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 there is variety in brewing, and not just different styles of beer.
The CBMA recently named Megan Stone, a brewer with 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.’ But they were growing and desperately needed someone in social media and marketing. They knew I had the experience from my own account and from advising other people. “
On Stone’s Instagram account, which has more than 33,000 followers, as a member of the LGBTQ community in the craft beer industry, she advertises diversity, 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 lift anything at all? Will you be good ‘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 lately, I’ve shared a lot of things about racial inequality and social justice,” said Stone. “I had a message from a man who said he was a person who lives everything, and now he’s a person who lives everything. Just hearing that from someone is great because you never know if that person is going to affect someone else. “
As a conversation starter, Stone has now been recognized by her colleagues, which fueled the “Woman of the Year” win.
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 participated in many craft beer competitions that were about beer and taste but none that were about marketing.