Brewers Association

Purpose & History

The Brewers Association is an organization of brewers, for brewers and by brewers. More than 2,000 US brewery members and 43,000 members of the American Homebrewers Association are joined by members of the allied trade, beer wholesalers, individuals, other associate members and the Brewers Association staff to make up the Brewers Association.


To promote and protect American craft brewers, their beers and the community of brewing enthusiasts.

Brewers Association Timeline

Early BAA Convention
Early Brewers Association
of America Gathering

Palmer House Small Brewers Meeting Notice
First Meeting Small Brewers
Committee (precursor to
Brewers Association)

GABF attendees enjoying festival.
Great American Beer 
Festival Attendees

Rep. Jim Gerlach,
sponsor of H.R. 1236



1942 – The Small Brewers Committee, a precursor to the Brewers Association of America first meets at Palmer House in Chicago to discuss raw materials supply and other common issues of small brewers. One early issue the committee fought for was supplies of tin for crowns to seal beer bottles.

1976 – The Brewers Association of America secures a small brewers tax differential on the first 60,000 barrels for brewers under 2 million barrels per year.

1978 – Charlie Papazian and Charlie Matzen form the American Homebrewers Association in Boulder, CO with the publication of the first issue of Zymurgy magazine, announcing the new organization, publicizing the federal legalization of homebrewing and calling for entries in the first AHA National Homebrew Competition.


1982 – The Great American Beer Festival debuts at the Harvest House in Boulder, CO.

1983 – The Association of Brewers is organized to include the American Homebrewers Association and the Institute for Brewing and Fermentation Studies to assist the emerging microbrewery movement in US.

2005 – The Association of Brewers and the Brewers' Association of America merge to form the Brewers Association.

2009 – 1,595 American craft brewers produce just under 9.1 million barrels of beer, as craft brewers continue steady growth and beer drinkers turn toward more flavorful craft brewed beers from small and independent breweries.

2011 – Excise tax recalibration companion bills S. 534 and H.R. 1236 are introduced to Congress. The number of operating US brewery climbs to 1,989 for the calender year.

2012 – Brewers Association history is summarized by BA Board of Directors and BA Staff (listen to audio here).

2013 – Craft breweries continue to open at a rate of more that one per day. 

Photos © Jason E. Kaplan and Brewers Association file photo

More than 4,600 members - owners, CEOs, brewers, marketers, distributors and managers have made the investment.