In 2014, the Brewers Association (BA) Board of Directors published six strategic objectives, the first being “Promote access to raw materials and markets.” Subsequently, during a July 2015 strategic planning summit, the BA technical committee envisioned a staff position focused on interacting with key supply chain organizations (primarily hops and malt, but also glass, cans and kegs).
In accordance with these key objectives, the BA’s Chris Swersey has taken on the role of supply chain specialist. Chris has had significant exposure with supply chain stakeholders including the Hop Research Council, National Barley Improvement Committee, American Malting Barley Association, National Barley Growers Association and the Brewing and Malting Barley Research Institute. In this new position, Chris will be a watchful eye on the end-to-end supply chain and will administer Brewers Association technical grants which fund ingredient-related research projects such as development of barley and hop varieties best suited to all-malt beer production, grower best practices to lower input costs and improve supply chain sustainability and many others.
Chris will continue to serve as competition manager for World Beer CupSM and Great American Beer Festival®, as he has since 2002. Chuck Skypeck will move to the role of technical brewing projects manager and will supervise a technical brewing projects coordinator who will replace him in that role.
“I’m very excited to take on the new position of supply chain specialist at the BA,” Chris said. “Over the past six years in my role as technical brewing projects manager, I’ve truly enjoyed getting to know hop and malting barley industry stakeholders, especially growers and processors, as part of many other responsibilities. Now, I’m looking forward to focusing my efforts on the hop and malt supplies our members require to brew the best beer anywhere.”