The Washington Brewers Guild (WBG) recently announced the hire of Annie McGrath as the guild’s full-time executive director. Annie joins the WBG with a very strong political background and over a decade of experience working in the Washington State Legislature. Annie has also served as the membership services coordinator for the Washington Wine Institute—the state’s leading advocacy organization for winegrowers.
The Washington Brewers Guild is a non-profit organization 501(c)6, dedicated to protecting and promoting the interests of Washington craft brewers. Like all state brewers guilds, WBG is at the forefront in determining the future of craft beer. A full-time executive director gives these small nonprofits the best chance of success.
As the executive director, Annie will oversee the guild’s legislative and regulatory work, providing outreach and support for Washington’s 256 craft brewers. Washington ranks second, behind California, for number of breweries operating in the state. With the next state legislative session starting up in January, the WBG board will be taking a road trip, hosting regional meetings with members to get a pulse on their desires for the guild’s direction this coming year.
Annie says, “I’m excited to work with the highest caliber of brewers in the country to continue to grow the Washington craft beer industry, an industry that is not only delivering high quality and choice to beer lovers, but is also truly a bright spot on our state’s economy.”
Annie will also oversee the annual fundraisers, the Cask Beer Festival and the Winter Beer Festival, and work closely with the Washington Beer Commission to promote the state’s craft brewers. The 2015 Winter Fest will be held December 4-5 at Seattle’s Magnuson Park’s Hangar 30.
Heather McClung, WBG president and owner of Schooner EXACT Brewing Company, has been the guiding force behind the guild for many years now. She has been a tireless advocate for Washington’s small brewers both at the state and federal level. Needless to say, Heather is pleased to hand over the reins. Confident the guild is poised to be a powerhouse association in the capitol, Heather says, “Annie has the right mix of legislative and regulatory advocacy experience, association development and passion for our industry to build on WBG’s past successes in Olympia and provide critical outreach to breweries, young and old, across Washington.”
I called Annie to check in and introduce myself, and she was in the car, heading to Olympia to defend current tax rates for small brewers.
Join me in welcoming Annie to the state brewers guild community!
Find Annie’s and other guild leader’s contact information on the Find a Guild page.