Craft Brewers’ 2014 Charitable Donations Top $71M

Whenever I speak about what’s going on with small and independent craft breweries, one thing I’m always excited to emphasize is how charitable craft brewers are. I’m inspired to say it again and again: Craft brewers use their craft beer as a cause to support other causes.

I know I’m preaching to the choir here, but let’s take a moment to truly recognize craft brewers’ contributions. Not many other business communities can say they give throughout the year, week-in and week-out, to charities and non-profits. In fact, craft brewers are so generous that on CraftBeer.com, the Brewers Association beer enthusiast website, we have a hard time keeping up with our coverage of all the amazing causes that craft brewers contribute to.

Craft brewers give and give—and they give in a multitude of ways. Brewery spaces are commonly offered as gathering points for charity events, and (where allowable) craft beer is often donated to silent auctions, charity giveaways and fundraisers. Plus, craft brewers are personally present at many a fundraising event, providing a truly personal touch to their involvement. Most impressive are the craft beers that are branded, through label art or even the name of the beer itself, to bring awareness to many causes—including a wide variety of medical research and survivor funding, environmental and political causes, veterans’ organizations, and so much more.

From our Brewery Operations Benchmarking Survey (BOBS) we have seen the trends: Breweries across the U.S., per barrel and total dollar value, contribute an estimated $71 million. That’s right. Million.

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Those of us in the craft brewing community know that brewers already work long, hard hours—including weekends and weeknights (never mind the overnight brewing shifts). And we know that our mighty small brewers deliver jobs and a very sound tax base to communities in every nook and cranny of the U.S. I also want the world to know that craft brewers go above and beyond to help make the planet a better place by contributing time and time again to the charities that matter to them.

Why is it important for people to know this? It makes your business even more valuable to the community!

Consider publicly sharing the ways that your brewery contributes directly to local communities and towns: the number of jobs you provide; the number of tour visits you host; your charitable contributions and favorite non-profit causes; and any other tidbits that help tout what your small brewery business does to support a culture of generosity and create healthier, more vibrant communities.

Julia is craft beer program director at the Brewers Association and publisher of CraftBeer.com. She is a homebrewer, a BJCP beer judge, award-winning homebrewer, Certified Cicerone®, co-author of the CraftBeer.com Beer & Food Course. and co-author of Beer Pairing (Voyageur Press). In her role at the BA she serves as an educator and as a spokesperson for the association.

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