In 1989, a small group of craft brewers set out to form the first state-wide association dedicated to the development and protection of the California craft brewing industry. Their early efforts and passions have cemented California as the birthplace of the craft beer movement.
Last week, the California Craft Brewers Association (CCBA) celebrated the 25th Anniversary with those same founding members and industry pioneers — Fritz Maytag, former owner of Anchor Brewing Co.; Ken Grossman, owner/founder of Sierra Nevada; and John Martin, owner of Triple Rock Brewing Co. — at the two-day California Craft Brewers Conference in Santa Rosa, Calif.
With an audience of more than 400 craft brewery owners, brewmasters and industry members in attendance, Tom McCormick, executive director of the CCBA, inducted the three founding CCBA members into the California Craft Beer Hall of Fame for their extraordinary contributions to the California craft brewing industry. The three hall of famers then held a riveting keynote address, reminiscing about their early days in the industry and why they came together to form the association.
Founding board member John Martin, owner of Triple Rock Brewing Co., looked back fondly on the association’s beginnings saying, “It has been wonderful to participate in craft brewing’s early days in the 1980s and through its spectacular growth in California to the present day. The acceptance of high-quality, locally-made craft beer has never been higher, and the important role that the CCBA has played to help protect and grow the California brewing environment cannot be underestimated.”
The craft brewing segment has grown consistently despite the overall beer industry being down in recent years. In 2013, California’s craft brewing industry grew by 20 percent and contributed more than $5.5 billion in economic impact throughout the state. The California Craft Brewers Association continues to represent these new and old breweries in California’s legislative policies.
“It is an honor to carry the torch from the founding fathers of the Association,” said Tom McCormick, executive director of the CCBA. “In the last 25 years, the CCBA has established the most conducive regulatory environment for craft breweries in the country, laying the foundation for a vibrant and growing industry.
For more information on the CCBA Inaugural Hall of Fame Inductees please see the CCBA Website.
The California Craft Brewers Association is a 501(c)6 non-profit trade association protecting the political and legal rights of the California craft brewing industry. The association was formed in 1989 and is the oldest state craft brewers’ trade association in the country.