With the New Award, the craft beer trade addresses its evolving variety and inclusion

But marketing these handcrafted beers finally has its own awards show, the Craft Beer Marketing Awards (CBMAs), with more than 30 categories celebrating the best of beer marketing and design and the people behind it. It also shows that brewing is diverse, and not just the different types of beer.

The CBMA recently named Megan Stone, a brewer for Societe Brewing Company of San Diego, with its first Woman of the Year award.

Stone got into the craft brewing business like many others – starting at the bottom, learning from the best, and working her way up. The difference from her journey is that she had to overcome some of the sexism that is ingrained in the boys' club of brewing.

Born in Baltimore, she worked in a craft beer restaurant at the beginning of her career and later got a job at the legendary Dogfish Head brewery, where she found a passion for brewing.

Stone's path eventually led her to other craft breweries. Over the years they have brewed, consulted, and marketed breweries across the country including Mispillion River, Mikkeller, and DuClaw. For the past year, Stone has brewed collaborations in Panama and the UK, where she started Diversity and Inclusion training at Laine Brew Co. in the UK.

At Societe, she found her calling at the marketing end of the brewery business.

"I beat up Societe and asked them for jobs," Stone told Adweek. “But when I showed up, they said, 'We'd love to hire you, but we just don't have remote production. & # 39; But they grew and badly needed someone in social media and marketing and they knew that I got the experience for my own account and from advising other people. "

On Stone's Instagram account, which has more than 33,000 followers, she promotes diversity as a member of the LGBTQ community in the craft beer industry, driven by the feeling that sometimes she doesn't belong.

“There were interviews where the owner looked me up and down and they said, 'Can you even lift anything? Are you going well "There are all kinds of micro-aggressions," she said.

When they began to speak out for equality, Stone received a lot of support. Now she keeps triggering conversations to get people to think outside of their own perspective.

"In everything that has happened recently, I've shared a lot of things about racial inequality and social justice," Stone said. "I got a message from a guy who said he was an 'All Lives Matter' person and now he's a Black Lives Matter person. Just hearing that from someone is great because you never know if that person will influence someone else. "

As a conversation starter, Stone has now been recognized by her colleagues, which fueled the win of the "Woman of the Year".

The first CBMAs were founded by Jackie DiBella and Jim McCune, who saw a big hole in the Craft Beer Awards shows. McCune and DiBella had competed in many craft beer competitions that were about beer and taste, but none that were about marketing.

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