Beer is a passionate topic for many of us. Whether you make your living brewing it, selling it, marketing it, or writing about it…beer is important. This is why it’s so important to respect beer and brewing and to stand up for what you believe to be right, even if it makes some people unhappy.
Since the founding of Pittsburgh Craft Beer Week, the goal of the 10-day celebration was to “Support and promote craft beer in the Greater Pittsburgh area.” This is a mission statement that we, the current board for the Pittsburgh Craft Beer Alliance stand by today. Whether we’re talking about a brewery, a bar, a restaurant, or a bakery…if it involves promoting craft beer, we support it the best way we can.
It is with this idea in mind that as a board, we have decided to continue this dedication to craft beer by standing by our own beliefs and those of many in the craft beer industry by only allowing breweries that are truly independent craft breweries to participate in all things related to Pittsburgh Craft Beer Week.
We are utilizing the definition of a craft brewery as listed with the Brewer’s Association. While this shifts from time to time, the current definition that we are choosing to adhere to currently is:
- Small – Annual production of 6 million barrels of beer or less (approximately 3 percent of U.S. annual sales). Beer production is attributed to the rules of alternating proprietorships.
- Independent – Less than 25 percent of the craft brewery is owned or controlled (or equivalent economic interest) by a beverage alcohol industry member that is not itself a craft brewer.
- Traditional – A brewer that has a majority of its total beverage alcohol volume in beers whose flavor derives from traditional or innovative brewing ingredients and their fermentation. Flavored malt beverages (FMBs) are not considered beers.
(This can be found here: craftbeer.com/breweries/what-is-a-craft-brewery)
To make this simpler and easier to judge, we are choosing to only allow breweries that are listed with the Brewer’s Association officially as a craft brewery. This also falls in line with the Brewer’s Association new Certified Independent logo and branding, which is included below. This listing is constantly updated, and can be found here: craftbeer.com/breweries/find-a-us-brewery
We understand that this draws a line in the sand, and that some breweries that make outstanding beer will not be able to take part in PCBW, but we believe that supporting local business is not only good for Beer Week, it’s good for the industry as well as the consumer, too.
We still fully support beer distributors, wholesalers, bars, restaurants, and any other entity that sells beer that doesn’t come from an independent craft brewery, just as we always have. This only refers to actual breweries that wish to take part in Pittsburgh Craft Beer Week themselves or through a 3rd party as well as events that are approved for listing in our calendars.
While it’s never fun to make a rule that limits participation, beer weeks around the country as well as countless independent craft breweries have taken this stance to protect their industry and we couldn’t agree more.
This has been our stance since the first beer week more than six years ago, and it’s one that we plan to continue with into the future. From the outside nothing is changing, but this is something important enough that it bears repeating. If you have any questions, please feel free to reach out to us via the Contact Us page. Thank you.