Out of the almost 450 craft breweries throughout New York State, only three of them are Black-owned. Sloop Brewing Company, in East Fishkill, is looking to change that.

The brewery recently announced the launch of its Open Waters Internship Program. Brewer Mariquita Reese says the program acknowledges the lack of diversity in the brewing world and has been created to help train and educate people about beermaking who had previously felt excluded. Reese says Sloop came up with the idea "to show that anyone can have a productive and fulfilling career in our industry."

Head brewer and co-founder Justin Taylor says the idea for the internship was born years ago when Sloop was still brewing beer in a Poughkeepsie garage. “‘Open Waters’ has been part of our motto since the beginning, and we’re committed to making craft beer a truly open and inclusive industry"

The Open Waters Internship is open to anyone over the age of 21. Applicants aren't required to have any previous brewing experience or knowledge. If chosen, they will work at least 20 hours a week over a three month period. Adam Watson, the president and co-founder of Sloop says he hopes to expand the program even more in the future.

We’re starting with a paid, part-time internship focusing on brewing, but we hope to be able to expand it down the line to cover all aspects of the craft beverage industry, not just brewing -- and we hope it’s the sort of program that other breweries see value in and start up as well.

Those interested have until November 1 to register in time for the first internship period starting in January. Applications can be filled out online or by contacting the brewery directly.

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