North Carolina’s recently-enacted HB2 law has been widely viewed as discriminating against the LGBT community, and it has generated a firestorm of opposition. Bruce Springsteen and Ringo Starr have cancelled concerts to register their opposition to the law. Leaders of several large technology corporations, such as Google and Facebook, issued an open letter to the Governor of North Carolina in support of repealing the law. According to reports, financial giant Deutsche Bank has placed a hold on its plans to expand in North Carolina because of the law. And now another industry segment has risen up against the law: craft brewers.
Two North Carolina brewers, Mystery Brewing Co. and Ponysaurus Brewing Co. have agreed to collaborate on a new brew—“Don’t Be Mean to People: A Golden Rule Saison.” Profits from the sale of the beer will be donated to a North Carolina-based group advocating for equal rights for the LGBT community, including the repeal of HB2, as well as a music camp that serves LGBT children. To increase the impact of the donation, 36 other North Carolina brewers and businesses have agreed to serve Don’t Be Mean to People on draft at their establishments.
Don’t Be Mean to People is the latest example of the use of craft brewing’s growing economic power to impact social change. As the industry continues to grow, its voice will be able to become increasingly loud.