D.C.’s Oldest Brewery, DC Brau: Discrimination is Bad for Business

By Shane Stahl • December 8, 2017 • 10:24 am

During Tuesday’s oral arguments at the Supreme Court in the case of Masterpiece Cakeshop, Ltd v. Colorado Human Rights Commission, a variety of speakers addressed the gathered crowds at a rally just outside the court. Among these voices were the owners and operators of DC Brau, one of the oldest breweries in the District of Columbia, who provided perspective from a small business standpoint as to why they feel businesses can and should be #OpenToAll, and how discrimination has no place in the business environment.

DC Brau Owners Speak at #OpenToAll Rally

DC Brau is just one of hundreds of businesses who are working with Freedom For All Americans on our new Small Businesses Against LGBTQ Discrimination program. We have created a pledge for businesspeople to sign and publicly explicitly state their support of comprehensive non-discrimination laws, because they know that being open to the public means being open to all. Are you a business owner? Sign the pledge here!

Below, view video of DC BRAU’s speech yesterday from CEO Brandon Skall and President and Head Brewer Jeff Hancock, followed by the transcript of their remarks from yesterday’s rally.

We’re DC BRAU, DC’s first production brewery since 1956 and have been around since 2011. Our mission is bringing people together through extraordinary beer, passion for our craft, and pride for our community. We consider ourselves trailblazers, as we worked to rewrite laws in the District so we and others after us could operate. We’ve welcomed other brewers into the community and by so doing, are underscored by the value of abundance.
As a business, we wear our collective heart on our sleeve, and are involved with many social issues. We love people and celebrate life daily. We value inclusiveness and equity in all forms. Welcoming the public into our business is foundational for us. We want everyone to know “we want you here so we can share our art with you.” We want everyone to know “you are safe at DC Brau.” We have worked on our own and with groups like Collective Action for Safe Spaces to build our brewery as a safe place for all individuals.
Now more than ever is a critical time for all to be engaged, and right now in this country, in this world, silence is a luxury none of us can afford. Today is an opportunity to stand up TOGETHER for our community, our customers, our public, our humanity and for the world we want to live in!
DC Brau Owners Speak at #OpenToAll Rally
We understand how a product can be art. We consider the beer we brew to be art and ourselves to be artists. Beer like all types of art brings people together, spurs discussion and adds more value to a society. It is crazy to us, to conflate art with discrimination. Art is the opposite of divisiveness. Furthermore, invoking discrimination as part of the creative process defeats the concept of art at its very core and makes no sense at all.
Earlier this year we partnered with The Washington Blade to create a charitable beer for DC Pride Week. We sourced can-art for the project from the community and received over 30 submissions from local artists and firms. Some were fun, some were controversial, some had hidden meanings, one just said LOVE, but all were art and all were meant to be consumed by anyone and everyone.
DC Brau Owners Speak at #OpenToAll Rally
We want everyone to know “we want you here so we can share our art with you.” We want everyone to know “you are safe at DC Brau.”
It is important to us to speak up at this rally because we want OUR community to know we’re here for them, and these are our values. We can’t sit back and expect others to fight. Today is a chance to let everyone know how we feel. We want to tell other small business owners who think they need to discriminate that there is so much more to be gained by uniting than dividing. Don’t fear inclusivity!

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