Brewers Association Takes Aim at Independence Day, Launches New Indie Seal Commercials

The Brewers Association will not allow independently brewed craft beer to go quietly into the night. It will not vanish without a fight.

No, the BA wants to make July 3rd “National Independent Beer Run Day.”

Rest assured, the national trade group supporting small and independent U.S. breweries isn’t suggesting drinkers lace up their sneakers and log some miles. Instead, the not-for-profit association wants to remind drinkers to buy beer from a small brewery ahead of the Fourth of July holiday.

“Craft beer serves as the anchor for so many Independence Day celebrations,” BA craft beer program director Julia Herz said via a press release. “Our libations and the liberation we’re celebrating should go hand in hand.”

According to the trade group, which cited data from market research firm IRI, breweries sell 35 percent more beer at off-premise retail stores in the week leading up to Independence Day.

In its effort to claim the day before the Fourth of July as the official day to buy beer made by a BA-defined craft brewery – licensed brewing companies that make 6 million barrels of beer or less annually and are less than 25 percent owned by an entity that is not itself a craft brewer – the organization has launched a digital campaign that includes video ads, audio spots and “summer-themed sponsored playlists” on Pandora Radio.

The three digital commercials vary in length but all clock in less than 20 seconds. They feature drinkers participating in popular summertime activities – beaching, lounging on the lake, and grilling – with an independently brewed craft beer.

“As you plan for this Fourth of July, think independent and drink independent,” Herz said via the release.

Consumers looking to purchase beer made by independent U.S. craft brewers are encouraged to look for the BA’s indie seal on packaging.

Launched exactly two years ago, the marker is intended to help drinkers distinguish between beers made by small breweries and those produced by multinational companies, such as Anheuser-Busch InBev or Molson Coors.

“As confusion about beer brand ownership continues to permeate the marketplace, the independent craft brewer seal is a badge of differentiation and distinction to help beer lovers identify which beers are from small and independent breweries,” the BA noted in its release.

As of April, 4,200 craft breweries representing more than 85 percent of the volume of BA-defined craft beer have adopted the indie seal in some form.

According to a January survey conducted by the BA, 48 percent of those polled said they had seen the seal, while 53 percent said independence held some importance to them.

The BA’s latest push to promote the seal builds on prior initiatives, including the “That’s Independence You’re Tasting” commercials, and the launch of a dedicated indie seal for “supporters,” including retailers, state guilds, beer festivals, home-brew shops and others.

On its website, the BA, citing data from Nielsen, said consumers of independent craft beer make purchases 43 percent more frequently than consumers of acquired craft brands. Those consumers also spend 12 percent more at off-premise retailers.

The new videos are included below.

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