Nine months after urging retailers to adopt its independence seal, the Brewers Association (BA) today launched an extension of that campaign, encouraging state guilds, beer festivals, homebrew shops and other craft beer supporters to adopt a modified version of its original badge.
The non-profit trade organization, which represents the interests of “small and independent” U.S. brewers that produce fewer than 6 million barrels annually, unveiled an altered version of its independence seal “exclusively for supporters of the independent U.S. craft brewing movement.”
The design of the supporter badge mirrors the original seal, which the BA launched in June 2017 in an effort to differentiate small beer companies from larger manufacturers such as Anheuser-Busch and MillerCoors. While the supporter seal still features an image of an upside-down beer bottle with the words “Independent craft,” it adds the word “supporter” at the bottom.
Julia Herz, the BA’s craft beer program director, told Brewbound via email that the trade group had received requests from retailers, state guild directors, beer festival organizers, homebrew shop owners and others asking if they they could use the seal beyond point-of-sale materials.
“After all, there is an entire community of retailers and companies who actively champion the cause of independent craft beer in their own individual and unique ways,” she wrote. “The new supporter seal launched today can be used by anyone who wants to support U.S. craft breweries and can be used in customized ways.”
The supporter seal, however, cannot be used on labeling or packaging of products.
Nevertheless, the BA also launched a new website, SupportIndependentBeer.com, where retailers, wholesalers and other supporters can sign a licensing agreement to unlock downloadable art files. The website also features testimonials from BA-defined craft brewers, merchandise and a searchable “Is it a craft brewery?” database that identifies which breweries meet the BA’s craft brewer definition.
Since launching the seal in the summer of 2017, more than 4,000 BA-defined craft breweries — representing 85 percent of the volume of craft beer brewed — have adopted the seal, placing it on packaging, marketing materials, merchandise, websites and in taproom windows.
Included among those 4,000 breweries is Dogfish Head, which announced last September that it would prominently feature the BA’s seal on packaging of its flagship 60-Minute IPA.
“We are using our 60 Minute package as a soapbox on which we stand to amplify the dialogue and the expectation that brewers large and small be as transparent and authentic as possible with their marketing and packaging,” co-founder Sam Calagione said in a January 22 media advisory.
Dogfish Head’s bet on the indie seal could pay off. According to a fall 2018 OPUS survey conducted by market research firm Nielsen, 40 percent of craft beer drinkers polled said the seal would make them “more” or “much more” likely to buy a beer. That number increased to 57 percent for 21- and 34-years-old craft drinkers.
“Many beer lovers have their eyes — and wallets — open to seek the seal,” Herz said in a press release. “From printing it on menus or grouping independent craft beers together at retail, to prominent signage at beer festivals, now is a great time for supporters to put the seal in play and help advance the beverage of beer.”
A press release with additional details is included below.
Brewers Association Introduces Independent Craft Brewer Supporter Seal
New SupportIndependentBeer.com website also launched to provide assets and information
Boulder, Colo. • January 29, 2019—The Brewers Association (BA)—the not-for-profit trade association dedicated to small and independent American brewers—today announced the creation of a new seal exclusively for supporters of the independent U.S. craft brewing movement.
The supporter seal—which emulates the independent craft brewer seal for U.S. craft breweries—is available to any champions of independent craft breweries including retailers, distributors, homebrew shops, state brewers guilds, festivals, websites and allied trade companies, and can be accessed on a newly launched website, SupportIndependentBeer.com. Here supporters can find assets for activation, information and history about the independent craft brewer seal, and “Is It a Craft Brewery?”, a comprehensive, searchable database of all U.S. breweries that identifies which breweries meet the Brewers Association craft brewer definition.
“While small and independent breweries work heavily to promote their craft, they also rely on a layered group of partners to proudly sell, serve and showcase their beer. These beer community stakeholders have asked for ways to support the independent craft brewer seal, and now they can,” said Julia Herz, craft beer program director, Brewers Association.
The independent craft brewer seal was launched by the BA on June 27, 2017, as a tool to minimize confusion in the marketplace and clearly identify beers from small and independent U.S. breweries. Today, more than 4,000 craft brewing companies have adopted the seal, representing more than 85 percent of the volume of craft beer brewed.
In a recent Nielsen survey, 40 percent of people said the seal would make them “more” or “much more” likely to buy that beer—a 5 percent increase from the previous year. That number jumps to 57 percent for craft beer lovers 21-34 (up from 45 percent a year ago), with 23 percent stating it would make them “much more” likely to purchase.
“Many beer lovers have their eyes—and wallets—open to seek the seal,” added Herz. “From printing it on menus or grouping independent craft beers together at retail, to prominent signage at beer festivals, now is a great time for supporters to put the seal in play and help advance the beverage of beer.”
The independent craft brewer supporter seal can be accessed at SupportIndependentBeer.com. Join the conversation: #SeekTheSeal.
About the Brewers Association
The Brewers Association (BA) is the not-for-profit trade association dedicated to small and independent American brewers, their beers and the community of brewing enthusiasts. The BA represents more than 4,800 U.S. breweries. The BA’s independent craft brewer seal is a widely adopted symbol that differentiates beers by small and independent craft brewers. The BA organizes events including the World Beer Cup, Great American Beer Festival, Craft Brewers Conference & BrewExpo America, SAVOR: An American Craft Beer & Food Experience, Homebrew Con, National Homebrew Competition and American Craft Beer Week. The BA publishes The New Brewer magazine, and Brewers Publications is the leading publisher of brewing literature in the U.S. Beer lovers are invited to learn more about the dynamic world of craft beer at CraftBeer.com and about homebrewing via the BA’s American Homebrewers Association and the free Brew Guru mobile app. Follow us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.
The Brewers Association is an equal opportunity employer and does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, gender, religion, age, disability, political beliefs, sexual orientation, or marital/familial status. The BA complies with provisions of Executive Order 11246 and the rules, regulations, and relevant orders of the Secretary of Labor.