Throughout history, equality has been something that people yearn for, fight for, and even die for. Even now, despite the progress over the last century in individual rights, our country has communities and peoples who struggle to be recognized and be given the most basic rights. And despite the headway made in gaining not only acceptance but also respect and equal rights, the LGBTQ population in America is often met with intense hate and discrimination.
“It’s easy to see the progress of the LGBTQ movement—the great strides that our country has made with LGBTQ rights—and to think that our work here is done,” says Emma Quinn, Events and Marketing Manager at Port City Brewing. “Even though the communities I have been a part of have welcomed the LGBTQ community with love and acceptance, that isn’t always the norm. There are still many areas of this country and in the world where being gay is not accepted and not safe. Until LGBTQ rights are treated as basic human rights in all corners of the world, working with the LGBTQ community should be important for all of us.”
An employee of Port City Brewing Co. since 2014, Quinn quickly proved her worth and became the company’s first office manager before moving full-time into events and marketing in 2016 as the Social Media and Events Manager. In 2018, she became the Events and Marketing Manager. “My work involves a lot of virtual events and an emphasis on our digital marketing strategies,” explains 30-year-old Quinn. “In the pre-pandemic days, I would work with Sales, in the tasting room and with community partners to plan dozens of events each month. I also manage our digital marketing and our Festival/Competition Participation.”
A strong voice for the LGBTQ community, Quinn has found great support for the cause at Port City. “Every year, Port City stands in solidarity and celebrates with our LGBTQ friends and allies for Pride Month,” she says. “These big events and proclamations of support have created a safe space at Port City for the LGBTQ community, and our commitment to positive change and support of the LGBTQ community is something we strive for daily.”
Having businesses stand in support of the LGBTQ community is an important part of gaining equal rights, and Quinn encourages more of them to come forward. “Some businesses might think that being supportive of the LGBTQ community goes without saying, but I feel that support must be stated loudly and proudly so that there is no question of their commitment to being strong allies,” she asserts. “The assurance and statement that Port City is a safe and welcoming place is a clear sign to the LGBTQ community that Port City is a proud and supportive ally.”
Named one of the Alexandria Chamber of Commerce’s “40 Under 40” Honorees for their Class of 2020, Quinn’s leadership was recognized when Port City received the 2020 AGLA Business Equality Award for Commitment to LGBTQ+ Equality by AGLA, an organization dedicated to serving the LGBTQ community of Northern Virginia. “Receiving this award for Port City Brewing Co. was one of my proudest moments,” says Quinn. “Working with AGLA and seeing what they do in our community for the past few years has been inspiring. We at Port City wanted to work with LGBTQ community leaders for our Pride Events so that we knew our fundraising and donation were going to support the local LGBTQ community directly. Though 2020 was a tough year for most, especially non-profits like AGLA, we were able to continue our Pride Month tradition and host a virtual event and fundraiser to make our annual donation to their organization. Even in the midst of the pandemic, we were able to show our support.”
You can visit Emma and the rest of the Port City team at Port City Brewing Co. at 3950 Wheeler Avenue, Alexandria, VA 22304. Outdoor seating is currently available by reservation. To schedule your visit to the award-winning brewery, call (703) 797-2739 or visit