The Brewers Association enjoyed significant growth in 2014, most notably in its membership roster and operating surplus, according to its newly released 24-page Stewardship Report.
Some of the highlights as reported by the BA:
- The nonprofit trade group that advocates on behalf of the nation’s craft brewers grew its surplus more than 69 percent last year, topping $4.2 million. The organization made net revenues of $21.1 million – with nearly half of that coming from the many events the organization hosts in a given year – up from $17.6 million the year prior, according to the report.
- The group also saw membership climb to 2,447 operating breweries against 1,977 in 2013. As of December 31, 2014, the report claims, 74 percent of all operating breweries in the country are members of the BA. Membership in the affiliated American Homebrewers Association also reached a historical peak, growing 5.5 percent to 44,274 total members.
- On the legislative front, the BA has secured 181 and 46 co-sponsors in the House and Senate respectively for the Small Brewer Reinvestment and Expanding Workforce Act (Small BREW Act), which aims to revamp the brewers excise tax structure and implement a graduated barrel tax.
- The organization was also active on the regulatory front, appealing to the FDA to not outlaw the centuries old practice of selling spent grains to farmers for use as animal feed and petitioning the Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau to exempt more than 30 common ingredients from formula requirements.
Looking ahead, the BA plans to build on its 2014 momentum in a number of ways.
Bob Pease, the organization’s CEO, told Brewbound there are plans to fund a quality beer ambassador position. In January, the BA introduced its first definition of “quality beer.”
Additionally, Pease said, the BA will continue to increase both its government relations efforts and its presence in Washington, D.C. — the organization recently hired a federal affairs manager in Katie Marisic. It will also plans to grow its connection to the culinary education arena.
“I know I speak for all of my colleagues here at the Brewers Association when I say we could not be more excited as we look towards the future,” Pease said.