How well do you know your Association? When someone asks what the Brewers Association (BA) does, what do you tell them?
The purpose of the BA is to promote and protect American craft brewers, their beer and the community of brewing enthusiasts. This is a rather abbreviated description of the trade body that works on behalf of independent brewers in the United States, but I admit that it can be difficult to communicate everything the BA does on behalf of the brewing community, whether it be with a colleague, brewery member, or media representative. It’s easy for our collective efforts to get distilled down to “puts on the GABF” or the definition. It takes some initiative to appreciate the full scope of projects the BA is engaged on. How would a busy brewer even start?
One way to better understand the BA is to start with the committees.
What Is a BA Committee and What Do They Do?
As a BA staffer, I can tell you that my colleagues and I execute projects and programs as identified by the Brewers Association Board of Directors. The Board of Directors is a group of BA members elected by their peers in the BA membership – that’s you! It is the board’s job to identify the priorities, initiatives, and efforts BA staff will work to carry out over the course of the year.
This is where committees come in. Committees in different areas of emphasis – like Events, Finance, Technical, Market Development, and more – aid BA staff by providing strategic guidance to execute the BA’s Annual Plan. These committees are chaired by board members. Thus, committees help board co-chairs identify priorities to discuss at the board level that may help shape future BA efforts.
Who Makes Up a Committee?
BA committees are made up of Brewers Association staffers, members of the Board of Directors, members with experience as guild officers, and members like you that have a desire to participate in their association and have expertise to share for the good of the craft brewing community. For example, members of the technical committees have backgrounds in brewery operations, engineering, sustainability, or brewing quality. Members of the Public Relations & Marketing Committee have years of experience in public relations, design, and marketing of their breweries, which they use to help drive ideas for the BA.
While committees are capped to ensure a useful working group size, there are often opportunities for committees to welcome new committee members. Do you or someone at your brewery have the desire and skills necessary to serve on one of the BA’s committees? If so, contact Marc Preo with any questions or to show interest in committee participation.
Better Know a BA Committee
BA committees help shape and strategize the priorities your association engages on. Through committees, new ideas are formed, and the effort of the many talented brewery and guild individuals can be carried directly to the board through its co-chairs. Additionally, committee work is a pre-requisite for service on the BA board, as it acquaints members more deeply on BA values and projects.
In the coming months, we hope to further share the purposes of individual committees, highlighting their own missions, important work they have accomplished or are working to accomplish, as well as introducing you to brewery members who serve on a committee. By doing so, it is our hope that you may have a more detailed understanding of how the Brewers Association works to promote and protect, and perhaps even more valuable, how you and your brewery can join the effort.