By: Maureen Fabry, head brewer and owner of CraftRoots Brewing Co., board member of the MBG
CraftRoots co-founder and taproom GM, Robin Fabry, has always had a strong drive towards outreach to seniors. She regularly bring beer tastings to Cornerstone At Milford, a senior residence nearby the brewery. Robin takes a personal interest in making sure that as beer lovers age, they remain in touch with the social benefits that come from sharing a well-crafted pint of beer with friends old and new.
Milford has a tremendously vibrant Senior Center which hosts a variety of programs: educational workshops, personal fitness classes and enrichment opportunities including off-site field trips. When they approached CraftRoots about hosting their Men's Group for a field trip, she was thrilled.
"We planned to make a day of it and walk them through the entire brewing process from grain to glass,” says Robin. “We did an in depth tour of the brewing equipment and followed with a beer tasting paired with lunch. It was a great afternoon."
Their visit began with brewer and co-founder Maureen Fabry teaching about the local craft malt and hops she brews with and explaining the brewing process but it didn't take her long to realize that the group of fifteen retirees had as much knowledge to share with her as she did with them. Their range of work experience was broad---a food inspector for the US government, a professional musician, and even a former Anheuser-Busch employee who schooled her on the quite liberal policy for on-the-job "sensory analysis" back in the day.
The significance of the craft beer movement was front of mind for this group and they were definitely beer savvy. "Nearly all of the guys had experienced drinking iconic beer styles like pilsner and Kolsch in the homeland where they originated. It was very cool. This group was sophisticated in their knowledge about beer and were even early adopters of the NE IPA style," laughed Maureen.
Boomers didn't grow up on craft beer like Millenials and some Gen Xers have, but their openness to exploring new beer styles and brands and linking them with new experiences can be just as strong as the later generations. In many ways, Boomers have passed into a new life phase reminiscent of young adulthood in their drive to experiment and explore. As they retire from careers and the drive for productivity, they have newfound freedom to venture out and enjoy building relationships with new breweries and their brands.
This feature is a part of a the MBG’s Inclusion & Diversity Success Story Series with the goal to share best practices, recruitment strategies, and event & program ideas that members can bring home to their breweries. Does your brewery or business have a story that they’d like to share? The MBG’s Diversity Committee wants to hear it! Reach out to MBG Executive Director Katie Stinchon at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.