Dues/Membership

Dues Averages

Guild dues/membership tiers are set by the board of directors and the structure can vary from state to state. We surveyed the nation’s guilds to provide the averages of different membership category dues across the nation.

These averages are not an exact science—no two guilds shape their membership dues structures exactly the same. Some guilds have a simple flat rate, others have a tier system and some charge a flat rate plus an amount per barrel. These numbers are based on our best division of the different structures.

Average Max Min
Brewery- flat $262 $600 $50
Brewery- per/bbls: 0-500 $278 $800 $80
Brewery- per/bbls: 500-1000 $415 $1,400 $100
Brewery- per/bbls: 1000-2k $550 $2,000 $195
Brewery- per/bbls: 2k-10k $890 $2,500 $195
Brewery- per/bbls: 10k+ $1,810 $12,000 $395
Brewery- per/bbls $0.208 $0.50 $0.10
Associate/Allied Trade $801 $10,000 $100
Wholesalers $1937 $10,000 $195
Brewery in Planning $225 $400 $100
Retailer $264 $1,000 $100
Festival $348 $500 $195
Homebrew Shop $225 $250 $200
Enthusiast $36 $75 $20

Last updated 1/2013

Note: Data was provided from 38 of the 51+ across the nation. Some guilds don’t charge dues, or haven’t established dues structures yet. Major outliers were removed to make the averages more accurate.

Membership

Core/Voting Members (Brewery)

Brewery Members

Most generally used bylaws definition: A brewing organization that brews common brands, names and formulas at a facility in the guild’s state in which it owns a majority interest. If there is more than one brewing organization involved in a brewing facility, the one holding a majority interest is eligible for regular membership. The member must hold a Federal Brewers notice. The brewery must qualify for the Federal Excise Tax exemption applicable to brewers producing no more than 6 million barrels of product a year. A contract brewer who does not own a majority interest in a brewing facility in the guild’s state is most often, but not always, ineligible for a Regular membership.

Associate/Allied Trade Members

Beer industry partners (wholesalers, retailers, non-voting breweries) who sponsor the guild/guild events in return for exposure, networking, advertising and increased business relations with breweries.

Most generally used bylaws definition: Tradesmen and suppliers doing business with the brewing industry or any individual, partnership or corporation in an allied industry or endeavor may be admitted as a non-voting Associate member. An Associate will pay minimum dues as set by the Board of Directors. The voting rights of an Associate shall be at the Board level only. An associate is eligible to be elected to the Board of Directors but may not serve as an officer of the Association.

Guild benefits of allied trade members:

  • A valuable supplier/vendor directory could be crafted with membership information and provided to brewery members as a benefit.
  • Breweries could organize co-operative supply purchasing of ingredients, tanks, glass, etc.
  • Suppliers could be given the option to pay to present product demonstrations at guild meetings. These funds could be used to put on more professional meetings.

Resources: Wisconsin Brewers Guild Associate Membership and California Craft Brewers Association Allied Trade

Wholesaler Membership

Benefits identified by Scott Graham, Michigan Brewers Guild. Benefits increase with the level of sponsorship (financial investment).

  • Listing/link on guild website.
  • Usage of guild logo for promoting local craft beer.
  • Discounts on guild merchandise.
  • Opportunity to advertise on guild website.
  • Discounted conference registration.
  • Complimentary festival tickets, and/or early entry.
  • Participation in process to identify retail accounts receiving complementary festival tickets.
  • Logo placement on festival programs.
  • Brewery hospitality sponsor at guild events.

Enthusiast Members

This membership tier allows craft beer enthusiasts to stay more connected to the developments of the organization. This can also be an excellent source of foundational funds as brewery members can contribute the benefits to these members.

There are no voting rights for enthusiast members, and they are not eligible to be elected to the board of directors. As of 2011, the Washington Brewers Guild had 1,740 active enthusiast members. What a great seed fund!

Perks for enthusiast members may include:

  • T-shirt
  • Newsletter
  • Pint of beer (caution: some states don’t permit this)
  • Pint glass
  • Early festival entry or VIP hour (it’s not recommended to offer festival tickets)
  • Discounts at breweries
  • VIP tours and tastings
  • Addition to a distribution list or forum
  • Members-only access to meeting minutes, issue voting and decision log
  • On-line platform for promoting events similar to the CraftBeer.com calendar
  • Notice of legislative alerts (similar to the Support Your Local Brewery program). You can also use this enthusiast member list as a grass roots network for legislative issues. They are your foot soldiers and will often make a call to their representative if needed.

Popular guild enthusiast programs:

Other Categories

  • Festival sponsors
  • Retail
  • Homebrew Clubs
  • Breweries in-planning