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NEW ORLEANS, LA – Today, Eric Best, general manager/partner of Bob Hall LLC in Upper Marlboro, Maryland, assumed the position of 2014-2015 chairman of the Board of Directors for the National Beer Wholesalers Association (NBWA) at the association’s 77th Annual Convention at the Hyatt Regency New Orleans. As chairman, Best will help guide the association as it advocates for licensed, independent beer distributors and educates elected officials, regulators, media and the public about the value of beer distributors and America’s effective system of state-based alcohol regulation.

“The beer industry is a fountain of opportunity,” Best said. “How many people, just like me, have found their dream job in this business? Distributors, small brewers, big brewers, marketing people, craft bar owners, craft specialty store owners… the list of opportunities are pouring out of this industry.”

“We are fortunate to work in an industry where vision, innovation and hard work are still rewarded,” Best continued. “We need to take a moment to appreciate the people, past and present, who have been pioneers of our industry… the entrepreneurs and workhorses in every tier that have and continue to contribute to our industry’s remarkable prosperity. We also need to take a moment to appreciate this country, the laws, the regulations and the three-tier system – where all tiers can thrive.”

“Opportunity abounds in our industry, but despite the mutual success of all the tiers, the system is under siege,” Best said. “Lawmakers, regulators and other influencers are being besieged with criticism of the three-tier system and the regulatory infrastructure which has so successfully served the public interest for decades. Decision makers – especially the younger generation – need to be educated on the historical significance of our laws. They need to know why the laws are as relevant today as they were when originally conceived and enacted.”

Best encouraged all distributors to be engaged in educating themselves, their customers, legislators, regulators and other influencers on the importance of the independent, three-tier distribution system and state-based regulation to sound public policy, economic prosperity and the creation of opportunities.

President of G&M Distributors, Inc. Adam Vitale moderated a panel of beer industry experts and observers – ranging from a Wall Street analyst to an advocate of Main Street beer distribution businesses – who discussed“Main Street Fueling Wall Street.” Participants included Mike Mazzoni, senior partner of Seema International Ltd.; Benj Steinman, president of Beer Marketer’s Insights; Trevor Stirling, European beverages analyst for Sanford C. Bernstein Limited; and John Williams, executive director of the Beer Industry League of Louisiana.

The panel addressed the globalized, yet intensely local, beer industry from all angles, examining the current risks and opportunities that exist in today’s marketplace – from Wall Street attempts at guessing the next big merger to understanding the industry landscape on Main Street and across state capitols.

The panel discussed the current state of the three-tier beer distribution system in the United States, with Trevor Stirling highlighting his analysis that the number one risk factor facing the global beer industry is the loss of the three-tier system in the United States. He noted that the three-tier system benefits brewers of all sizes and minimizes retailer dominance.

John Williams also emphasized the regulatory value of the three-tier system and beer distributors, describing the underlying public policy behind the system, which promotes public health and safety. The unintended benefits that have resulted from this public policy include “opportunities for larger breweries and small breweries alike,” he said.

The general session concluded with a presentation by one of America’s most well-known political couples,James Carville and Mary Matalin. The duo discussed today’s most pressing political issues and provided a behind-the-scenes look at Washington politics and a preview of what to expect from this year’s midterm elections.

Photos and NBWA-TV reports from NBWA’s 77th Annual Convention are available through the NBWA Convention mobile app and online at www.nbwa.org. Follow the conversation on Twitter using #NBWANOLA.

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Public Affairs and Political Action Awards Presented at NBWA 77th Annual Convention

NEW ORLEANS, LA – The National Beer Wholesalers Association (NBWA) honored several industry leaders today during NBWA’s 77th Annual Convention taking place September 28 – October 1 at the Hyatt Regency New Orleans in New Orleans, Louisiana.

The NBWA Public Affairs Award recognizes outstanding efforts to advocate for and promote the beer distribution industry through effective communications and public affairs initiatives.  It was presented to the Pennsylvania Beer Alliance.

“The Pennsylvania Beer Alliance is a leader in promoting the value that beer distributors bring to their local communities,” said NBWA President & CEO Craig Purser. “The association used video and other communication tools to launch a public affairs campaign to educate elected leaders, the media and the public about the value of independent beer distributors and the current system to local Pennsylvania communities.”

The Whitey Littlefield Award was presented in memory of the man who served as the NBWA Political Action Committee (PAC) chairman 15 years ago and established the Chairman’s Circle program, recognizing those individuals who give the maximum contribution. Knowing that PAC support must be both deep and wide in order for it to grow, Whitey Littlefield also believed strongly in “drilling it down.” In that spirit, the Whitey Littlefield Award was presented to Triple Crown Beverage Group in Kentucky, Ohio and West Virginia for their continued dedication to political advocacy and the NBWA PAC. Each year, the company is politically involved and shows strong support to the NBWA PAC.

