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“We all belong here”: New scholarship program supports BIPOC brewers and distillers

Garrett Oliver, brewmaster at Brooklyn Brewery and board chair for the new Michael Jackson Foundation for Brewing & Distilling.Photo: Sam Tsang/South China Morning Post (Getty Images)

Few booze writers have achieved the fame or recognition of Michael James Jackson, whose name appears on more than a dozen books, in 18 languages, sold all over the world. Jackson died in 2007, but now the newly created Michael Jackson Foundation for Brewing & Distilling is honoring his famously progressive legacy by creating two scholarships specifically designed to promote and support BIPOC brewers and distillers in the United States.

The foundation’s inaugural board chair is Brooklyn Brewery’s brewmaster, Garrett Oliver, author of The Brewmaster’s Table: Discovering the Pleasures of Real Beer with Real Food and editor of the 2011 volume of The Oxford Companion to Beer. In a Twitter thread announcing the formation of the foundation, Oliver, who is Black, notes that he was personally impacted by Jackson’s anti-racist legacy, writing, “Michael personally championed me; I did not get here all by myself. When people questioned my credentials, Michael personally stood them all down. Michael was not a person of color, and he was English, but he was also actively and profoundly anti-racist.”

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