The Association of Brewers announced last week it has been awarded $124,000 by the U.S. Dept of Agriculture to help promote American craft brewers and craft beer.
The Association of Brewers has been awarded these funds by USDA’s Market Access Program. This program is a federally funded program to help promote export activities of groups that use American agricultural products and aiding in the organization’s overall mission of helping their 700 brewery members sell more beer. The Association estimates a total of 434,000 gallons valued at $4.8 million of craft beer were exported in 2002.
Charlie Papazian, president of the AOB, was encouraged by the recognition given to the American craft beer brewers. “I am very pleased with the MAP award, particularly during a year in which there was less money available for this program than originally projected and more groups vying for funds,” says Papazian. Based on the success of their activities this first year and the industry’s commitment and support, Papazian thinks they can build upon this year’s award in the future.
The program is allocated on a July 1- June 30 fiscal year. The AOB will be organizing an advisory committee of craft brewer members who are exporting to help assess the most effective ways to allocate funding. Funding may include such things as seminars, trade shows, legal service, trade missions, enhanced import networking opportunities and meetings connecting craft brewers with potential exporters of their products.