Pride with purpose in Ontario craft beer

Last summer, when I sat down to talk to Renee Navarro about her work promoting diversity in Ontario’s craft beer industry, I remember being struck by how irrefutable several of her points were.

As we’re fully into June, one, in particular, stands out. That’s the idea that craft breweries (as with any business) need to do more than just hang a Pride flag and attach a few hashtags to on-topic Tweets in order to participate in the essence of Pride Month. Navarro talked about the idea of committing to Pride on a year-round basis and also on how symbols are important but actions speak louder than flags.

Breweries making a difference

With that in mind, here’s a roundup of what Ontario breweries are doing to have a substantial and positive impact.

  • Left Field has a full roster of initiatives that starts with giving $0.50 from every taproom pour between June 1 and 23 to the Bill 7 Award scholarship fund. They also held special events during June such as LGBTQ+ trivia on June 20.
  • Gateway City is brewing a collaboration beer with North Bay’s pride committee. And $0.50 from each purchase will go to support the committee’s efforts. Look for this one in mid-July.
  • The collab double IPA that Muddy York made with Ren Navarro, called Working Twice as Hard has been re-released for Pride Month. A portion of the proceeds go to support Rainbow Railroad, a charity helping LGBTQ people escape state-sponsored persecution.
  • Along with the aforementioned Ren Navarro, People’s Pint brewed a California Common called Warm Mist Rising. A portion of proceeds from the sale of it are going to support Egale Canada.
  • Wellington put a portion of proceeds from the sale of Sunshine blonde ale towards Guelph Pride.
  • Muskoka put a rainbow version of their logo on stickers. They’re donating the proceeds from the sale of these to Muskoka Pride.
  • Manantler has brewed Cause Worthy and a portion of proceeds are going to PFLAG Durham. In a few weeks, Love is Brutiful, the brut IPA they collabed on will be for sale at Second Wedge and PFLAG Durham will also benefit from sales on that one.
  • Fab Lite is Eastbound’s creation made especially for this year’s Pride Run and proceeds will support the Pride and Remembrance Foundation.

Inevitably, I’ve missed a few worthy examples. If you know of a brewery doing something special, feel free to share the details in the comments below.

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