With Pride in London taking place this weekend, official pride celebrations are coming to an end for another year. But, that's no reason not to be proud all year long. In support of pride we are now stocking PROUD Beer’s LGBTQIPA. 20p from every sale of PROUD beer goes to supporting their charity partners; Diversity Role Models, The LGBT Foundation and the Terrence Higgins Trust. We sat down with one of the founders, Ethan Spipey, to hear all about the amazing work he and his parter (yes in life and business!) Soren Scharf do, and the delicious beer they make.
Here at 31DOVER like to kick things off with a thinker! If you could send a bottle of PROUD to anyone living or dead, who would it be and why?
Marsha P Johnson. 100%. She is one of our community’s greatest champions and played a crucial role in those fateful uprisings 50 years ago which gave rise to much of the LGBT liberation movement we now know. We forget as an LGBTQ+ community who we owe our rights and privileges to, and she as a woman of colour and a trans activist is one of the heroes to which we owe so much.
There are so many ways to celebrate and uplift the queer community, why beer?
Why not? There are loads of stereotypes wrapped up in beer and we wanted to break them down and use beer to spread our message. Beer brings people together, it’s social, so it seemed like the perfect way to start our queer beer revolution.
You started PROUD with your partner, what’s it really like working with a significant other?
Well, not to pedal stereotypes myself but he’s german, so it’s an absolute dream. Things are properly planned and logistics seem a breeze! But seriously, it’s been challenging at times but more rewarding than we could have imagined. It’s important to separate business and pleasure (so to speak) and even more important to do that when you share a bed with your business partner!
We know how much fun it can be working in drinks, can you tell us about how you found the PROUD signature taste?
Through a lot of tasting! We didn’t have any funding or backing when we started PROUD so we essentially sat down with my dad in the garden and tasted about 40 or so beers. As you can imagine, it was quite the afternoon, but we all agreed we wanted PROUD to be accessible, slightly crafty and light, and it’s exactly what we found.
It’s made with proper Yorkshire water, some local malt, New World Hops and some wheat (yes…sorry it’s a carb!) - we like to refer to ourselves as an LGBTQIPA.
Since it’s London Pride, we have to know how the people of PROUD will be celebrating.
We’re of course hugely excited for the weekend and we are holding a couple of events with partners who have supported us over the last year or so. But we’re also keen to highlight that our core belief is that we’re PROUD outside of Pride. Let’s be honest, being LGBTQ with rising attacks against our siblings and people questioning our very existence on national media platforms isn’t a bed of roses. So we’re keen to shout about the work we do all year round, because Pride, rightly, shouldn’t become a party, it’s a protest against the injustices that still exist here in the UK and for our siblings around the world.
Apart from buying PROUD, what can we all do to celebrate our pride all year round?
By supporting the vital issues that our community faces. If you really care about the LGBTQ community, then get involved with organisations supporting mental health of LGBTQ people, as we know LGBTQ people are disproportionately impacted by mental health concerns. Get involved with the LGBTQ homelessness charity, the Albert Kennedy Trust, as one in three homeless people in the UK are LGBTQ. It’s crucial to get stuck into the issues, tackle the injustices that still exist, every single day of the year.
And finally, if you had to pick one drink (and it can’t be made by you!) to have for the rest of your life, what would it be?
Would it be too boring to say coffee? I loooooooove coffee. But as we’re talking drink, red wine. It’d probably have to be a nice full bodied bottle of red surrounded by friends enjoying good food!