Glasgow Brewery Collective has launched a crowdfunding campaign to open a taproom that is fully accessible for people with disabilities.
The collective is raising £25,000 to create a space with a lowered and frontless section of the bar for wheelchair accessibility and a T-loop sound system, which can be accessed through hearing aids. It will also have ‘autism hours’ with minimum noise, staff trained in British sign language and large print, easy-to-read menus.
These features are meant not only to provide access for customers, but also for employees. One of Glasgow Brewery Collective’s main goals is to provide employment opportunities for people with disabilities.
‘Since we announced the project, we’ve been inundated with people enquiring about jobs, people with disabilities who desperately want to work, but are in need of employers who are willing to work with them,’ said Dave Lannigan, one of the collective’s co-founders. ‘That’s exactly what we want to do.’
Lannigan, who also founded Ride Brew Co, is disabled through loss of hearing and has ADHD and dyslexia. ‘My disabilities have given me personal experience of being excluded and the struggles that people with disabilities face when trying to find work,’ he explained. ‘I’m keen to do something to help people in a similar situation to me find meaningful employment.’
Along with Lannigan’s Ride Brew Co, Glasgow Brewery Collective is also formed of Bute Brew Co and Late Night Hype.
‘I knew Simon [Tardivel], the head brewer of Bute Brew Co, from having brewed with him when he previously lived in Glasgow. His ambition was to run a brewery as a co-operative. When I suggested having a social enterprise taproom with a focus on accessibility, he said he was happy to do that instead, as long as everyone got paid a fair wage,’ Lannigan explained.
‘Our mutual friend Mike Shaw, one of the owners of Late Night Hype, had similar aims to what we wanted to do. He had previously worked with children with additional support needs and it was always his goal to be able to run Late Night Hype to provide work for people that might be overlooked or otherwise struggling to find work because of disabilities.
‘Seeing as how we all had similar goals and we all wanted to give something back, it made sense to work together. No one gets into brewing for the money anyway.’
Of course, along with their unifying focus on accessibility, the brewers are also passionate about offering great beer at the taproom. Their goal is to showcase ‘the best of Glasgow beer’, with rotating taps used exclusively for local brews. They also plan on brewing their own beer to sell in the taproom.
‘I think that there is a genuine need for more spaces like the one we are proposing in the community,’ said Lannigan.
Glasgow Brewery Collective hopes to open its taproom by Easter 2019. Its crowdfunding campaign closes 7 December.