Change in the Air Festival

Change is Brewin’:

CT’s Biggest in Brewing Industry Brings Beer Festival To New Haven


New Haven, CT, October 23, 2021 – Everyone loves beer. However the craft beer industry needs help creating welcoming, equitable and inclusive spaces for that to be understood. While the beer community is vast and diverse, less than 1% of craft breweries are Black owned, and less than 2% of brewing positions are fulfilled by African Americans.


On any given day in the U.S., “having a beer” has always been an invitation to foster new relationships and revisit old ones. In that same spirit, New England Brewing Co , The Connecticut Brewer’s Guild, and Sacred Heart’s Brewing Science Program, in partnership with Two Roads Brewing and several other local breweries, business owners and artists from the community, extend the same gesture as they host the first Change In The Air (CiTA) Festival, in New Haven, CT, Saturday, October 23rd, from Noon – 5pm!


Bears Smokehouse BBQ & Brewery’s “Stack” on 470 James Street, New Haven will be where “the craft” meets “the culture”! Featured are the best of Connecticut’s Black entrepreneurs and artisans alongside an amazing line-up of Connecticut’s finest breweries!


Daym Drops (of Netflix’s “Fresh, Fried, and Crispy”) will be the MC for the evening bringing high energy and clever quips, while DJ Dooley-O and DJ Rawles keep the good vibes spinning on the 1’s and 2’s. Hartford’s poet laureate, author and activist, Frederick Douglass Knowles II will open with spoken word before hometown favorite, Timmy Maia performs live music, rocking the Festival from start to finish.


Attendees have the chance to shop with a wide variety of local black and brown owned businesses and immerse in the live art created by some of CT best. 2 oz. beer samples from over 20+ breweries are also included with your $35 admission. Local restaurants in attendance will be offering everything from Vegan to West Indian Cuisine.

The Party doesn’t stop at feeling good. When it comes to inclusion and equity, the organizers are not just talking about it, they’re putting their money where their mouth is. There is no equity without access to resources, and education is the greatest resource of them all! In addition to uplifting community artisans and entrepreneurs, Change in The Air Fest will also diversify the industry. 100% of the proceeds from CiTA fest contribute to the CT Brewer’s Guild’s commitment of raising $50K a year over the next five years, for a scholarship to Sacred Heart University’s Brewing Science Certificate Program. This provides full tuition for one African American student to go through the program every year, in perpetuity! $40,000 has been raised to date, and with the help of NEBCO, Two Roads Brewing Company and Athletic Brewing, four students are attending the program tuition-free this year!


“When we talk about wanting to diversify who is brewing craft beer, we at the same time, need to talk about diversifying who is drinking craft beer. This scholarship and festival are just some of the first steps to making what we talk about a reality.” says Jamal Robison, Director of Sales and Marketing at New England Brewing Co., chairman of the scholarship committee and New England Brewing Company’s Equality Committee.


Change in The Air Festival is bigger than offering a seat at our table. It’s creating space for more people to build more tables with hopes that everyone feels welcome. The goal is to promote proper representation and engagement from all demographics within the craft beer industry, and encourage impactful conversations around community inclusion over delicious brews.


Learn more about Change in the Air Festival and how you can participate at Tickets can be found on sale at and EventBrite.