Anti-sexist beer campaigner and London brewer elected as SIBA director

By James Beeson contact

- Last updated on GMT

Leading light: Jaega Wise has become a key figure in the fight against sexism in the beer industry (Photo: The Brewers Journal)
Leading light: Jaega Wise has become a key figure in the fight against sexism in the beer industry (Photo: The Brewers Journal)

Related tags: Beer, Brewing

Jaega Wise, head brewer of London’s Wild Card Brewery, has been elected as a south-east director for the Society of Independent Brewers (SIBA), following an election at the organisation's regional AGM.

Wise, a prominent campaigner in the fight against sexism within the beer industry, will now become a director and a member of the SIBA board.

The SIBA South-East Region, which includes Greater London and has around 150 brewery members, voted Jaega in as a director to represent the region alongside existing directors Tom Bott of Signature Brew and Iain McIntosh of Red Cat Brewing on the SIBA Board.

Outgoing SIBA south-east chair, Ed Mason of Five Points Brewing, welcomed Wise’s election: “Jaega is a much-liked and respected brewer from one of the region’s newer breweries and I know that she will do a fantastic job of representing the region’s brewers,” he said. “We had four excellent candidates stand for the election, which I think is testament to how involved and engaged in the industry we are in the south-east."

Speaking about her appointment, Wise said: "I am really pleased to have the opportunity to represent members of the south-east region. Ed has been a fantastic chair and I’d like to thank him for all his hard work.

“We have many challenges ahead, but I am confident with the skills, passion and love of great beer in the region, we can overcome them together."

Shining a light on sexism

In recent months, Wise has drawn plaudits for her work in highlighting issues surrounding the discrimination and objectification of women within the beer industry.

Speaking at The Brewers Congress in November, the Wild Card head brewer called for​ beers featuring sexist imagery to be banned from entering competitions organised by SIBA or the Campaign for Real Ale (CAMRA).

“This would quite quickly stop some of the smaller breweries from deciding to have branding with some boobs on the front,” she said.

At the SIBA South-East Region AGM, Wise presented a motion for the organisation “to create and implement a more comprehensive marketing ‘code of practice’ for its members, to specifically include the issue of sexist or otherwise discriminatory images and language”.

This motion passed unopposed following a positive discussion in the room, and will now go forward for consideration at SIBA’s next board meeting in February.

A growing backlash

The backlash against sexism within the industry has grown significantly in recent months. Earlier this month, Manchester brewery Cloudwater was criticised​ for collaborating with US brewery J Wakefield after images of its pumpclips and cans – featuring scantily clad women – surfaced online.

While in October 2017, Dublin brewery Irishtown Brewing came under fire​ for producing a lager called Dublin Blonde, accompanied by the tagline “Dublin Blond goes down easy”.

Last week, it was announced​ that a debate on the subject of discrimination would take place at Manchester Beer festival’s trade day later this month.

The debate will take place between 6.30pm and 7.30pm at Manchester Central complex, and the discussion ‘Sexism is bad for business. What are we going to do about it?’ will aim to address the ongoing issues and challenges of sexism in the beer industry.

Meanwhile, Tom Bott of Signature Brew will now be made SIBA South-East Region chair following Ed Mason’s decision to step down. He will work alongside fellow directors Jaega Wise and Iain McIntosh to representing the south-east on SIBA’s national board of directors.

Related topics: Beer

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