LAS VEGAS (KLAS) — The craft beer industry is known as a male-dominated field and women, especially women of color, face extra barriers. But there’s a non-profit named Lifting Lucy that’s working to support women of color in the beer industry. 

“Our mission is to support all women of color in the craft beer industry when it comes to attending industry events and educational opportunities,” Lifting Lucy co-founder Ashlie Randolph said.

The non-profit is getting its own glass topped off. It’s been picked by Athletic Brewing Company to receive some of the proceeds from the Black History Month brew, Soul Sour. 

Lifting Lucy will receive some of the proceeds from the sales of Soul Sour beer. (KLAS)

It’s being recognized for its work in helping women of color get into brewing. The non-profit has lent a helping hand to North 5th Brewing Company which is North Las Vegas’ first — and only — craft brewery.

Randolph said it was an easy decision to chip in. 

Amanda Payan opened North 5th Brewing Co. with her brother, Matthew, in 2021. (KLAS)

Amanda Payan and her brother, Matthew, two Hispanic beer enthusiasts, opened up North 5th Brewing Co. at the end of 2021. It’s an intimate taproom with a front-row seat to the brewing area.  In 2022, Lifting Lucy gave them the grant to submit their beer to the Great American Beer Festival. Even though they didn’t win, Payan said getting feedback from the judges on a national level was “priceless.”

Still, Payan said she’s encountered bias. 

“A lot of sales reps that come in will feel more comfortable talking to my brother than me or they’ll say things like “Oh is the head brewer here? Maybe he can help me and I’m like, “Hey dude, I’m the one who makes decisions, who signs the check,” Payan said.

There are 8,940 craft breweries in the U.S. According to a 2021 study from the Brewers Association, 93% of breweries are under white ownership. Only 3% are fully owned by women. It’s even less for people of color; 2.2% are Hispanic-owned, 2% are Asian-owned, 0.4% are Black-owned, and 0.4% are Native American owned.

Lifting Lucy works to break down financial, educational, or societal barriers women of color may face. Randolph said they will use the proceeds from Athletic Brewing Co. to further their mission. 

“We want to remove that doubt for any woman of color in the industry and take care of that,” Randolph said. “Let them focus on learning and enjoying the community.”

Lifting Lucy will host its first “House of Lucy” in May. They’ll cover lodging for up to nine women of color to attend this year’s Craft Brewers Conference in Nashville.