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Friday, January 04, 2008
Pennsylvania Brewers Guild
For all my grumbling of how there isn't a brewers guild around these parts to further promote the rich eastern Pennsylvania beer scene, it seems as if there was/is a Pennsylvania Brewers Guild in existence. However, judging by some of the folks in the biz that I've mentioned this to, it's not all that well-known or at least it seems that they may not be doing a whole lot to date on the marketing side. My griping and grousing about PA started a couple of years ago after traversing the San Francisco Beer Landscape with a handy little brochure from the San Francisco Brewers Guild which directed me to various brewpubs around town. Then, I looked around and saw what similar organizations have done in places like Michigan, Portland, Minnesota, Indiana, and so on. Why can't a region as rich and diverse as Pennsylvania, esp. eastern and more specifically Philadelphia, do at least as much if not more to promote itself? Where there seems to have been a lot of action with the PA Brewers Guild is on the less enviable, less enjoyable side of the business. The side that takes the Guild's members to places of legal discourse and disagreements. A place of legislative lethargy and a place of morality meanderings. And I say, God bless 'em for it. It can't be easy. It only takes away from their passion in the brewhouse and with customers. According to Jack's recent posting over at the Beer Yard website, the group has been more actively involved in representing themselves on the always very important, interesting, and challenging legal side of the business. Lew has recently taken to the subject as well, proclaiming involvement with the Guild as one of his goals for 2008, but also from the legal side. My question, though, still comes back to the marketing side. I'd like to see this organization, or one like it, take on more of a marketing angle for the region. Perhaps that indeed is already in the cards for Philly Beer Week the Organization. That would be right on target. It would be a shame to see all of this concerted effort of Philly Beer Week the Event to be lost on a small sliver of time in March 2008. Or for that matter, a 10 day period once a year. From my perspective, it's long overdue for an organization to proudly represent Philadelphia and its greater MSA. If Philly Beer Week as an organization becomes that long-term apparatus for spreading the good word, then it should be a year-round daily mission to holding the region together as one of the best in the country and promoting it as such. According to Jack's article, the current managing committee consists of: Artie Tafoya of Appalachian Brewing serving as president; Bill Covaleski of Victory Brewing as vice-president; Sean Casey of Church Brew Works as secretary; and John Trogner of Tröegs Brewing as treasurer.