A Message From the CEO

Protecting & Promoting Breweries

Government Affairs

In an ever-evolving economic and regulatory landscape, the role of government affairs in trade association work has never been more crucial. As our industry confronts a myriad of challenges and opportunities, our Government Affairs team has been at the forefront of strategic engagement with policymakers, legislators, and state guild leaders.

At the heart of successful government affairs work lies the strength of relationships. The Brewers Association staff and members continued to nurture relationships with legislative champions and forge new ones with the 84 newly elected members of Congress, educating them about small and independent breweries and the legislative issues that impact our industry.

On July 25 and 26, 100 brewery representatives, guild leaders, and allied trade members visited Washington, D.C., for the Brewers Association’s 2023 Hill Climb. Topics of the day included the industry’s support for the United States Postal Service (USPS) Shipping Equity Act, appropriations requests for the Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau, hops and barley research, the brewing industry supply chain, and more.

Shipping Equity

The association continued to push for passage of the United States Postal Service (USPS) Shipping Equity Act (H.R. 3721), bipartisan legislation that would give the USPS the same ability as private carriers to ship alcohol in states where it is legal to do so. This legislation would benefit breweries, consumers, and the postal service. 

Petitions for Formula Exemptions

In November, the Brewers Association submitted a petition to the Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau (TTB) seeking exemption from formula requirements for specific ingredients used in the brewing of beer.

Since 2006, the Brewers Association has submitted four ingredient exemption petitions to the TTB, bringing the list of ingredients determined to be traditional, and therefore not subject to formula requirements, to 88. The association aims to add another 15 ingredients to the exempt list. The exemption of nearly 100 ingredients represents significant time and cost savings for both small brewers and TTB personnel, and importantly allows brewers to brew innovative beers on their schedules without unnecessary regulatory review delays.

Advocacy & State Support

Regular communication with state guild leaders allowed the Brewers Association and guilds to work effectively on shared goals and legislative priorities. 2023 saw progress in addressing several state-law policy changes in the areas of franchise modernization, self-distribution, and direct-to-consumer sales. Together with the guilds and other industry partners, the Brewers Association had considerable success opposing efforts to lower ready-to-drink spirits’ taxes and expand access for spirits-based ready-to-drink beverages, and in turning back proposed beer excise tax increases.

Industry Snapshot

Supporting Business Health

Educational Resources

Continuing education and business competency are fundamental values and primary sources of investment for the Brewers Association. Over the course of the year, our team and committee members generated practical, timely, and pertinent resources, ranging from concise one-pagers to comprehensive online courses. These resources aim to assist breweries in optimizing operations, enhancing safety and sustainability initiatives, and ultimately boosting overall profitability.

Online Training Center

In September, the Brewers Association launched a revamped and expanded online training center to support the professional development goals of brewery staff. The move to a new learning management platform provides learners with a more interactive and user-friendly experience, through which they can acquire certificates in essential brewery functions related to safety and quality. A new Beer Quality Management course was introduced in fall 2023, joining the popular Brewery Safety Training and Draught Line Training courses. Look for more courses to be offered in 2024.

Collab Hours

The Brewers Association hosted 23 online presentations throughout the year, with members participating in real time, or viewing replays on demand. Industry experts explored topics such as water conservation, hop-picking windows, leadership development, brewery yeast management, regional grain sourcing, and more.

Technical & Quality Resources

Collaborating with the Technical Committee and its subcommittees, the Brewers Association’s Technical team created a bevy of resources designed to elevate breweries’ quality, sustainability, and safety in brewing operations, while also addressing ongoing supply chain challenges.



Supply Chain



Through its annual Hopsource hop-evaluation event, the Brewers Association furthered its commitment to public hop research. The sixth annual gathering in Yakima gauged brewer interest in upcoming experimental public hop varieties. By bridging the gap between brewers and researchers, brewers can have an impact on new public hop varieties available to the industry.

