The initiative, Talent on Tap, aims to support the growth and development of future beer industry leaders
February 22, 2021
City Brew Tours (CBT), an award-winning curator of craft beer tours and experiences in North America, has awarded its 2021 Talent on Tap Scholarships to three women who are devoted to furthering their beer education. The Talent on Tap Scholarship program was created to support women of color from unique backgrounds who have a desire to make a lasting impact in the beer industry.
Naomi Waltengus, of Washington, D.C., described fond memories of their grandmother making tej — Ethiopian honey wine often brewed using hops. Much like those fond memories, Naomi aims to create a beer scene that is fun and accessible to all.
In their application, Naomi expressed a desire to share their passion for beer. “As much as my interest is motivated by my love of beer,” they said, “it’s also rooted in my investment in sharing this love with others.”
Naomi plans to use their portion of the scholarship toward the Prud’homme Beer Certification course.
Razia Gonzalez, of Charlotte, NC, currently works at Pilot Brewing and plans to one day open her own brewery. In her application, Razia talked about both the diversity and the accessibility of craft beer. “My perspective on being a caregiver to someone wheelchair bound and also having a parent who is deaf provides me with firsthand experience on how limiting spaces can be for craft beer lovers with disabilities. We can do better for them.”
She continued, “As a Hispanic woman with a father who learned English as a second language, I can speak to the limitations we experience in opportunities, the difficulties we face with language barriers, and the intolerance we’ve endured as a result of immigration policies and politics.”
Gloria Rakowsky, of Syracuse, NY, has already spent over a decade in the beer industry. Whether as a beer writer, brand ambassador, beertender or sales rep, Gloria found her passion in craft beer and it has enriched her life ever since.
Gloria has already shown her dedication to enriching the community of craft beer. In 2013 she founded the Syracuse Women of Craft Beer, aimed at creating a group where women can come together over their shared love of beer. Their motto – Drink, Share, and Educate – is a perfect representation of that spirit.
In her application, Gloria shared her perspective on what stories are not being told in the beer industry: “What has not been told are the stories of struggle that minorities or BIPOC face in a variety of situations — from entering a predominantly white setting and ordering a beer to being one of the very few BIPOC at a craft beer conference. While the majority may or may not notice these things, the continuing lack of diversity is certainly not a new story, but important nonetheless.”
Gloria plans to use her portion of the scholarship toward the Certified Cicerone® Exam.
The scholarship committee would like to thank all of this year’s applicants for taking the time to create thoughtful, passionate applications. All qualified applicants to the program also receive ongoing support and development opportunities. The annual Talent on Tap Scholarship will begin accepting applications for its 2022 cycle in the fall of this year.
About City Brew Tours
Founded in 2008 by Chad Brodsky, City Brew Tours offers unforgettable all-inclusive tours and beer-focused experiences in some of the best beer cities throughout North America. With over a decade of experience, City Brew Tours has created the ultimate craft beer experience that blends history, beer knowledge, transportation, and great food with unrivaled access to an area’s top breweries and their beer.
Please contact Taylor McCune if you have any questions or need assistance.