Brewers Guild of Alaska Names New Executive Director

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Brewers Guild of Alaska (BGA) recently announced the hire of their new executive director, Ryan Makinster. Ryan is the 31st director of the 51 total state (and D.C.) brewers guilds.

BGA is a non-profit trade association founded in 2000 by Alaska craft brewers to promote the craft beer and brewing industry through consumer education, community events and legislative advocacy. The guild also provides a strong networking base for local brewers and their suppliers, retailers and others interested in understanding its members’ contribution to our state.

A guild director’s primary responsibilities include member relations, industry education and advocacy, event management, communications, membership development, government relations and managing the day-to-day operations of the organization. Hiring a guild director is the single most best practice of running association–a volunteer board of busy brewery owners is often the way associations start, but is definitely not a sustainable organizational model.

Ryan Makinster brings more than 16 years of non-profit administration, public relations, communications and government relations experience to the BGA. Prior to joining BGA, Makinster served as chief of staff to State Representative Mia Costello. He has also worked as communications and events director for the Alaska Chamber and communications director for the Anchorage Economic Development Corporation. Before that, he spent 5 years as a legislative aide in the Alaska House of Representatives and Senate.

“This is a great opportunity to represent a growing industry in the state that has exploded in recent years.  Not only is this exponential growth good for our members, it also adds to the unique character and quality of life in Alaska. I believe this is an important component in AEDC’s Live.Work.Play. initiative that can be expanded statewide,” says Makinster.

BGA Board President Rick Armstrong is excited to solidify the organization and move the Alaska craft brewing industry forward.

Strong state guilds across the nation are imperative in order to promote and protect the small brewer interests in each state, and to unify the larger community of the nation’s brewers. If you find that important opportunities are slipping by, meetings are no longer being held, or administrative tasks are being neglected within your association, perhaps it’s time to discuss the hiring of paid staff support.

Contact Information:

Ryan Makinster, Brewers Guild of Alaska

(907) 250-9549