With a pavilion situated at the heart of the Great American Beer Festival floor, Support Your Local Brewery (SYLB) is growing its network of supporters. SYLB is a national, grassroots partnership of beer enthusiasts, professional trade associations, and brewers dedicated to protecting and promoting the legislative and regulatory interests of America’s small, traditional and independent craft breweries. At this pavilion, craft beer advocates are able to sign up to receive calls-to-action for issues affecting local breweries and their access to craft beer.
The Support Your Local Brewery Pavilion is co-located with the state guilds area to underscore the connection and shared values that individual beer drinkers/SYLB members have with their home state brewers. Guilds are involved in a variety of activities, from festivals and beer education aimed at advancing craft beer culture to promoting and protecting the interests of small brewers in state legislatures. This work is vital to ensuring that the greatest variety of high quality craft beer is always available in the marketplace to meet the demands of the craft beer drinker. In this way, guilds work not only on behalf of their brewery members, but also on behalf of beer drinkers and the greater craft beer community, just as SYLB members support their local breweries not only in the marketplace, but through actively participating in the guild’s activities and in advocating its goals. The SYLB-Guilds Pavilion celebrates this unique relationship.
Sixteen state craft brewers guilds are participating in the SYLB pavilion and are pouring beers from their local breweries. Brian Butenschoen, executive director of the Oregon Brewers Guild, values the opportunity to participate in the SYLB Pavilion each year.
“There are not many times you can get information out to 50,000 craft beer lovers about what your state’s breweries are doing,” Mr. Butenschoen explains. “It’s a huge marketing opportunity for us—it’s a chance for our brewers to talk about what brewers are doing in Oregon.”