Lovibond Project provides minorities with internship in NYC craft beer industry
Members of New York City's craft beer scene are hoping to give it an infusion of diversity with The Lovibond Project - an internship program designed to help get minorities a foot in the door with the industry.
The idea was originally conceived by Chris Inniss, who says he would go to local craft beer events and meetings, but noticed that not many other people looked like him.
"Breweries have a lot to offer for the community," Inniss tells News 12. "On the one hand, it is about making sure that we diversity for others, but I also think that for us, for Black folks, for people of color, there's a lot to be gained."
So, after talking to other members of the New York City Brewers Guild, the internship started to take shape.
The board had to wait through the pandemic, raise money and write a curriculum, but this fall, they welcomed Travis Cameron, a 32-year-old restaurant worker from Cypress Hills, as their very first intern.
Over eight weeks, Cameron was paid as he learned every part of the business at Other Half Brewing.
"It's been mind blowing," Cameron said. "There are some parts I thought I'd love more. I thought I'd love parts of the production - you know, the brewing process of it more than learning about sales, or learning about how design worked, and I've come to love so much more of it than I knew I could love."
The internship wraps up with a party at Other Half's Centre Street taproom in Gowanus, featuring the release of Cameron's final project - his own beer, a brown ale called "First Love."
"Just seeing the artwork for it makes me feel like wow, we really made it through the eight week program, and I'm glad that we call it first love, because it kinda plays on this first experience, and that's really special," said Cameron.
While he might be the first, he says he hopes he won't be the last to get an experience like this, agreeing that the craft beer industry can be a huge resource to people in his circle.
As for Inniss, he says "I've seen so much growth from (Cameron), I feel like I've grown, so I think about taking up space - and that's ultimately what the goal is here."
The Lovibond Project is hoping to have a second intern this spring. You can apply, or donate on its website.