2023 Grant Allocation Announcements
The Export Development Program (EDP) budget is largely funded by export assistance grants made available through the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA). We’re excited to report another strong year ahead of support from the USDA’s Foreign Agricultural Service following allocation announcements for 2023 Market Access Program (MAP) funds.
For the upcoming year, the EDP will have $912,592 in MAP funds to spend toward American craft beer export marketing and promotional activities around the world. This amount is in addition to approximately $400,000 in Agricultural Trade Promotion program funding to supplement initiatives through September 2024.
Register Now for Early 2023 Global Marketing Opportunities
The EDP calendar has been updated with early 2023 activities. Email announcements detailing upcoming events will continue to be sent as activities are added, but additional information is always available on both the EDP Member Resources area and Brewers Association (BA) event calendar (Tip: sort by “Export Development”).
Looking ahead, we are excited to attend several notable trade shows and are encouraging EDP member participation at each. Beer & Food Attraction in Rimini, Italy, kicks off the 2023 slate of activities in February, to be followed by Planète Bière in Paris in March. KIBEX, the Korea International Beer Expo, follows in April. Deadlines for registration and arrival of beer at consolidation sites are approaching. Don’t miss out on these opportunities to present your beers at EDP-funded marketing events for American craft beer in key global markets.
U.S. Brewer Delegation Accompanies EDP to Mexico
In October, the EDP hosted an American craft beer pavilion at Cerveza Mexico in Mexico City, which aimed to generate awareness among retailers, distributors, and importers of American craft beer products, including those with existing distribution and new-to-market. In addition, ACERMEX (Mexico’s craft beer association) again organized a Together We Brew program that paired EDP brewers with Mexican counterparts for collaborative beers made available to media and at the trade show.
Eleven EDP member breweries participated in Cerveza Mexico, seven of which sent representatives to travel with the program as part of the EDP’s trade mission. Members of the delegation included Steve Parr, BA International Relations Director; Adam Dulye, Executive Chef & Global Beer Ambassador; Chad Pieper, Upslope Brewing; Benny Garcia, The Bruery; John Haggerty, Warped Wing Brewing Company; Rick Chapman, Coronado Brewing Co.; Chris Gonzalez, Three Weavers Brewery; Andy Parker, Denver Beer Co.; and Antonia Arellano, Cerveceria Colorado. Brewers from Maui Brewing Company and Baxter Brewing participated in Together We Brew as well.
EDP staff and brewers were pleased with the results of attending Expo Cerveza and at least two attending breweries appear to have reached agreements with local importers. CNN Mexico also paid a surprise visit to the booth, and members of the American craft beer delegation were interviewed, providing a broad-reaching platform to boost awareness for American craft beer. Looking toward 2023, the EDP will be considering new events with a stronger trade focus while also allowing for reach into craft-focused regions within Mexico such as Guadalajara and Monterrey.
EDP Makes Successful Return to Stockholm in September
Since the beginning of the Export Development Program, the BA has targeted Sweden. Sweden is now the second largest export market in Europe for U.S. craft beer, and the Stockholm Beer and Whisky Festival (SBWF) has proven to be a leading craft beer event in the region. The festival routinely draws in over 20,000 attendees over the course of two weekends.
SBWF and its associated beer competition have been a mainstay of EDP programming, but due to COVID and travel restrictions, EDP representation there has been limited over the past few years. This year, Lotte Peplow (EDP craft beer ambassador in Europe), and Melissa Balding, BA export consultant, attended the event. Lotte hosted a sold-out tasting and masterclass of EDP member beers. Attendees were engaged and interested in the history and current trends in American craft beer. The two also spent time with Katarina Westman, beer purchaser for Systembolaget, discussing the potential for additional American craft beer listings in the monopoly retailer. Systembolaget runs approximately 450 retail outlets nationwide. Ms. Westman spent two hours at the booth tasting product samples and discussing industry trends and import requirements. The EDP’s connection with Ms. Westman is strengthening, buoyed by these visits and continued investment in the market.
Lotte and Melissa’s visit also provided an opportunity to reconnect with leading importers and visit key accounts. While American craft beer exports to Sweden have remained strong, importers reported real challenges with inflation, pricing through the monopoly, and supply chain issues.
Despite the inflationary challenges ahead, the EDP’s presence at the 2022 SBWF was seen as a success. Fourteen American craft breweries were represented at the BA booth, pouring 40+ different beers. Five of those breweries won awards at the Stockholm Beer Competition, and three were multiple award winners.
In the Company of Royalty
Lotte Peplow, American Craft Beer Ambassador in Europe was knighted this Fall by the Belgian Brewers Guild. Belgian brewers organize a series of festivities every year to pay tribute to Gambrinus, the “King of Beer.” During these events, new knights by rights and honorary knights are “enthroned.” Lotte was made an honorary knight, a title given to individuals who have rendered loyal services to the brewing profession.
