Open Waters: Sloop's Paid Brewing Internship Accepting Applications Through 12/1 | Craft Beverage Industry | Hudson Valley | Chronogram Magazine

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Open Waters: Sloop's Paid Brewing Internship Accepting Applications Through 12/1

This Diversity and Inclusion Initiative is Producing Professional-Grade Brewers

The original stereotype of craft brewers painted a picture of bearded white men in flannels making IPAs in their garages—a white, cis man's game. More than a decade into the country's craft beer boom, that demographic is still saddeningly accurate. 

In 2019, the Brewers Association reported on employee diversity among its members for the first time. The survey results painted a bleak picture: 88 percent of all brewery owners in the country are white. Only about 7.5 percent of brewers are women, and of the non-brewing production roles, only 7 percent of staff is Latinx, and only 3.5 percent is Black.

The glaring lack of diversity has emerged as an ongoing issue that needs to be addressed industry-wide. Locally, Sloop Brewing Company, the fastest-growing regional brewery, is doing its part through the Open Waters paid internship program, which it announced in fall 2020. At that time, Mariquita Reese, a Sloop brewer and chairwoman of Sloop’s Diversity & Inclusion Committee, commented, “We want to show that anyone can have a productive and fulfilling career in our industry. Our team is very aware of the lack of diversity in our industry, and we want to tackle it head-on. With this internship program, we hope to provide opportunities and training to people who may have previously felt excluded.”

All three students who have completed the internship so far have successfully found jobs in the brewing industry afterward, attesting to the thoroughness and efficacy of the training offered by Sloop, which coaches one intern per quarter. “The internship offers hands-on training in all aspects of brewery production including packaging, cellaring and wort production,” said Melissa Larrick, the third graduate of the Open Waters program. “Not only does it give the intern a foundation of skills needed to land a job in the brewhouse, but it also offers training on proper brewing terminology, hop, malt, and yeast education, and just an overall understanding of the nature of the beast!”
The internship, which covers technical knowledge, builds expertise, and develops a network of professional connections, is now accepting applications for the first quarter of 2022. "We're looking forward to the coming year of interns and the potential of even larger growth within the internship,” said Alyssa McAuley, Sloop’s director of operations and a member of the Diversity and Inclusion Committee.

“The Open Waters Internship provided a foot in the door and a launch point for my career trajectory I couldn't have imagined otherwise,” said Shanna Bowman, Sloop’s second-quarter intern for 2021. “Between the flexible scheduling and being paid, it made the option to learn viable in ways typical hands-on experience cannot be afforded when also holding down a 'safe and stable job for income' these days. For the diversity aspect, Sloop made it clear from the jump that people like me are welcome and encouraged to be there, against an otherwise male dominated industry; it removed the burden of suspicion and the walls-up approach that can accompany a position among the unknown.”

The Open Waters internship is open to anyone over 21. Interns must commit to a minimum of 20 hours a week over a three-month period, running from January 3 to approximately March 31, though scheduling is somewhat flexible.

The application period for a first-quarter internship is now open through December 1. Applications received after that date will be considered for subsequent quarters. Apply online.

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