…Graybar Customer Service Representative Courtney is passionate about many things. Inclusivity, her community and craft beer. So when Guinness Open Gate Brewery asked her to help create a special release beer for Martin Luther King Jr. Day, with proceeds benefitting a local non-profit, Courtney was all in.
When Courtney started visiting local breweries to learn more about the industry, she noticed a lack of diversity in the craft beer community. She decided to get involved by sharing reviews of local brewery events and tastings, and it wasn’t long before Courtney gained recognition.
“I became a craft beer influencer based on what I saw, which was a lack of people of color in the tap room,” said Courtney. “I decided to chart my journey to change the way this industry markets to people of color, all while creating a more inclusive space based on my experiences.”
A fellow craft beer influencer shared Courtney’s story with the head brewer of Guinness Open Gate Brewery. Before she knew it, Courtney was collaborating with the brewmaster at Guinness on a brown ale called “See Us,” which launched in January. The final product was a nod to the Southern classic dessert, sweet potato pie. The ale was infused with the flavor of roasted sweet potatoes, lactose, vanilla, cinnamon, nutmeg and allspice.
All of the proceeds from the release were donated to a Baltimore nonprofit called the Job Opportunities Task Force, which strives to level the playing field for low income families through opportunities in education and job training.