In mid-November, Melissa Corbin became the first full-time executive director of the Vermont Brewers Association (VBA)–the craft brewery nonprofit membership organization based in Burlington. The VBA was founded in 1996 to promote and strengthen the culture of craft brewing in Vermont through marketing, educating and advocating for Vermont made beer.
The state is home to a thriving brewing community, consistently ranking first in breweries per capita. A study conducted by Kavet, Rockler & Associates reported that in 2014 the industry supported 1,576 jobs and had an overall economic impact valued at $198.6 million.
Under Melissa’s direction, the Vermont Brewers Association will continue to develop and implement a strategic plan, enhance the visibility of the organization and its members and ensure that the needs of the craft beer professionals in Vermont are supported and addressed. Specifically, Melissa’s initial projects will include establishing an office in Burlington, promoting the VBA’s recent economic impact study and synchronizing the VBA’s branding with its signature fundraising festival, Vermont Brewers Fest.
I look forward to working with Melissa and VBA guild president, Sean Lawson, owner at Lawson’s Finest Liquids, to champion Vermont’s talented craft breweries.