The EDP could not be prouder of Lotte’s accomplishment and justified recognition for her longstanding good work. Lotte has been instrumental in developing opportunities for American craft beer in Europe, educating the trade, media, and consumers about craft beer, and advocating for the EDP’s interests throughout the region.
American Craft Beer Experience Festival Heads Outdoors in Tokyo
The EDP returned to Japan for its first in-person American Craft Beer Experience (ACBE) festival in three years. Recently loosened travel and social gathering restrictions made attendance by EDP staff and brewers possible this year and ensured a strong turnout for the event. Nevertheless, the EDP took precautions with its venue selection. The event was held at the WATERS Takeshiba event center which offered a large outdoor space beautifully situated along the water. The footprint of the festival was sandwiched by two new structures consisting of various restaurants and shops, and it was clear that casual visitors to the area were being drawn into the festival by the sound of music, laughter, and the evening lights. While there was certainly a beer enthusiast crowd, this year’s festival had more of a relaxed and family-friendly vibe with many attendees bringing their kids with them to the event.
It proved an excellent environment for conducting the festival that allowed for a larger COVID-cautious crowd without the concerns of an enclosed space.
EDP staff including Steve Parr and Adam Dulye attended the ACBE, accompanied by a delegation of brewers including representatives from Fremont Brewing Company, Heavy Riff Brewing, 903 Brewers, Echoes Brewing, and Sierra Nevada Brewing Company. Seven Japanese importing companies were provided booths to exhibit brands they represent in the market while new-to-market beers were featured in their own dedicated stand. In total, the ACBE showcased 100+ products from 31 U.S. breweries to more than 3,000 Japanese beer consumers.
With brewers in attendance, the EDP also organized a retail tour in advance of the festival that included visits to four retail accounts for American craft beer around Tokyo. These included PDX Taproom, Antenna America Tokyo Station, Beer Ma, and Titans Craft Beer Bottle Shop.
The ACBE festival also proved popular with EDP media targets. In the months leading up to the festival, the EDP worked with an in-market agency to conduct a digital marketing campaign to support and amplify the festival while building on the investment in social media and trade contacts from the previous two years. In addition to a dedicated campaign website, PR and media outreach included investing in advertising on ACBE social media channels, leveraging the power of popular content creators in Japan, webinars for craft beer drinkers, and an in-person media event featuring EDP member beers. Metrics from 2022 efforts are still being compiled, but pre-festival numbers indicated a Facebook event page reach of 53,000 people with 10,000 engagements. Counting the ads, our reach in the lead-up to ACBE totaled 120,000 on Facebook and 220,000 on Instagram.
The EDP was extremely pleased with ACBE 2022 and plans to renew at the same location for 2023. The event and its associated marketing activities have proven beneficial to growing the American craft beer presence in Japan.
Japan International Beer Cup Winners Announced
The EDP has recently expanded its activity in Japan beyond the annual American Craft Beer Experience festival. For the second year in a row, EDP resources funded member participation in the Japan International Beer Cup. Member breweries could submit as many beers as they wanted with the EDP covering the cost of up to three entries per company, and a consolidated air shipment of fresh samples to the event. Twenty-one breweries submitted samples. Seventeen breweries won 35 awards including five gold medals, 14 silver medals, and 16 bronze medals. This surpassed our medal count from 2021.
Successful Showing for American Craft Beer at the 2022 Brussels Beer Challenge
In November, the Brussels Beer Challenge celebrated its 11th anniversary during the awards ceremony for the 2022 competition in Ghent, Belgium. Entry fees, consolidated airfreight shipment, cold storage, and delivery to the competition were covered by the EDP. More than 1,800 beers from across the globe were evaluated by a panel of 85 international beer experts, and American craft brewers once again displayed a mastery in brewing both classic and innovative beer styles.
In total, American craft brewers won 25 awards including seven gold, nine silver, and nine bronze medals across 20 categories. Fremont Brewing Company’s Legend Cold IPA was awarded “Best American Beer of the Competition.”
Register Now for Export Seminars at the 2023 Craft Brewers Conference
The largest annual conference for the craft beer industry, the Craft Brewers Conference® & BrewExpo America® (CBC®), is returning to the Music City Center in Nashville, Tennessee, on May 7-10, 2023. Annually, the EDP uses CBC as a draw for international guests and we offer a series of export-oriented seminars designed to educate attending members and foster connections for them with speakers and other international guests.
Featured seminars are still being confirmed but will include experts on exporting to Southeast Asia, and the Netherlands, and conducting business with Canadian provincial alcohol retail buyers. Super Early Bird registration is open through January 10; Early Bird registration is open from January 11 through March 1; and Regular registration is open from March 2 through April 29.