Rebuild the Guild
The Arizona Craft Brewers Guild has a 22 year legacy of fighting for the rights of brewers in the state. Together, with our breweries, allied supporting businesses, and the grass-root efforts of fans, Arizona has some of the most brewery friendly policies enabling unprecedented growth over the past decade.
The Guild needs your help to continue its mission in supporting brewers and breweries.
With the COVID crisis, the Guild has not been able to fund operations through the production proceeds of some of Arizona’s most beloved events. Among the events canceled in 2020:
- Baja Beer Festival – Tucson
- Real Wild and Woody – Phoenix Convention Center
- AZBrewCon – Phoenix
- JamBEERee – Pepsi Amphitheater Flagstaff
- Barrels Bottles and Brews – Salt River Fields Phoenix
These events, through ticket sales, sponsorships, and associated opportunities provide 80% of the Guild’s annual operating budget. Recent virtual even platforms have been important, but have not managed to close the gap.
Member dues during normal times represent 3% of the Guild’s operating annual budget. Consolidation and closures have reduced the number of independently owned breweries further reducing the impact of dues. In June, the Guild suspended dues until October to ease the burden on struggling breweries. These circumstances have placed the Guild’s future at risk.
This is also a time of great opportunity.
As brewery members, the future of this organization is in your hands. We’ve outlined a plan to transform the way that the Guild raises operating revenue while leaving brewery dues unchanged.
How Breweries Can Help
Although this crisis has been challenging for all of us, we have a unique opportunity to transform the Guild into an agile organization that continues to provide the services breweries need while not being dependant on events. This requires us to diversify how we make money. We’re not always going to hit home runs, but we are going to work hard with all of our at-bats.
We’ve put together a number of programs that will help us across the finish line for 2021. As we begin to add details to these programs, you will see them here. We’ll also spin off a version of this site for our fans and customers so that can participate in this fight.
Each of these programs has been designed to provide business back to you. We need healthy breweries to survive and thrive.
This page is for brewers and breweries. We will be using the information here to populate a public fan-centric page. Please contact Rob or Kristan with any suggestions.
To keep our operations at a high level and have resources to invest in events and conferences in the future, we are looking to raise $200,000.
The Arizona Craft Brewers Guild was established in 1998. It is recognized as a not-for-profit 501(c)(6) organization. Members are comprised of registered Arizona breweries. Associate memberships and sponsorships are granted to businesses and organizations that have some relationship to the brewing industry.
The mission of the Guild is to work in partnership with independent brewers to promote the virtues and raise the profile of Arizona’s locally crafted beers.
The Arizona Craft Brewers Guild is the authoritative, trustworthy, organizer-activist that unites the Arizona independent beer-brewing community to educate and encourage people everywhere to recognize and insist on the uncompromising quality and exceptional variety of our locally crafted beers.
The Arizona Craft Brewers Guild encourages responsible consumption of brewery products.
The Guild has provided resources and information during the darkest days of the pandemic and continues to fight on your behalf.
- During COVID, the Guild shifted to assist breweries in obtaining vital information about insurance, employment issues, federal and local assistance programs and safety guidance. Zoom class and seminars were set up almost daily for close to 3 weeks.
- Among the states that had mandated shut downs, Arizona breweries were designated essential workers first and had the ability to be open more days than other license holders. The Guild positioned breweries to have the rights as restaurants without the restrictions of bars.
- The Guild team has consistently provided guidance quickly after state, county and city regulations were announced.
- The Guild continues to work with policy makers and other agencies and organizations to provide breweries with the tools and information to survive this crisis.
- The business saving emergency measures to keep your business going are the direct result of the hard work of the Guild and it’s relationships with stakeholders and policymakers.
- Negotiated the Pima County COVID regulations in partnership with the Arizona Restaurant Association. The initially overly restrictive measures were brought back to reality and ended up being the state’s guidance.
As the 2021 legislative session begins, the Guild expects to see a major bill from the wine industry, a bill to allow restaurants to have to-go cocktails and requests to have many of these business saving measures eliminated.The Guild’s government affairs committee will fight to preserve our rights and make sure that favorable policies remain in place.
- The Guild is pushing bill language updating the definition of beer to reflect the more lenient federal definition. We are asking that the restriction on drive-thru sales of growlers be lifted.
- We are asking to fast track and retroactively apply last year’s alternating proprietorship bill (AP) to provide rights that the federal government recognizes and the state already does for wineries. AP will allow businesses to partner and share resources much more effectively. It will also remove redtape from breweries that have distilleries.
- In partnership with several organizations, the Guild is pushing to create a temporary off-sale license that follows the rules and regulations of a series 15 license for off-site only consumption. This would create parity with the series 16 license that spirits and wineries use.
- As omnibus stakeholders, the Guild is leading the push toward fast tracking last year’s omnibus bill. That bill contained provisions to move sampling size from 12 ounces to 16 to reflect a typical draft beer pour. It also allowed supplier and distributor staff to quality control samples at festivals.
- The Guild continues to fight for permanent federal excise tax relief and is on track to get 8 of 9 Representatives and both Senators on board as co-sponsors.
The Guild has had a 5-year history of positive legislation that is unrivaled amongst other Arizona license-holders. In fact, the Brewers Association has made the claim during a BA Board of Directors meeting in 2019 that Arizona’s legislative climate is a model for brewery success.
Although we await the 2019 numbers from a Brewers Association survey of Guilds, in 2018 Arizona’s flat-rate dues are among the lowest in the country falling 20% below the median and 60% less than the average that breweries in other states pay.
Below you can see the statistics and see where your brewery would be if Arizona switched to a barrelage model.
We Miss Events
Events are more than just money for the Guild. They are cultural statements about the industry that we love. It’s about people and building camaraderie.