There’s been a lot of focus lately in the beer industry on informing drinkers who makes their beer. The Brewers Association recently launched a new certified seal that authentic independent craft brewers can tout on their labels — to further distance “craft beer” (there’s a definition) from “corporate beer” brands owned by investor-run beverage corporations such as AB InBev. Brewers and government bodies are taking that concept and localizing it further.
For instance, No-Li Brewhouse is known for its emphasis on local sourcing and local production. It touts its Idaho-made beer a “Spokane-Style,” marketing its location to drinkers who want to support local or experiment with the flavor of other regions. No-Li brags that 100 percent of its brewing equipment is purchased from Spokane industries. It uses local ingredients, promotes local partnerships to increase tourism and notes the majority of its workers are living in and contributing to Spokane.
The State of Pennsylvania and Governor Tom Wolf are trying something similar. Last week, Wolf announced the launch of the PA Preferred Brews initiative, a branding program dedicated specifically for beers brewed in Pennsylvania using agricultural commodities grown in the state. New York has something similar. A New York farm brewery license, which necessitates a certain percentage of in-state ingredients be used in the brewing process, allows those farm breweries to tout their products as “New York State labeled beer.”
PA Preferred Brew is actually an extension of the PA Preferred program introduced in January 2004 by the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture, aimed at highlighting local meats, produce, agriculture, nurseries and other PA products and services. The program’s members are licensed to use the program’s registered logo: the blue keystone with a gold checkmark above. From the governor’s website:
“This new branding program is another way my administration is working to promote the state’s brewers and the quality products they’re putting out into an increasingly competitive marketplace,” added Governor Wolf. “The new PA Preferred Brews brand is one way breweries based in Pennsylvania can differentiate themselves and draw the attention of consumers who are interested in buying local.”
[Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture Deputy Secretary for Market Development Cheryl L.] Cook encouraged other eligible PA craft brewers to apply for approval to use the PA Preferred trademarked logo for beers that are: 1) brewed in Pennsylvania; 2) brewed in compliance with all applicable state and federal quality, sanitation, safety and labeling standards; and 3) produced from Pennsylvania agricultural commodities (hops, grain, etc.) to the extent these are available given market availability and production season restrictions. The logo and the title should only be used on products that currently contain Pennsylvania-grown hops and/or malt.
Learn more right over here.