Human Resources

Recognizing that many breweries do not have dedicated HR staff, the Brewers Association continued its push to provide practical tools for breweries to effectively hire, retain, train, and manage employees in the workplace. The association also continued partnerships with Zywave, myHRCounsel, Ethena, and Navigate360 to provide free and discounted HR resources for small breweries.

The 2023 Craft Brewers Conference brought the return of the THRIVE pre-conference workshop, a day-long experience covering topics in DEI, HR, and wellness, and the THRIVE education track in the main conference. In 2023, conference attendees were able to earn recertification credits for the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) by attending selected THRIVE seminars.

The New Brewer®

The most trusted guide to success in the brewing industry, The New Brewer published six issues in 2023, covering topics of import to small and independent brewers: raw materials, sales and marketing, technical brewing, industry statistics, business agility, and the growth of the “beyond beer” category.

Craft Brewers Conference® & BrewExpo America®

More than 12,000 industry professionals from around the world congregated at the 2023 Craft Brewers Conference® (CBC®) in Nashville in May. Attendees participated in nine different educational tracks during CBC and visited with hundreds of exhibitors that took part in BrewExpo America, the premier trade show for craft brewers.

Brewers Publications:

The Leader in Brewing Literature

Brewers Publications supports the mission of the Brewers Association by publishing books of enduring value for amateur and professional brewers. In 2023, Brewers Publications published two new titles, expanding its comprehensive library to 68 books. Among these, 61 titles are available in both paperback and e-book formats, while one is also available as an audiobook.

Crafting Brewery Culture: A Human Resources Guide for Small Breweries by Gary Nicholas

Crafting Brewery Culture is the first and only human resources book for the craft brewing industry. Authored by HR consultant Gary Nicholas, this guide underscores the critical role of employees in brewery operations, offering insights into recruiting, training, and fostering a positive and growth-centered culture. Included are templates for interviews, training plans, and performance assessments to empower breweries in building resilient teams for long-term success.

Brewery Safety: Principles, Processes, and People by Matt Stinchfield

Brewery Safety establishes industry safety standards, aiming to empower breweries of all sizes with strategies for preventing, controlling, and eliminating hazards. Authored by safety expert Matt Stinchfield, the book provides a toolkit for brewery staff to identify workplace hazards, fostering a culture that reduces incidents and prioritizes overall well-being, job satisfaction, and business success.

Investing in the Future of the Small and Independent Beverage Community

Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI)

The Brewers Association’s DEI efforts create opportunities for those who experience barriers to access or advancement in the craft beverage industries. 2023 was the Brewers Association Mentorship Program’s third year full of operation. Since its launch in 2021, the program has provided structured mentoring and advocacy through the generous contributions of more than 225 volunteer mentors to more than 190 participants who have experienced professional barriers to access and advancement.

Engagement and Philanthropy

The Brewers Association works to help small and independent beverage producers add value, health, and wealth to the lives of the people who are part of their organizations and the communities they serve. A dozen projects were awarded DEI Mini-Grants in 2023. Awards for 10 events, one media production, and one educational training initiative totaled over $50,000. Attendees of the 2023 Craft Brewers Conference packed 3,500 personal and household hygiene kits as part of the association’s community engagement project in partnership with Nashville’s Community Resource Center. The kits reached more than 10,000 middle Tennessee residents in need.


The 2023 Craft Brewers Conference® brought the return of the THRIVE pre-conference workshop, a day-long experience covering topics in DEI, HR, and wellness, and the THRIVE education track in the main conference. In 2023, conference attendees were able to earn recertification credits for the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) by attending selected THRIVE seminars.

Promoting Independent Craft Brewers

American Craft Beer Week® 

Since its founding, American Craft Beer Week has served as “The Official Start of Beer Season.” To help breweries start the season with a bang, the Brewers Association teamed up with Grandstand to create commemorative American Craft Beer Week glassware, which brewers offered to patrons during this annual rite of spring. Busy brewery marketers were supplied with ready-to-deploy creative assets (video, imagery, posters) to promote their participation in this weeklong tribute to American craft beer.


