Craft beer industry under scrutiny over allegations of misogyny, misconduct

Amid allegations of misogyny and misconduct across the craft brewery industry, women at Bay Area breweries are speaking out about sexism in the workplace.

Some women complain that they’ve been the victims of derogatory remarks, others said they were victims of physical harm.

The owner of The Good Hope on Telegraph Avenue in Oakland believes that a window smashed at her business earlier in the week is connected to a gathering she held there with other industry women to address inappropriate behavior in the workplace.

"I didn’t go into that event Tuesday night thinking something like this would happen," said Melissa Myers.

Plywood now covers the shattered glass of the brewery, but it perhaps reveals the cracks in the budding craft beer industry when it comes to its treatment of women.

"There’s not a single woman in this industry that does not have a story to share", Myers told KTVU Thursday. It’s a huge issue all around, but I think it’s more obvious because it also spans across this whole country."

Myers organized the event after a woman by the name of Brienne Allan, who goes by the Instagram handle, @RatMagnet asked followers to share stories of sexist behavior.

Hundreds of reports flooded in from around the country and from women who work at Bay Area breweries.

"She’s up to almost a thousand stories right now and to see them in this volume isn’t maybe not surprising but incredibly heartbreaking," Myers said.

Among them: Modern Times Beer in Oakland where the situation was so bad employees refused to pour beer again until the company takes action to prevent further discrimination and harassment.

"I think a lot of these owners kind of seen the writing on the wall and are saying I’ve kind of built this environment that’s just too toxic and I just can’t be at the head of it anymore," said Jessica Infante, who covers the craft beer industry for the publication Brewbound.

The work stoppage by employees at Modern Time’s Oakland location prompted a change the very next day with the company’s founder and CEO Jason McKean publicly apologized before announcing he’d exit his role running the company.

"In a lot of these workplaces, co-workers form genuine social relationships and they’re friends, and that always kind of lends to a little bit of a line crossing and maybe some inappropriateness so onto of all of that you also have alcohol."

Also facing accusations of misconduct, Original Pattern Brewing Co. in Jack London Square announced it fired an assistant brewer accused of improper behavior.

Like Original Pattern, other Bay Area breweries that were the focus of accusations have publicly denounced inappropriate behavior and have pledged to take immediate action to root out the problem.