Inaugural 'Small Brewery Sunday' bolsters US craft brewers

By Beth Newhart

- Last updated on GMT

“Every dollar a beer lover spends at a craft brewery and buying their craft beer at stores and restaurants, fuels a small business."
“Every dollar a beer lover spends at a craft brewery and buying their craft beer at stores and restaurants, fuels a small business."

Related tags Beer Beer market Craft beer Craft brewers Brewery Brewers association

The Brewers Association (BA) announced its first Small Brewery Sunday in the US, a campaign designed to support the more than 7,500 local craft brewers across the country.

The Sunday of Thanksgiving weekend in the US will now be known as 'Small Brewery Sunday', thanks to a new campaign from the BA. On December 1, consumers are encouraged to drink local beers and shop wherever they see the certified independent craft brewer seal.

The new event aims to leverage the same power of Small Business Saturday, which always takes place the Saturday of Thanksgiving weekend. It’s grown popular in the last few years, reminding consumers to shop local in the middle of all the big chain blowout sales for the holiday season.

It is one of the busiest weekends of the year in terms of US consumer dollars, and picking up beer for holiday parties has a place on most shopping lists. 

Julia Herz, craft beer program director at BA, said “Every dollar a beer lover spends at a craft brewery and buying their craft beer at stores and restaurants, fuels a small business and supports the economic health of its local community.”

“Small Brewery Sunday gives us beer lovers a formal reminder that when we buy a growler, crowler, six-pack or pint, we are supporting small brewery businesses and helping them keep their doors open, lights on and fermentation tanks full.”

Over the summer, the Brewers Association promoted July 3 as National Independent Beer Run Day, and Small Brewery Sunday built off that idea with a seasonal twist.

The summer event encouraged beer drinkers to keep their Fourth of July beer shopping local, stocking up for parties and cookouts with craft beer. They promoted it as beer’s biggest holiday with the tagline “Don’t forget the independent craft beer this Independence Day.”

“Craft beer serves as the anchor for so many Independence Day celebrations. Our libations and the liberation we’re celebrating should go hand in hand. As you plan for this Fourth of July, think independent and drink independent,”​ Herz said at the time.

Other beer-related holidays are celebrated in the US, including the 21st annual Learn to Homebrew Day from the American Homebrewers Association that just passed on November 2. In 2020, National Beer Day is April 7, International Beer Day is August 7, Beer Can Appreciation Day is January 24 and National American Beer Day is October 27.

For Small Brewery Sunday, The BA is providing marketing and social media materials to craft brewers, but also advises them to create their own promotion plan by including data about their charitable contributions and offering tours for beer lovers on the day.

The craft brewing industry currently contributes more than $79bn​ to the US economy, provides 559,545 total jobs and gave an estimated $92.6 million to charitable organizations in 2018.

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