The association’s consumer-facing website continued to cover the wide world of beer and brewing, telling the stories behind America’s most dynamic and delicious industry. Writers from around the country contributed 28 features that explored topics ranging from keeping kosher in craft beer to recognizing the essential but sometimes overlooked role of cellar person.

Great American Beer Festival®

The ageless Great American Beer Festival, now in its fourth decade, continues to defy the actuarial tables for events of its size. In 2023, the event felt as fresh as ever, adding new attractions and broadening the available flavors to include cider, mead, and seltzer, as well as a non-alcohol pavilion that highlighted the vibrant NA space. Hundreds of breweries vied for hardware in the competition, proving that brewers are as dynamic as ever—and steadfast in their commitment to excellence.

World Beer Cup®

Held on the final day of the 2023 Craft Brewers Conference, the World Beer Cup® awards ceremony proved to be another massive showing for the global brewing movement. A total of 10,213 beers were entered from 2,376 breweries representing 51 countries. Entries were judged by 272 world-class judges from 26 countries.

Growing American Craft Globally

Global expansion of American craft beer was fueled by the Brewers Association’s Export Development Program in 2023, featuring a broad lineup of programming that worked to assist U.S. brewers in identifying opportunities for international expansion while growing awareness of U.S. beer products among international beer drinkers.

Trade shows and beer festivals showcased American craft beers in key markets including Italy, France, the UK, Sweden, and Korea. The EDP team and brewers traveled to forge buyer relationships, collect market intelligence, and collaborate with international brewers as part of trade missions surrounding event activity. The American Craft Beer Festival in Japan saw record attendance of 5,000 beer lovers at the EDP’s own consumer facing beer festival.

International competitions emphasized American beer excellence on the global stage and assisted brewers with gaining attention for their brands in select target markets. Across four competitions in Japan, Australia, and Europe, American craft brewers won 49 gold, 62 silver, and 76 bronze medals. The EDP aided U.S. brewery participation by covering entry fees and logistics costs.

On the publicity front, European media efforts resulted in more than 115 articles about American craft beer with a combined circulation of more than 6 million. Social media and campaign efforts in Japan and China also saw growth in viewership.

Domestically, the Craft Brewers Conference featured seminars on export opportunities in Southeast Asia, Europe, and Canada. The 2023 Great American Beer Festival hosted 30 international buyers from 14 countries who participated in meetings with U.S. brewers to discuss distribution opportunities.

2023 saw the expansion of EDP investment in retail promotions, where American craft beer products were featured in funded marketing and placement on e-commerce sites and in hundreds of grocery stores.

American Homebrewers Association

In 2023, the executive director of the American Homebrewers Association (AHA), Julia Herz, along with the Governing Committee, updated the organization’s mission statement to “protecting, uniting and educating homebrewers while empowering an equitable homebrewing culture, and showcasing the fun of fermenting.”

In addition, the AHA introduced Home Fermentation Day (Aug. 5) to its calendar of annual homebrew holidays that includes Big Brew (May 6) and Learn to Homebrew Day (Nov. 5). These celebrations are an opportunity for brewers and fermentation fans to share their passion and knowledge with friends, family, and community.

Zymurgy Live

In January, Zymurgy Live launched a monthly broadcast series featuring a guest speaker discussing fresh topics and homebrewing techniques. These live sessions are exclusively available to members.

Zymurgy® Magazine

Since 1979, Zymurgy has been an essential resource for homebrewing and fermentation enthusiasts. Six annual issues were packed with beer style insights, the latest news and trends, recipes from around the world, gadgets, jokes, and much more. More than 28,000 readers trust Zymurgy as their go-to brewing companion.

Homebrew Con™

The 45th annual Homebrew Con™ was held in San Diego from June 22-24. More than 1,400 homebrewers and fermentation enthusiasts from the U.S., Canada, China, France, Japan, Mexico, New Zealand, Norway, Sweden, and the United Kingdom attended educational sessions and social events.

