Brewers Association Expands Popular Craft Branding Program to Retailers

The association is hoping retailers pick up on the craft beer marketing program, signified by a logo featuring an upside-down beer bottle, in much the same way its members did when it launched the industry awareness campaign.

Roughly a year after selling craft brewers on the idea of a logo that states the beer’s independently produced status, the Brewers Association is now aiming a similar message at retailers.

Late last month, BA launched a version of its independent craft brewer seal targeted at point of sale use cases. The concept, says the group, is to help draw attention to the high value such beers often have for retailers.

With a new microsite, the association is making branding materials available to grocery stores, retailers, and restaurants that want to draw attention to their sale of independent craft beer—and the transparency message it sells to its consumers.

“Independence not only matters, it pays and rewards both retailers and beer lovers,” BA’s craft beer program director, Julia Herz, said in a news release. “Beer drinkers express that transparency and underlying ownership can drive their purchase intent. Data shows that independent craft outperforms Big Beer acquired brands on a number of metrics. There are many reasons for retailers to seal the deal to support and differentiate independent craft brewers at the point of purchase.”

The seal program, announced last June, was initially launched in response to a troubling trend for the craft beer industry: The acquisition of well-known craft brewers by major beer companies, which created confusion in the market by making it unclear whether a beer was a microbrew or macrobrew. Brewers who want to take part in the program must meet BA’s strict rules for craft brewers: fewer than 6 million barrels produced annually, with no more than a quarter of the firm owned by a company already in the alcohol industry that’s not itself a craft brewer, and with beverages produced through traditional methods.

The campaign has proved a major success for the group, with more than 3,200 independent breweries adopting the seal—a total that represents more than three quarters of the craft industry’s overall volume. (BA counts around 4,000 U.S. breweries as members.)

Will retailers follow suit? It’s to be seen, but strength in numbers is a definite factor at play here.

(Brewers Association)

Ernie Smith

By Ernie Smith

Ernie Smith is a former senior editor for Associations Now. MORE

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