Sep 10, 2020
I love interviewing Good Beer Hunting contributors in these Collective episodes, mainly because I get to learn behind-the-scenes stories that might otherwise have been left on the cutting-room floor. Hearing about our writers, their lives, and their sources of inspiration lends new context to their work—and makes their already-accomplished articles feel even more complete.
Today, I’m talking with Stephanie Grant, who wrote “Drinking While Black—The Isolation and Loneliness of Navigating All-White Taprooms,” published on our website on June 25, 2020. This piece has lived a lot of lives. It was first commissioned before COVID-19 effectively shut down taprooms around the country, and later had to adapt to the new, post-pandemic world. It morphed again after the murder of George Floyd, and subsequent nationwide Black Lives Matter protests. Ultimately, Stephanie's essay is intentionally dualistic, contrasting her experiences drinking in taprooms in Asheville, North Carolina—an overwhelmingly white city long known as "Beer City USA"—and the much more diverse city of Atlanta, where she's based.
That tension—and that pull between two totally different experiences—is no accident. Stephanie studied information design and communication, and thinks a lot about how people take in information. This shows up in her current work as a social media manager for Monday Night Brewing in Atlanta, and is especially important now, given how many breweries and brands are relying on social media to communicate with their customer base. Stephanie’s story is also personal—she’s used to highlighting others, and working behind the scenes, but this piece was a journey in telling her own story. We talk about finding the moment where you realize the most powerful story you possess is your own. Here’s Stephanie.