This Pride month we brought everyone together and asked why Pride was meaningful and received some great responses. Pride is important to us as a business because we focus on creating and maintaining a safe workplace and it takes effort every day. Let’s begin with how we know Queers Makin’ Beers Home Brew Club (QMB) and the YAASSS Kolsch beer we brewed together for Pride Month.
Many of you may know about our long-standing friendship with QMB. They visited our Concord taproom before we were open to the public and despite how challenging things have been on both ends business-wise we’ve stayed in touch over the years. Occasionally we even found opportunities to reconnect. Some of the same home brew equipment we used to brew on before we started Epidemic Ales are now with their club finding a second life.
We interviewed QMB Co-Founder, President and Head Brew Rebecca Sandidge to find out more. She told us how the entire start of the club was not planned. Rebecca met co-founder Kate Summerill at a sparsely attended (they were the only attendees) Meetup they had both joined. The two made a beer together and decided to start their own group in July of 2015. It was a surprise to have twenty people come to the first meeting and thirty people attend the first brew. It had boomed to a fun and educational journey from brewing their first beer, a saison.
Rebecca put in $3k of her own money and earned $10k in a fundraiser event to fund the club brews. Rebecca is a data scientist and a biologist so brewing is within her training. The lab equipment aspect, the chemistry, the cleanliness, the biology of yeast- those were all things she could read about and understand immediately. This enabled her to understand the science behind the beer and improve on all aspects of brewing.
Over the last 8 years QMB expanded to 1100 members over 3 states. She said she feels like QMB helped established the base to normalize queer elements in brewing, marketing decisions, and events. Something that she’s proud of is that QMB is a well-known part of the established home brewing club community. The longevity of the club is important and shows their commitment to brewing. She’s also proud to be able to achieve a goal of supporting other organizations and doing charity events using the beer they brew.
Rebecca’s first memory of Epidemic Ales was a visit to the brewery with other club members to pick up donated home brew kegs. She said she remembered feeling really excited and grateful that someone wanted to support their club. Brian and Holly (co-owners of Epidemic Ales) have attended the QMB Annual Spring Party for several years and the YAASSS Kolsch was always a favorite. We also appreciated how welcome we were at the party, it’s beautiful to see so many people coming together to catch up on their lives and celebrating love, life, and community over beer. We wish our friends at QMB the best at their continued brewing adventures!
Acceptance, unity, love make the world go round
It has not been easy standing ground
Wipe those tears away, listen to that sound
Such beauty waits to be found
If you’ve visited the Epidemic Ales taproom, it’s likely you’ve had a beer poured for you and shared some laughs with bartenders Mak and Rachel, who are a part of the LGBTQIA+ community. Our employees also asked to do a (non-risqué) drag show to fundraise, and we asked them why that was important to them as well. The drag show will happen June 11, 2-4pm, please come out to support our staff.
Happy pride month!! For those that don’t know me, hi my name’s Mak. I work at Epidemic Ales and I’m part of the LGBTQIA+ community. At work I’m able to be loud and proud and I’m super thankful to work in a safe space with a supportive environment that promotes inclusivity and allows me to be myself!
Pride has always been important to me because it helps show people that may be struggling that they’re not alone. That there are so many other beautiful people on this earth that are going through the same things you are. And those people are there to extend a hand to show you a life of community, self-confidence, self-expression and self-love. I’m always down to chat so if you want to get to know me a little more come on down and let me pour you a pint! I’m here for you! Celebrate who you are and be proud!
I’m a proud pansexual! Now I’m sure you’re asking yourself what that means and I’m here to share! Ever since I was a kid I struggled with having crushes on all genders! I realized it didn’t matter what someone necessarily looked like to me, but it was how they treated me, so you can say I’m gender-blind. I’m also happily married and have been with my husband for almost 11 years. He’s always loved me and accepted me for who I am. I also have a wonderful family that are a part of the LGBTQ+ community! I have multiple gay uncles, a transgender aunt and a drag mother who have always taught me to love myself even through my toughest times. I’m forever thankful for their kindness.
I helped organize the Epidemic Ales Pride event and drag show to raise money for a local charity that is meaningful to us- Rainbow Center of Concord. Their mission is to build community, equity, & well-being for LGBTQIA+ people & our allies. Please come out and support us!
I’ve been around the supportive, beautiful, inspiring drag community since I was 9 years old. When I was younger I was able to see these beautiful performers in and out of drag, it was day and night. Some of them were very reserved and quiet. You can tell that they weren’t very comfortable in their skin until they were ready for their performance, and I find beauty in that. To see someone light up and feel beautiful was remarkable. I’m very thankful that I got to grow up surrounded by such community and beauty. I really thank drag for helping me become the woman I am today. And I’m proud of every performer here, thank you for representing the art of drag and thank you Epidemic Ales for allowing this to happen.
As I reflect on the vibrant colors of the rainbow flag, my heart fills with immense pride and joy. I want to share with you what Pride means to me. Working at a small, woman-owned brewery has been an empowering experience. Here, I've found a supportive community that not only appreciates my talents but also celebrates my identity. It's a safe space where I can express myself fully and authentically, free from societal expectations or judgments.
Why Pride matters to me: Pride goes beyond our individual experiences; it's a celebration of diversity and inclusivity. It's a reminder that our differences are what make us beautifully unique. It's about standing together as a community, united in our shared pursuit of love, equality, and respect.
Pride is also about embracing and celebrating love in all its beautiful forms. As a lesbian woman, I've had the privilege of finding my own path to love and happiness. Coming out at 21 was a pivotal moment in my life. It was an act of courage, a declaration of self-love, and a step towards living my truth. It's essential to remember that everyone's coming-out journey is different, and it's our responsibility to create an environment where everyone feels safe and supported in their own time.
By embracing Pride, we pave the way for a future where love knows no boundaries. It's a continuous fight for equality and acceptance, not just for ourselves but for all marginalized communities. I want to use this moment to educate, uplift, and amplify the voices that need to be heard.
Today and every day, I celebrate love, diversity, and the power of embracing who you truly are. Happy Pride Month to all my incredible LGBTQ+ siblings and allies. Let’s continue to shine our brightest and make the world a more inclusive and accepting place for all.
Happy Pride Month Everyone- Cheers!