As the Inaugural Pittsburgh Libations Week rapidly approaches with our Kickoff Bash scheduled for Friday, October 12th, Breaking Brews – The Official Blog of PLW – brings you up close and personal with the sponsors who have joined the cause and are making all this possible with a new feature: The PLW Sponsor Spotlight. Men and women operating businesses of all shapes, sizes, and missions have helped shape our culture and continue to push it forward as Pittsburgh strives to cement its legacy as a true adult beverage destination across the globe.
Pennsylvania Beer Alliance – Uniting Family Businesses Distributing America’s Beverage
Beer is universal. It’s one of the biggest social common denominators humankind has ever known. Since its accidental discovery thousands of years ago to its diverse tapestry of offerings found in today’s massive portfolio, no one liquid has brought people together from all walks of life quite like beer. Bars, sports stadiums, concerts, and other venues across the country can find two people, one who just got off work in a coal mine and another who just got done trading on Wall Street, sitting next to one another by happenstance, both united by the commonality of enjoying the entertainment unfolding in front of them and, in the majority of cases, the fermented beverage being sipped from the cup in their hand.
Beer has gone through many ups and downs throughout history. Thousands of breweries were forced to shut their doors when Prohibition hit in the 1920s. When the 21st Amendment repealed Prohibition and alcohol was once again legal, laws implemented to control the consumption of beer, wine, and spirits actually made enjoying a cold one at the end of a long day’s work harder than when it was illegal. As time has drawn on, laws have loosened and beer has become much more accessible, as have other libations. Today, 6,000+ breweries inhabit the United States with many, many more in planning.
Here in Pennsylvania, our Commonwealth is booming with breweries. Over 300 and counting. Many of these breweries have developed multi-state distribution footprints while others have adopted a brewpub model designed to draw people to their taprooms. When beer comes from other parts of the world for you to enjoy, whether it be from your home state or abroad, it arrived thanks to the hard work of wholesalers and distributors. Thousands of individuals working in various capacities see to it that fresh, delicious beer makes its way from its point of origin to your city, then to bars, bottle shops, and distributors so you can imbibe.
In PA, over 30 of our beer wholesalers belong to the Pennsylvania Beer Alliance, an incorporated, non-profit trade association consisting of franchised beer wholesaler distributors licensed by the Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board (PLCB) to purchase and sell malt or brewed beverages as importing distributors. Established in 1973 and formerly known as Pennsylvania Importing Master Distributors Association, the PBA represents the aforementioned entities as well as partners with industry suppliers and vendors. The PBA has also partnered with Pittsburgh Libations Week to serve as a sponsor for the inaugural year.
There is a major focus on ‘hyper-local’ beer in today’s market and, for nearly a decade, the Pittsburgh region has seen substantial growth in its number of breweries (over 50 currently operating in the region with 30+ in Allegheny County alone). It’s a true testament to the talent of hundreds of men and women who decided to take a leap and start a business fueled by passion, ingenuity, and love of a liquid. But before the rise of the local breweries, Pittsburgh was introduced to craft beer from breweries all over the world. This was thanks to the efforts of wholesalers across our city who dedicated themselves to introducing complex, flavorful, high-quality offerings from states next door to countries on the other side of the globe. This helped build a solid base of passionate beer enthusiasts, always willing to spend a little extra for a quality product. When that product started originating in their own backyard, it only fueled their affection for artisanal beers.
The members of the PBA operate in an area of business that is heavily controlled and regulated by the Commonwealth of PA. Due to this, the Alliance has an active program of monitoring and, often times, initiating or opposing legislation affecting said members. Their mission is to nurture and support the socially and environmentally responsible growth and development of the malt beverage industry throughout Pennsylvania. They serve as the representative of their member importing distributors before legislative and regulatory authorities in Pennsylvania.
We are proud to have the Pennsylvania Beer Alliance supporting Pittsburgh Libations Week. Look for PBA updates through the Pittsburgh Libations Week social media channels. We thank them for their hard work uniting wholesalers across our state. And to those wholesalers, we thank you for bringing beers from markets across the world to our thirsty palates!
Your business is here 365 days a year. So are we. Click our logo below to discover how you can sponsor Pittsburgh Libations Week and join our cause to shine the brightest spotlight possible on our city’s incredible adult beverage community!