The Year of Independent Craft Beer

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The collective beer portfolio of independent U.S. craft breweries is the most diverse, broad, robust, and extensive beer collection in the world.

Let’s think about that statement for a second. Collectively, indie craft breweries have hundreds of thousands of different beer brands. To that end, our 2019 campaign efforts to promote independent craft have been extensive and robust as well. Make no mistake about it: we are striving to put your beers, breweries, taprooms, and brewpubs front and center, and we’re in it for the long haul.

I’m pleased to share that our 2019 campaign efforts garnered more than 123 million impressions via Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and Pandora Radio. Here’s a sample of the assets promoting independent craft breweries.

That’s Independence You’re Tasting

These videos take a proud and positive tone, focusing on independence and choice—both key tenets of craft brewing culture—to tell the story of the country’s thousands of independent craft breweries. You are a community of hard-working men and women—entrepreneurs, innovators, collaborators, risk takers, and underdogs who advance the beverage of beer.

Seek The Seal

These videos showcase the values and community-based experiences that attract beer lovers to craft brewery taprooms.

National Independent Beer Run Day (July 3, 2019)

This campaign featured multiple videos. The “Don’t Forget” series portrayed beer-loving characters who had forgotten important Fourth of July supplies (meat for BBQ, sunscreen, fireworks). But hey…at least they remembered the independent craft beer! These videos were centric to driving people to their local brewery taproom, brewpub, and favorite beer store to purchase indie craft beer. More than 1,000 breweries re-shared or created custom social media.

“Longest Cheers” was an audacious and authentic four-hour event shot inside a brewery. Our charismatic host personally named every single U.S. craft brewery in alphabetical order, without taking a break.

The organically shared video “Beer Run” had great success showcasing the fun ways in which people could make a beer run to stock up for the big holiday weekend.

Our Efforts are Working

  • 60 percent of the craft consumers who have seen the seal on a package say they have purchased craft beer with the seal (The Harris Poll/Nielsen, May 16-23, 2019).
  • 53 percent of beer lovers say that independent ownership is important when purchasing a beer, and 48 percent had seen the independent craft brewer seal (Sterling Rice Group AAU, January 2019).
  • To date, 4,600+ craft breweries have adopted the independent craft brewer seal, including 89 percent of the Top 100 U.S. craft breweries.
  • Almost 1,000 entities have signed up for the ‘Supporter’ Seal (see SupportIndependentBeer.com).
  • 100 percent of the breweries in Delaware have adopted the seal, marking our first 100-percent seal state. Go Delaware!
  • Since September 2018, more than 1.5 million people have unlocked Level 1 of the indie craft beer badge in Untappd and more than 70 million independent craft beers have been checked in as part of the badge campaign.
  • Beer media outlets like Craft Beer & Brewing, BeerAdvocate, Tavour, TapHunter, and BreweryDB continue to showcase the independent craft brewer seal.
  • State brewers guilds continue to champion the seal.
  • Retailer support continues to gain ground. One retailer shared this example of success: “In 2018, domestic and national brands represented 59 percent of beer sales for the month of July. In 2019, the scales tipped heavily, and independent craft beer made up 56 percent of our beer sales for the month of July. Overall, our beer category grew 2 percent year over year, with our profitability increasing by 4 percent!” What a great example of what indie craft can do.
  • Google searches for “Independent Beer” spiked during the week of National Independent Beer Run Day:

Here’s How You Can Help!

Momentum continues to grow and 2020 is poised to be our most impactful year yet. We plan to make 2020 the year of independent craft beer, and we need your help:

  1. Be sure to sign up to get the seal art and assets at SupportIndependentBeer.com.
  2. Add the seal to your brewery’s front door. Email seal@brewersassociation.org for a sticker or a metal tacker while supplies last.
  3. Add the seal directly onto your beer packaging and into your brewery marketing and advertising.
  4. Spread the word in your own unique way by tagging #SeekTheSeal and showcasing where your brewery features the seal.
  5. Stay tuned in 2020 for our prompts to engage with our collective efforts. After all, there is power in numbers.

Here’s to looking forward to 2020 and to furthering top-of-mind awareness and demand for your delicious, rewarding, and satisfying independent craft beers.