Historically, the craft brewing industry has not been the most welcoming place for the LGBTQIA+ community. Q Committee was started to a safe space for LGBTQIA+ co-owners, and to promote LGBTQIA+ advocacy in our community.
Q Committee has made recommendations for long- and short-term actionable items. These have ranged from small but significant recommendations like companywide use of pronouns in e-mail signatures and the year-round display of a Pride flag; to bigger-picture items like community outreach with local organizations on the forefront of LGBTQIA+ advocacy. In an attempt to increase Deschutes’ long-standing support of the LGBTQIA+ community, committee member Jake Harper and chair Doug Reynolds created Bubbles & Brunch, a Pride-themed beer-for-a-cause with Portland’s SMYRC as a beneficiary.
In the wake of George Floyd’s murder, Q Committee decided to divert attention away from Pride month and onto the plight of Black Americans, facilitating an intra-company fundraiser to purchase a BLM banner and produce "harm reduction backpacks" for at-risk youth.
Despite COVID-19, on June 30th co-owners observed Q Committee’s most cherished annual tradition: the retirement and replacement of last year’s Pride flag with a new, updated version. Doing so not at the beginning of Pride month, but at a time when so many others are coming down is an important symbol of Deschutes’ commitment to honor the LGBTQIA+ community year-round. (In 2020, the Pride flag was updated to the Philly Pride flag to express solidarity with BIPOC individuals in the LGBTQIA+ community.)
From the start, Q Committee's goal has been to help make Deschutes a more openly welcoming place for all our fans and co-owners, and to set an example for other breweries by standing as a beacon of inclusivity for LGBTQIA+ peoples.
We are crafted for community and committed to ensuring a safe and inclusive work environment for our co-owners. We believe that our community is stronger when everyone feels included and appreciated and we strive to learn, listen and improve, knowing together our unique perspectives and experiences will make a substantial positive impact on our business, industry, communities and individuals. Our co-owner-created Q Committee is a powerful example of this, leading the way on high impact projects including our Pride Beer and fundraising for Portland-area charities in 2020.