Ambassador is certainly one of the coolest titles ever, held by luminaries from Plutarch to Shirley Temple. The American craft beer industry has many “ambassadors,” but none probably as official as Sylvia Kopp, American craft beer ambassador in Europe. To further American craft beer promotion and education in Europe, the Brewers Association (BA) — the non-profit trade association dedicated to American small and independent craft brewers — has hired Sylvia Kopp as its new Euro ambassadress.
Kopp will support export growth to the region by facilitating and fostering relationships between U.S. exporters and European importers and distributors, as well as educating trade and media about the quality and diversity of products offered by the U.S. craft beer industry, about U.S. craft beer culture and about proper care and handling for craft beer.
“American craft beer is enjoying a global renaissance,” said Bob Pease, chief executive officer, Brewers Association. “Sylvia’s knowledge, experience and connections will prove valuable as she works to further promote and educate Europeans about beers produced by small and independent American brewers.”
As one of Germany’s leading beer sommeliers, Kopp is co-founder and leader of Berlin Beer Academy, a school for trade professionals and consumers devoted to exploring the pleasures of beer. She is a jury member at international beer competitions including the World Beer Cup, European Beer Star and Brussels Beer Challenge. In September 2014, her book Barley & Hops: The Craft Beer Book was released by Gestalten publishers in English and German.
“There’s a steady demand for American craft beer across Europe, and I am pleased to connect these regions over a common affinity for craft,” Kopp added. “Through our work, we will be able to achieve the export development goals of the Brewers Association.”
The Brewers Association’s Export Development Program (EDP) supports American craft brewers’ efforts to export their beers abroad. Globally, American craft beer export volume increased by 35.7 percent in 2014, representing 383,422 barrels and an estimated $99.7 million. In Western Europe, craft beer exports were up 37 percent.
Since its inception in 2004, the EDP has worked to educate international trade and media about the quality and diversity of products offered by the U.S. craft beer industry and about the U.S. craft beer culture; inform member breweries about opportunities for their products in key international target markets and complement the industry’s own efforts to increase international distribution.