Jan 16, 2021
This is Beth Demmon, and you’re listening to the Good Beer Hunting podcast.
At the end of every year, it’s common for publications to put together roundups of notable people who’ve made their mark: who you should read, who you should listen to, who you should follow on social media, and so on. And every year, while those mentioned absolutely merit recognition for their work, some people also deserving of attention inevitably get missed. Any list covering the craft beer industry that doesn’t include Ren Navarro falls short (Good Beer Hunting’s end-of-year Signifiers included). The Canadian beer equity advocate is prominent in conversations on Twitter and Canadian outlets, and her tireless efforts to make beer a better place unquestionably deserve the support and attention of people everywhere.
As a queer Black woman who seeks to educate, enlighten, and engage, Navarro calls herself a “reluctant advocate” as one of the only people in her immediate area to consistently work towards a more equitable beer community. By calling for actions that incorporate intersectionality in diversity efforts and demanding accountability from peers in the craft beer space, she encourages individuals and breweries to embrace uncomfortable revelations that can drive improvement, despite the challenges and feelings these types of conversations may bring up. She mostly works alone, and while the pandemic has disrupted her ability to educate face-to-face, she’s grateful for the transparency and openness that virtual spaces allow for, giving people the opportunity to raise hard questions in a safe, judgment-free way.
In our conversation, we’ll talk about her role in craft beer, how Canada compares—and contrasts—with the United States when it comes to its beer scene, and how social justice movements took off last year and then stagnated. We’ll also discuss the importance of people speaking from within their communities rather than on behalf of a community, how one can earn the title of ally rather than bestow it upon themselves, how concepts like accessibility and inclusion remain closely related, and who she looks to as changemakers of the future. Keep an ear out for numerous new initiatives she has planned for 2021. Navarro knows that we can all do better and be better—now, it’s time to find out how. Listen in.