Grab a Pint: California Craft Brewers Association 2017 Recap

What a year it has been!

Looking back at 2017 there is a lot to celebrate, including the biggest policy victory in the 28-year history of the California Craft Brewers Association (CCBA), a variety of legislative advancements which favor our members and a year of continued growth in craft market share. And, to top it all off, a hugely successful third annual California Craft Beer Summit.

The clear highlight of the year for the CCBA was the victory earned in the “RDN court case.” This legal challenge threatened a core tied house provision in the state statute that would have eviscerated tied house laws if the case had been successful. The CCBA was instrumental in fighting this case all the way up to the second highest court in the country where we prevailed!

Tied house laws allow for equal access to the marketplace for all brands, both large and small. Without tied house in place, the craft brewing industry would never had a chance to grow and prosper, providing the consumer with a wide variety and diversity of quality beer choices. Tied house lives and with it a thriving craft beer landscape.

We also watched a few trends emerge in 2017 that gave us a peek into the future of the industry in California. Although more than 100 new California breweries opened in 2017, the pace of new openings began to slow. We saw more brewery closings this year than at any other time in the last 15 years, along with the emergence of more craft-on-craft acquisitions and partnerships. These trends portend a new era of healthy stabilization in the industry.

Looking forward there is no doubt that competition will be tough in 2018. Many challenges face the industry, but high-flavor, well-made beer with a story will continue to capture the interest and delight of beer drinkers. Craft beer will continue to gain market share in 2018 and beyond.

Cheers to a prosperous New Year!