What the Nevada Guild Looks to do to Jump-Start Industry

This is a part of a continuing series of Q&As with members of the brewing community from across the US.Brewer Magazine will share business and personal insights from Brewmasters, Head Brewers, Brewing Managers, Sales Directors, QCQA Managers and others each weekend to help you get to know each other better in the industry and learn more to better develop your own brand.In this Guild Showcase series, we get insights from state guild members.

Wyndee Forrest, President, Nevada Craft Brewers Association — Las Vegas

​BREWER: What new initiatives or law reforms have been worked on lately by your guild that’s unique or making your member breweries become more successful?
​FORREST: ​Our current focus on legislative issues at Nevada Craft Brewers Association is becoming prepared for the next legislative season in early 2023. Nevada only meets once every two years to make decisions on legislative issues so it’s imperative that our bill makes it to the floor. It’s time that professional breweries affect change within our state because previously, most legislative issues that impact our industry are created by the wholesalers. Nevada is a non-self distribute state, therefore any beer that is to make it to market has to go through our wholesale partners. There is an unfair favoritism that benefits the wholesalers. For instance, if a brewery wants their own product to move from their brewery to their own ancillary tasting room, it has to be sold to the distributor and then purchased back from the distributor. Franchise laws need to be modernized as well.

​BREWER: What business strategies are you encouraging breweries to evolve toward to help stay competitive or even flourish during this period of the industry?
FORREST: NCBA hosts a quarterly educational webinar that’s focused on beer quality. We’ve had webinars that went in depth on the changing barley harvest, draft line safety and hop usage and forecasting. It’s important that Nevada breweries are creating the best quality example we can for our state.

​BREWER: How do you feel your guild has had to adapt in the industry compared to a few years ago?
FORREST: Our guild has gone through many challenges as most guilds have, however our guild has recently been revived. NCBA was dormant for a few years but there is such a dire need to have one united voice for our Nevada breweries whether it’s how our products are represented in the media, promoting Nevada made products, being top of mind for food and beverage directors and decision makers, competing on a national level, and having representation on the legislative stage.

​BREWER: ​Can you share a success story (be it a brewery, an event, law change, etc.) that you are proud the maturity and growth of what they have done or perhaps a story of how you learned from a situation that has altered your thoughts on how you do your job now and how the guild works with its members?
FORREST: We’ve seen a recent change in a demand for Nevada-made products. I believe this has to do with our efforts for promoting that Nevada makes quality craft beers to be proud of. Previously, Nevada had challenges with its reputation for not having a vast choice when it came to Nevada made products; however, with improvements in city licensing and increasing the barrelage cap of production, all of these things have come together and we’ve seen a resurgence in demanding Nevada made beer. Two legislative sessions ago, the NCBA was successful in increasing the cap on barrelage from 15,000 barrels annually to 45,000 barrels. We as a guild learned a lot from that legislative season and we’re taking those lessons and applying them to our next legislative season. I think the biggest thing that we learned is to foster relationships with our legislators and let them know that we are independently owned businesses and their decisions affect the livelihood of the people who we employ in Nevada.

​BREWER: In today’s business climate for craft beer, how will a brewery grow?
FORREST: A brewery will only grow and be successful if they can earn their community’s support. Support comes in the form of trust, trusting that the beer will be consistent and of high quality, trust that the brewery has integrity and values the community’s trust. Most of all, a brewery will only grow if the passion and drive are truly there to serve their community.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *