Brewers Collective Increases Representation of People with Disabilities within the Beer Industry

(Photo | Courtesy Elevate)

Elevate, an initiative by the Brewers Collective (the craft business unit of Anheuser-Busch), is working to increase representation of individuals with disabilities in the media. Building off last year’s program to diversify craft beer media by focusing on racially and gender-diverse people in the beer industry, Elevate has officially launched its second installment of beer-centric stock photography, with new photos featuring individuals with disabilities. Best of all, they teamed up with the 10 Barrel team and Oregon Adaptive Sports (OAS) to hit the trails right here in Bend to bring it all to life!

“I’m immensely proud that we’ve expanded our stock photography initiative to spotlight one of the most under-represented groups of people, people with disabilities,” said Brewers Collective President Marcelo “Mika” Michaelis. “We have an opportunity to be an advocate for inclusivity and diversity, not only for the betterment of our industry, but also to grow as a category. It’s imperative that all of our customers feel seen, heard and represented.”

Elevate is committed to lifting the beer industry through measurable actions, and when the team learned that an estimated 56.7 million Americans are currently living with some form of disability yet only 2 percent of stock photography depicts that, the path forward was clear. Stock photography is an important tool for increasing representation because the photos are a resource available for free and public use across media landscapes, including advertising, journalism, research, television and beyond.  The photos are now available for download on stock photo websites Pexels and Unsplash.

To ensure the photo shoots were well-rounded and authentic, the Elevate team partnered with Aaron Baker — a quadriplegic athlete, author and ambassador — as creative director and consultant for the photoshoots, bringing his perspective and critical eye to the entire program. Aaron tapped his vast network of friends, family and supporters to find diverse models to participate in the various shoots at Brewers Collective craft partner breweries throughout the U.S., including 10 Barrell in Bend.

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