The R. Kenneth Kerr Award was presented in memory of the man who more than 30 years ago was an instrumental leader in the creation of the NBWA PAC. The award is presented to a distributor member who goes above and beyond to make sure the PAC grows year after year. This year’s award was presented to Bob Archer of Blue Ridge Beverage Company, Inc. in Salem, Virginia. Archer made the NBWA PAC a priority since his first year serving on the NBWA Board of Directors and during his time as the chairman of the NBWA Political Action Committee. He continued those efforts as an NBWA officer.

“Every year he has stepped up to the plate encouraging others to support the NBWA PAC and led by example with his company’s own tremendous participation,” Purser said.

Click here to read about the recipients of the NBWA Life Service Award and the Industry Affairs Award, honoredMonday at NBWA’s 77th Annual Convention.

Press Release: NBWA 77th Annual Convention Celebrates Local Beer Distributor Contributions in Communities Across the Country

September 29, 2014

Day One Focuses on Regulatory, Commercial and Economic Value of Distributors  NEW ORLEANS, LA – The National Beer Wholesalers Association (NBWA) kicked off the first full day of its 77th Annual Convention today at the Hyatt Regency New Orleans. NBWA’s outgoing Chairman of the Board Greg LaMantia spoke about recent changes in the industry noting, “Change can be good. That’s exactly why today’s […]

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Press Release: Beer Distributors Recognized for Outstanding Service to Industry and Local Communities

September 29, 2014

Life Service and Industry Service Awards Presented at NBWA 77th Annual Convention NEW ORLEANS, LA – The National Beer Wholesalers Association (NBWA) honored several industry leaders today duringNBWA’s 77th Annual Convention taking place September 28 – October 1 at the Hyatt Regency New Orleans in New Orleans, Louisiana. The NBWA Life Service Award is presented to beer distributors who have dedicated a […]

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Press Release: NBWA Announces Winner of “Share Your Story” Video Contest Highlighting Beer Distribution Employees

September 29, 2014

Premium Beverage Sales Employee Wins Trip to NBWA’s 77th Annual Convention NEW ORLEANS, LA – The National Beer Wholesalers Association (NBWA) is excited to announce that Rick McAmis of Premium Beverage Sales in Springfield, Missouri, is the winner of the Second Annual Share Your Story Contest for beer distribution employees. McAmis was recognized on stage today during the general session of NBWA’s […]

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Press Release: NBWA 77th Annual Convention to Feature Mobile App and Exclusive NBWA-TV News Team

September 23, 2014

ALEXANDRIA, VA – The National Beer Wholesalers Association (NBWA) 77th Annual Convention will take placeSeptember 28 – October 1, 2014, at the Hyatt Regency New Orleans in New Orleans, Louisiana. This year’s convention offers attendees two ways to stay connected and engaged – the NBWA Convention mobile app and NBWA-TV. “In addition to an exciting lineup of general session speakers, 20 education seminars and more than […]

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Press Release: America’s Beer Distributors Commemorate Constitution Day, 21st Amendment’s Role in Establishing Today’s System of Alcohol Regulation

September 17, 2014

ALEXANDRIA, VA – Today, America’s beer distributors join citizens throughout the country in commemorating Constitution Day, which celebrates the formation and signing of the U.S. Constitution on September 17, 1787. National Beer Wholesalers Association (NBWA) President & CEO Craig Purser issued the following statement: “NBWA raises a glass in celebration of our nation’s Constitution, including its role […]

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Press Release: NBWA’s 77th Annual Convention to Feature Panel Discussion on “Main Street Fueling Wall Street”

September 16, 2014

ALEXANDRIA, VA – The National Beer Wholesalers Association’s (NBWA) 77th Annual Convention will take placeSeptember 28 – October 1, 2014, at the Hyatt Regency New Orleans in New Orleans, Louisiana. During the general session on Tuesday, September 30, President of G&M Distributors, Inc. Adam Vitale will moderate the panel, “Main Street Fueling Wall Street.” Participants include: ·         Mike Mazzoni, Former President, Barton Beers, Ltd. […]

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Press Release: CraftBeer.com’s 2014 Great American Beer Bars

September 15, 2014

The Battle of the Bars  Boulder, CO • September 15, 2014—Now more than ever, bars across the U.S. showcase the wide array of offerings from the more than 3,000 breweries in operation throughout the country today. To help navigate the nation for some of the best places to imbibe, CraftBeer.com—the Brewers Association (BA) website for beer lovers—surveyed its audience for its […]

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Press Release: Beer Industry Leaders to Speak at NBWA’s 77th Annual Convention

September 9, 2014

ALEXANDRIA, VA – The National Beer Wholesalers Association’s (NBWA) 77th Annual Convention will take place September 28 – October 1, 2014, at the Hyatt Regency New Orleans in New Orleans, Louisiana. During the general session on Monday, September 29, President of Gretz Beer Company and NBWA Communications and Public Affairs Committee Chairman Mike Gretz will moderate a panel of representatives from four breweries of […]

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