New initiative aims to raise awareness of LGBTQ+ issues through beer

Kate Malczewski

Kate Malczewski

28 February 2019

A new initiative called The Queer Brewing Project has launched, aiming to foster conversation around LGBTQ+ issues and to raise funds for charities addressing these issues.

The project is the brainchild of Lily Waite, a beer writer and artist who also spent time behind the taps at Wild Beer Co’s Jessop House venue in Cheltenham. She plans to team up with existing breweries to create queer-themed beers.

‘We’re not just looking to work with breweries with queer or LGBTQ+ employees – to do so would put the focus on [the queer community] being the mechanism behind the project, whereas I think it’s everyone’s responsibility,’ Waite told Imbibe.

The proceeds from the sales of the beers will go to different organisations supporting queer and trans communities, as well as those that focus on issues of race and disability rights.

Fundraising is, of course, key to the project – but just as important is the dialogue that it strives to create. Waite, a queer trans woman herself, views each of the Queer Brewing Project’s beers as an opportunity to shed light on specific challenges the LGBTQ+ community faces.

‘A lot of people don't understand the use of pronouns for gender non-conforming and trans people,’ said Waite. ‘One of my ideas is to have a beer named after different pronouns, maybe with discussion on the label rather than imagery, so whoever picks it up in the pub who might not be familiar with the use or importance of pronouns can begin to learn.’

Another valuable element of the project is visibility. ‘We need representation and vocal conversation so people can look and say, “I'm represented in this community, I feel welcome”,’ she explained. ‘We’re getting there, but we can go further.’

The Queer Brewing Project is already slated to collaborate with the likes of Affinity Brew Co in London, Marble Brewery in Manchester and 7venth Sun in Florida, with offers from other breweries in the UK, USA and Australia. 'I want to take this project as far as it will go,' said Waite.

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