The Global Association of Craft Beer Brewers (GACBB) was founded this month, becoming the first international organization for independent craft beer brewers. Sebastian Mergel, co-founder of the Berlin craft beer brewery Berliner Bierfabrik, was elected the association’s founding president. The association’s goal is to empower smaller independent brewers by connecting them on an international level, and to provide resources via association tools and collaborations with other members. With its international reach, the association also looks to provide its members with access to material goods and services that allow them to expand into new international markets.
The members of the founding board include brewers representing five world continents, and a range of different brewery styles. These breweries include: Mark Andries, Browerij De Vlier, Belgium; David Cohen, The Dancing Camel, Tel Aviv, Israel; John Kyme, Stringer’s Beer, Ulverston, United Kingdom; Kristian Strunge, Stronzo, Copenhagen, Denmark; Jakub Vesely, Pivo Falkon, Zatec, Czech Republic; Alex Acker, Jing A, Beijing, China; Eric van Heerden, Triggerfish Brewing, Cape Town, South Africa; Aleem Ladak, The Big 5 Brewery, Nairobi, Kenya; Diego Rodriguez, Barbarian, Lima, Peru; Diego Perrotta, Cerveza Zeppelin, Buenos Aires, Argentina; Nathaniel Schmidt, Agua Mala Cerveceria, Ensenada, Mexico; Rodrigo Silveira, Cervejaria Invicta, Ribeirao Preto, Brazil; Shane Welch, Sixpoint Brewing, Brooklyn, NY, United States; Kevin Watson, Elysian Brewing Co., Seattle, WA, United States; Dan Kenary, Harpoon Brewery, Boston, MA, United States; Ricky Stilla, Birra and Blues, Valencia, Spain , and Tiffany Needham, Magpie Brewing Co., Seoul, South Korea.
The association itself stands on three criteria: All breweries involved must be local, independent, and creative. The structure of the GACBB is based on democratic elections and is supported by strong cooperation from regional leadership from around the globe. This collaborative spirit is a theme which carries through much of what the association does. “We think there is a new generation of craft beer brewers who are interested in working with each other instead of always competing,” Mergel explains. Further learning initiatives include a database of expert and scientific articles, a list of journalists in different countries, expert webinars and regional and international meetings which will provide the chance for brewers to share their own stories and learn from each other.
The association’s most exciting event is planned for this summer, and will bring together members and non-members in a celebration of craft beer from around the globe. The GACBB Global Craft Beer Festival, Craft Beer Award, and Craft Beer Conference will all take place in Berlin on July 25th through 27th, 2014. More information can be found through the GACBB website (www.craftbeerbrewers.org).