National Homebrew Competition

At Homebrew Con’s awards ceremony on June 24, a total of 120 medals were awarded across 40 categories of beer, mead, and cider. Additionally, recognition awards were given to individuals, clubs, and a supply shop for their outstanding contributions to the homebrewing community. In total, the National Homebrew Competition—the world’s largest homebrew competition—evaluated 4,335 entries from 1,708 homebrewers. Those in attendance were photographed for the September/October cover of Zymurgy magazine.


REVENUE 2023 Actual 2022 Actual
Adver & Spons Revenue 3,413,383 3,413,897
Book/Merch Sales 662,002 699,112
Membership Revenue 4,268,747 4,354,518
Event Revenue 13,886,191 14,212,199
All Other Revenue 683,702 715,398
Total Revenue $22,914,025 $23,395,125
EXPENSE ITEMS 2023 Actual 2022 Actual
Gen Office/Admin Exp 797,015 764,532
Deprec & Amort 282,552 224,117
Salaries & Benefits 8,501,655 7,854,333
Insurance Exp 195,506 130,858
Legal Fees 34,255 109,201
Rent Expense 520,041 489,167
Event Operations 5,276,878 5,654,617
Marketing 542,306 621,607
Printing 366,070 373,271
Postage & Shipping 699,821 823,378
Cost Of Goods Sold 144,055 178,488
Travel 1,530,759 1,359,214
Outside Services 2,647,545 3,073,716
Donations/Grants 214,194 179,671
All Other Expenses 971,345 718,425
Total Expenses $22,723,997 $22,554,593
OPERATIONAL NET: $190,028 $840,532
Assets 12/31/23 12/31/22
Cash 8,264,684 7,876,731
Reserves 21,956,008 18,742,848
Accounts Rec. 793,519 1,362,493
Inventory 282,749 740,779
Prepaid Expenses/Other 1,517,074 1,312,671
Total Current Assets 32,814,034 30,035,522
Long-Term Assets 1,286,522 1,553,009
Fixed Assets 4,853,743 4,909,397
Total Assets $38,954,299 $36,497,928
Liabilities 12/31/23 12/31/22
Accounts Payable 198,860 367,048
Deferred Deposits 9,061,148 9,135,535
Other 1,456,043 1,011,791
Total Current Liabilities 10,716,051 10,514,374
Long-Term Liability 874,602 1,523,095
Retained Earnings 24,460,459 26,715,295
Current Yr. Earnings 2,903,187 (2,254,836)
Total Liabilities & Equity $38,954,299 $36,497,928

About Us

A Passionate Voice for Craft Brewers

The Brewers Association is a 501(c)(6) not-for-profit trade organization of brewers, for brewers, and by brewers. Our purpose is to promote and protect America’s small and independent craft brewers, their beers, and the community of brewing enthusiasts. 

The Brewers Association Board of Directors has several standing committees that work with members and staff to focus on specific areas to achieve association goals and further our core values and beliefs

2023 Industry Award Recipients

Each year since 1987, the Brewers Association has recognized individuals who inspire, defend, and innovate within the craft brewing industry. 2023 award recipients were honored for their dedication and service during a special ceremony at the Craft Brewers Conference in Nashville.

  • F.X. Matt Defense of the Industry Award: Ret. Representative Peter DeFazio
  • Russell Schehrer Award for Innovation in Craft Brewing: Ben Edmunds, Breakside Brewery (Portland, Ore.)
  • Brewers Association Recognition Award: Jessica and Richard Fierro, co-owners, Atrevida Beer Co. (Colorado Springs, Colo.)
  • Brewers Association Mentor of the Year Award: Julie Rhodes, owner, Not Your Hobby Marketing Solutions

“This year’s award recipients have set the bar high,” said Bob Pease, president and CEO, Brewers Association. “They have legislated millions of dollars of excise tax relief for small brewers, pushed the envelope of brewing innovation, inspired and mentored future leaders, and cultivated, supported, and defended underrepresented communities. In short, this year’s honorees have had an immeasurable impact on the craft beer community and beyond.”