When the Brewers Association (BA) was exploring the idea of initiating an export development program for its members, they were referred to BCI.
In 2003, BCI was known for its work with other U.S. agricultural trade associations and was suggested as a partner that could assist the BA setting up its export program, securing federal and state grant funds to contribute to the program, and identifying initial target markets and strategies.
The BA’s Export Development Program (EDP) began in 2004 with a modest grant from the United States Department of Agriculture’s Market Access Program (MAP) and with 15 participating craft breweries. The BA’s allocation of MAP funds has increased greatly since then, nearly doubling in the previous 5 years alone. Through BCI’s guidance and grant writing assistance, the association has secured funds from two other grant programs including the Emerging Markets Program and Federal and State Marketing Improvement Program. Moreover, the EDP itself has grown. The EDP is now active throughout Europe and Asia, and in Canada, Brazil, and Australia. Exports of American craft beer have grown every year, reaching a record 446,151 barrels in 2015. Export success has attracted the attention of more brewery members. There are now 91 craft breweries subscribing to the EDP and reaping the benefits of the international competitions, trade shows, media outreach, seminars, market research, and other initiatives its funds.