Facilitating the Export of American Craft Beer

When the Brewers Association (BA) was exploring the idea of initiating an export development program for its members, they were referred to BCI.

The Challenge

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.

Our Solution

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.

Bryant Christie Inc. has been instrumental in the success of the Brewers Association’s Export Development Program.

Bob Pease, BA Chief Operating Officer

The EDP is helping the BA fulfill its mission to promote and protect the American craft beer industry and to position the BA as a leading global authority on craft brewing. It is also helping breweries in their home markets. Nationally, small and independent brewers have created 122,000 jobs. Export success helps diversify company sales, supports production growth, and enables new hiring.

Ongoing Success

BCI continues to work with the BA on its export program. The company continues to assist with grant writing, government relations, strategic planning, and tactical implementation. BCI staff attends many of the EDP events domestically and internationally and sees tremendous opportunity for further growth in U.S. small brewer exports. The BA has been very pleased with this partnership. As Bob Pease, BA Chief Operating Officer, states it, “Bryant Christie Inc. has been instrumental in the success of the Brewers Association’s Export Development Program. BCI helped secure grant funds that initiated the program and their export marketing guidance has helped increase exposure for the BA and for individual craft breweries."