seated downstairs in a private area.
The dinner was amazing and beer was flowing. Our founding brewer, Jamie Floyd, stood up to give a toast. He raised his pint to everyone in the room, his toast was filled with so much joy and appreciation for the people that work at Ninkasi.
Of course, there couldn't be just one toast. Next thing I know, each person is saying something that they love about working at Ninkasi or a memory they have with craft beer or a funny story to reminisce on the beginning years of the company.
When it was Jerome's turn to speak, he said something so profound and true about Ninkasi that it stuck with me every single day since that night. It is something that truly defines who Ninkasi is as a company.
"My favorite thing about working at Ninkasi is that you come to work and you can truly be yourself every day."
I'm not sure how much I can emphasize the truth in this statement. Ninkasi is made up of individuals who truly embrace their uniqueness - we have artists, runners, kayakers, beer enthusiasts, wine drinkers, writers, Star Wars fanatics, cat lovers, dog lovers, vegans, hunters - you name it, we have it.
It is pretty amazing to think of a workplace where you don't have to hide who you are.
There is no fear at our company if you're too weird or if you're different than your peers. The fact is, everyone is different and this is embraced at Ninkasi.
It's hard to articulate a single sentence that summarizes why we support LGBTQ equality. I can write about how our founding brewer, Jamie studies sociology with an emphasis in bioregionalism and community studies or I can write about how our president, Nikos has been a longtime supporter of Basic Rights Oregon.
The word that comes to my mind when explaining why we support equality is: natural. It is our natural instinct and desire to want to love, embrace and support all of our peers. Our core purpose is Perpetuate Better Living, which is something we truly believe in.
If you are trying to Perpetuate Better Living, Ninkasi wants to support that. We believe that simply loving and having the right to love is a part of Perpetuate Better Living.
Celebrate Pride Month!
One of the overarching goals of the company is for every employee to leave work the same or better than how they arrived. To some this is just about safety, which it is, but I think it's more than that.
Our company is a safe place. It's a place where it doesn't matter if you're gay, straight, in between, nothing at all - it is whatever you want to be. People don't come to work with fear of being judged or harassed - we do not discriminate. Could you imagine if this was the case everywhere?
So why does a brewery want to stand up? Why don't we just stick to brewing beer?
Sure, our main purpose is to brew delicious beer but we all know when you crack open a beer it's not just about the liquid. It's about the moment. It's about the hard day you ended and the sweet reward that comes in liquid form. It's about the people you are with, the laughter, the memories that are created.
We want our beer to not only be associated with deliciousness and quality, but we want you to feel good about buying Ninkasi beer. When you purchase our beer, you help support the people who make this company run. Selfishly, when you buy Ninkasi, you help fund the Beer is Love Donation Program, which enables me to continue donating to so many amazing non-profit organizations.
It's more than just beer.
I look forward to celebrating with you all this month and each month following!
About the Author
Emilie is our resident beer fairy. As the national donations manager for our Beer is Love program, Emilie spends her days donating beer to people doing amazing work in every state where our beer is enjoyed. When not donating beer, you can find Emilie hunting down the best bloody mary, hanging with her dog Scout, or exploring the Central Oregon wilderness.