Image courtesy of Instagram @thebrewersdaughters
Kelsey and Katy Mattingly recall the smell of their childhood: their father, a soon to be retired 7th Grade Science teacher and brewer/co-owner of Old Louisville Brewery, brewing beer in the morning.
A few years back, when Kelsey turned 21, she created an Instagram account to privately document the craft beer she was drinking, as requested by her mom, since they lived in a dry county and were affiliated with brewing beer. A few years later, Kelsey brought on Katy, because, after-all, the brewer has two daughters and figured they could better manage the account with the two of them on board. Plus, they both liked very different beer styles.
It wasn’t until this past year that the account content shifted after their family brewery participated in the Black is Beautiful initiative, kicked off by Weathered Souls Brewing in San Antonio, TX, which was created in effort to bring to light the need for equality and inclusion for people of color in the wake of the murder of Breonna Taylor and George Floyd.
The girls asked, “Who was this [beer] community built for and who are [the people] in charge of it?”
“With this account, we wanted to bring more awareness to that and see what breweries, whether locally and nationally, were doing to promote inclusion with race, gender, religion or cultures. We try to educate ourselves and figure it all out while drinking good beer and doing good for the community.”
The girls are firm believers that “Actions speak louder than words” and decided to use their platform to not only host interviews with people of color who are working in the industry, but also to ask breweries around Lexington what they are doing to create an inclusive space.
Katy added, “It’s not meant to be a ‘Gotcha’ moment … pandemic or no pandemic, society needs to become better.” They want to give the breweries in their area a chance to reflect and respond, and to let the people who are frequenting these establishments know where their money is going.
Wise Bird Cider, located in Lexington, responded to the duo. They are working with Black Soil Organization, which promotes and supports Black owned farms and agriculture in Kentucky. The cider company signed on to do a weekly dinner with the organization, where they bring in a chef to pair a meal with the cider they currently offer. In my opinion, this is a great response from Wise Bird, because this is inclusion in motion! It’s getting people of color in the door, while integrating and collaborating on product and ideas, which is what we LOVE to see at Fueled by Hops!
Kelsey, a morning news producer for a local news station, studied Journalism in college, which gives her resources to aid in the Instagram account. She used to bartend on the weekends and helped “behind the scenes” at the family business. She enjoys drinking IPA’s and hoppy beers but is on quite the sour kick these days, as she hunted down every single Tropical Gose brewed in Lexington and made sure to try them all.
Katy was once was a middle and high school teacher. She helped bartend at the family brewery, and managed The Barrel Room at Shelbyville, the family’s second brewery location, which seats about 250 people. Although she wishes it was her permanent job, she is currently work in higher education, finishing up a Doctorate degree in Educational Policy and Evaluation while teaching a few classes at University of Kentucky. It was Sour beer that got Katy into drinking craft beer, but she has expanded her horizons and enjoys Blondes, Belgians and is slowly but surely coming around to IPA’s. “The hazier, the better,” she says.
As a ‘Final Thought,’ I asked the girls, where would they like to see the brewing industry a few years from now.
“A big goal for us is to walk into a brewery and see a diverse group of people, sitting together. We can all connect on a surface level on craft beer. We are not all that different. Getting the conversation started, I hope it will help to welcome different groups of people. I’d love to see more BIPOC behind the bar, see Black owned breweries opening. We want to encompass and strive for the [existing] breweries to reflect and improve.”
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