As the conversation on diversity and equity continues in the U.S. and Canada, Molson Coors today announced a new financial award program for BIPOC and female university and college students enrolled in select Canadian post-secondary brewing programs.
Presented in tandem with Six Pints Collective, the beverage maker’s Canadian craft beer arm, Molson Coors will support students at three Canadian universities and colleges with renowned brewing programs: Bishop’s University’s Graduate Certificate in Brewing Science program in Quebec, Niagara College’s Brewmaster and Brewery Operations Management program in Ontario and Kwantlen Polytechnic University’s (KPU) Brewing and Brewery Operations program in British Columbia.
The company will award nine students financial awards each worth $2,500 for the new academic school year. Molson Coors is sponsoring the Molson Coors BIPOC Brewing Award, which encourages Black, Indigenous and people of colour to join the brewing industry, while the Six Pints Women in Brewing Award is presented to female students pursuing careers in brewing who will "push the boundaries and build up beer."
While the beer industry has earned a reputation as a domain for white males, beer at its core connects and empowers communities, says Frederic Landtmeters, president of Molson Coors Beverage Company in Canada. To best do that, he says, more diversity is needed within the industry.
“In 2021, there is no room for systemic barriers in the beverage industry, or any industry for that matter,” Landtmeters says. “With these new awards, we’re honoured to play a role in building a diverse pipeline of brewing talent in Canada. We think the people who brew the beer should be as diverse as those who enjoy their creations.”
A more diverse talent pool will ultimately drive innovation in craft beer, says Dan Lundberg, commercial director for Six Pints Collective, which consists of five Canadian craft breweries and brands – Brasseur de Montreal, Creemore Springs Brewing (Ontario), Fine Company (N.B.), Granville Island Brewing (British Columbia) and Trou du Diable (Quebec). Six Pints also distributes Duvel Moortgat’s portfolio of brands, as well as Tenth & Blake’s Hop Valley Bubble Stash IPA.
“Just like our craft breweries aim to innovate and drive the industry forward, we need the diverse and unique perspective provided by the next generation of female brewers,” he says.
The awards come as Molson Coors expands its diversity, equity and inclusion efforts across North America. Earlier this month, the company said it planned a second investment of $1.5 million to 33 organizations across the region dedicated to empowerment, equity, community building and justice.
That effort, under its Project Justice initiative, includes a similar scholarship program in the United States overseen by Molson Coors’ U.S. craft arm, Tenth & Blake. The program offers awards to diverse students at six American universities that have brewing and fermentation programs.