Brewers Association Announces Retirement of President & CEO Bob Pease

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Pease to retire in 2025 after 32 years

Boulder, Colo. • July 10, 2024The Brewers Association (BA)—the not-for-profit trade association dedicated to advocating for small and independent American craft brewers—today announced the retirement of president and CEO Bob Pease. After 32 years with the Brewers Association, Pease will step down in early 2025 once his successor is in place.

“After careful consideration, I believe it is time to help this great association transition to new leadership and for me to move on to new endeavors,” reflected Pease. “Over the last three decades, I have witnessed the Brewers Association grow from a small, narrowly focused association to one that is now a power player on important issues facing the industry domestically and internationally. Throughout my time at the helm of the Brewers Association, we have helped our members navigate explosive growth and unprecedented challenges. In doing so, we have put the BA on the map as a political force. Representing this iconic community, its brands, and the incredible people who embody passion in their craft has been an absolute honor. I look forward to seeing continued success in the industry.”

Pease joined the Brewers Association in 1993 as a customer service manager and worked his way up to operations director. He was promoted to vice president in 1999, COO in 2010, and CEO in 2014. During his tenure, he turned around and solidified the organization’s financial standing, from debt servicing to over $23 million in reserves.

In 2004, Pease established the association’s export development program, building it from the ground up and helping grow the global craft beer revolution for nearly two decades. Since the program’s inception, U.S. craft beer exports have increased from approximately 16,000 barrels to over 230,000 barrels and from $3,000,000 to over $71,000,000.

In 2007, Pease worked with members of Congress to create the House and Senate Small Brewers Caucus—which has grown to become one of the largest member caucuses in Congress.

Pease played a key role in devising and executing the strategy to provide federal excise tax relief to craft brewers through the Craft Beverage Modernization and Tax Reform Act (CBMTRA), which was enacted in 2017 and made permanent in 2020. Among other things, he forged strong relationships with members of Congress and staff on both sides of the aisle, which continues to pay dividends.

“While I am proud of all that we have accomplished, I am particularly proud of the historic excise tax cut that empowered brewers to reinvest in their businesses and resulted in an annual tax savings of more than $80 million. Making the federal excise tax cuts permanent was a two-decades-long effort that finally gained traction when all the leading trade groups, guilds, and member breweries banded together,” said Pease.

In 2017, Pease and the association’s Public Relations and Marketing Committee and staff launched the independent craft brewer seal. To date, nearly 5,000 breweries have adopted this mark, which helps consumers differentiate beer made by small and independent craft brewers.

Many small breweries, brewpubs, and taprooms were devastated by the economic fallout from the pandemic. Bob and his team worked tirelessly to ensure the brewing community was included in federal regulation and relief programs.

“Bob has been an unwavering advocate for small and independent brewers, and his accomplishments will leave a lasting impact on us all,” said Leah Cheston, owner of Right Proper Brewing Company and chairperson of the Brewers Association Board of Directors. “He spearheaded the organization during a critical time for the industry, growing the craft beer market share to 13% and supplying countless tools to help the craft brewing community thrive, from professional resources and tax savings, to hosting world-class events.”

In 2015 and 2020, Brewbound named Pease the “Beer Industry Person of the Year,” and since 2018, The Hill has consistently named Pease one of the top lobbyists in Washington, D.C.

“We thank Bob for his steadfast leadership and look forward to partnering with him to ensure a smooth transition and search for his successor,” said Cheston.

The board has retained Kittleman & Associates to lead the search for Pease’s replacement.

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About the Brewers Association

The Brewers Association (BA) is the not-for-profit trade association dedicated to small and independent American brewers, their beers, and the community of brewing enthusiasts. The BA represents 5,600-plus U.S. breweries. The BA’s independent craft brewer seal is a widely adopted symbol that differentiates beers by small and independent craft brewers. The Brewers Association organizes events, including the World Beer Cup®Great American Beer Festival®Craft Brewers Conference® & BrewExpo America®National Homebrew Competition, and American Craft Beer Week®. The BA publishes The New Brewer® and Zymurgy® magazines, and Brewers Publications® is the leading publisher of brewing literature in the U.S. Beer lovers are invited to learn more about the dynamic world of craft beer at® and about homebrewing via the American Homebrewers Association®. Follow us on Facebook, Instagram, and LinkedIn.

The Brewers Association is an equal opportunity employer and does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, gender, religion, age, disability, political beliefs, sexual orientation, or marital/familial status. The BA complies with provisions of Executive Order 13672 and the rules, regulations, and relevant orders of the Secretary of Labor.

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