Brewery owners remove barriers and foster inclusion and community for all in their taproom
When the founders of Night Shift Brewing were opening their sister location, Lovejoy Wharf in downtown Boston, they wanted to ensure that its environment was welcoming, inviting and reflective of the community and neighborhood around it.
The space tells a story -- not only of the company’s history through its origin mural and rich artwork throughout – but every detail was thought through — including a neon sign that hangs above a nook by one of the bathroom areas. The sign reads, “All Styles” which the owners say references genders as well as beers. It also indicates the brewery’s unisex restrooms.
“It was a fairly easy decision to incorporate this into our new build-out,” says Michael Oxton, co-founder of Night Shift Brewing “One of our brand's core values is inclusivity, and this was a very clear way of creating an inclusive customer experience at our new spot.”
Feedback about the all-gender bathroom stalls has been overwhelming positive, with a little bit of confusion thrown in here or there. “Sometimes we’ll be asked where the men’s room is, or you’ll see a customer hesitant to enter then as they re-read the sign they’ll audibly say “oh right – got it!” and continue into the restrooms,” says Michael.
The Lovejoy Wharf location also goes above and beyond to ensure that families and new moms feel welcome. The space provides a nursing room and a changing table — amenities typically not found at all breweries.
“Our staff is made up of young families and new moms -- we’ve all been to a place that doesn’t have a changing table and it’s a nightmare,” says Michael. “We wanted to remove any barriers possible to ensure everyone feels comfortable in our second home. We are optimists at Night Shift and believe the world is moving in a positive direction more often than not. If we can help move it there a little more quickly, all the better.”
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.