July 1 marks the departure of Tony Herbert after nearly seven years as executive director at the Montana Brewers Association (MBA).
Tony supported multiple sessions of legislation, including:
- 2009: Passed legislation increasing ABV for beer to 14%, up from a cap of 8.5%.
- 2011: Passed a bill allowing for growler sales in taverns, and failed on a bill to increase tap room hours to 10pm from 8pm.
- 2013: Fought off and defeated two bills introduced by the Montana Tavern Association to limit sales in tap rooms. These bill would have significantly harmed the MT brewing industry.
- 2015: Pushed for a bill to increase the small brewer barrel cap to 60,000, from 10,000, and to allow for adding retail licenses at breweries, but this bill failed.
Bob Pease, CEO of the Brewers Association sends his farewell with the highest regards for Tony, “I have had the pleasure of working with Tony for several years. During that time we have worked on both federal and state issues. No matter if we were in Washington, D.C. meeting with the Montana delegation or visiting a local brewery in Missoula, Tony was the consummate professional. Tony was, and I’m sure will remain, a tireless advocate for Montana’s craft brewing community.”
“No matter if we were in Washington, D.C. meeting with the Montana delegation or visiting a local brewery in Missoula, Tony was the consummate professional.”
When Tony started in 2008, there were 21 breweries in Montana. Now there are 51 operating, with at least four more opening before then end of the year. At the end of 2014, the state also ranked 4th in the country in breweries per 100,000 21+ adults.
MBA is pleased to announce that Matt Leow will be taking on the role as executive director after Tony departs. Matt brings nearly 15 years of Montana organizing and campaign experience, and is excited to be joining the team.
Matt is senior consultant at M+R, a policy campaign firm with offices in Helena and Missoula. MBA is contracting with M+R to have Matt serve as executive director and to provide additional staff support. Over 16 years in Montana, M+R has developed and staged successful local, state and national policy campaigns for large and small nonprofit organizations and government entities.
Matt has worked as a fundraiser, organizer, lobbyist and executive director, and he understands how to bring together the varied resources of an organization to run effective campaigns. Jason Goeltz, general manager at Bitter Root Brewing and president of the Montana Brewers Association states, “With Matt’s background in nonprofit administration, organizing and policy campaigns, coupled with the collective talents of M+R’s five other Montana staff, MBA is well-positioned to build on the successes of our past seven years.”