Members of microbrewing’s Class of ’88 celebrated together July 15 in Washington, D.C., throwing the party in the United States Senate.
The Brewers’ Association of America (BAA), with the National Beer Wholesalers Association (NBWA), organized the birthday bash honoring 14 BAA member breweries that opened their doors in 1988 (plus one in 1888 = 115).
“The craft beer landscape was much different then; in fact, brewpubs were illegal in 23 states. Just 16 pubs were up and running at the beginning of 1987, when most members of the Class of ’88 were making serious plans to open. Today, there are chains with more pubs than that. According to Institute for Brewing Studies figures, 44 brewpubs began operation in 1988.”
“This is an amazing group of breweries, all of which share a common thread of dedication to quality and the great heritage of brewing in America,” said Daniel Bradford, BAA president. “As we celebrate American Beer Month during July, what better way than with a celebration of these select 15, all quintessential American success stories.”
Invited guests included the eighteen U.S. Senators from the nine states from which the breweries hail and key Senate staffers. On tap were about 30 different beers, all from 10 of the breweries being honored at what was the first beer industry event of its kind on the Senate side of the Hill in two years.
Enjoying the cutting of the cake were Richard Pfeffer and Ed Stebbins of Gritty McDuffs, Steve Hindy of Brooklyn Brewery, Sebbie Buhler of Rogue Ales and Bradford.
The 15 BAA breweries honored at the event were: Anderson Valley Brewing, Big Time Brewing, Brooklyn Brewery, Carver Brewing, Deschutes Brewery, Goose Island Beer Co., Great Lakes Brewing, Gritty McDuff’s Brewpub, Matt Brewing (115 years), North Coast Brewing, Pacific Coast Brewing, Rogue Ales, Seabright Brewery, Vermont Pub & Brewery, Wynkoop Brewing Co.