Gov. Wolf Announces $1.78 Million in Grants for Producing, Promoting Pennsylvania Beers and Wines

October 19, 2022

Governor Tom Wolf today announced the Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board (PLCB) approved grants totaling $1,788,924 for 21 projects to increase the production of Pennsylvania-made malt and brewed beverages and enhance the Pennsylvania beer industry through promotion, marketing, and research-based programs and projects, and to enhance the Pennsylvania wine industry and increase production of Pennsylvania-made wines.

“Since 2017, we have awarded more than $12 million to projects that support Pennsylvania’s growing wine and beer industries as they explore research, improve products and raise awareness,” said Gov. Wolf. “This is an investment that helps growers meet increasingly complex challenges, provides higher-quality and better-tasting products, and connects consumers with Pennsylvania wines and craft beverages that are among the finest in the nation.”

Act 39 of 2016 created the Pennsylvania Malt and Brewed Beverages Industry Promotion Board within the department of Agriculture and authorized the PLCB to approve up to $1 million annually for development and marketing of the Pennsylvania beer industry. The Pennsylvania Fiscal Code also allows for unallocated beer grant funds to be made available in subsequent years.

The following 12 beer projects totaling $798,262 were recommended to the PLCB by the Pennsylvania Malt and Brewed Beverages Industry Promotion Board and subsequently approved by the PLCB for funding:

GRANT PROJECTGRANTEEGRANT AMOUNT
Beer Analysis Lab Services and Brewing Science Program Expansion: Point Park University will expand its Brewing Science Academy offerings by providing scholarships to minorities and underrepresented groups to attend its introductory Brewing Science course, develop a new Advanced Topics brewing course, and establish a beer analysis lab to serve local breweries free of charge.Point Park University$39,113
Increasing the Efficiency, Quantity, and Quality of Hops Harvested in Northwestern Pennsylvania by Introducing a Wolf Harvester: The presence of a Wolf hop harvester in Western Pennsylvania will provide current and future hop growers with an efficient and cost-effective machine for picking hops. The Wolf harvester will increase the quantity and quality of hops made available for craft breweries to use in making beverages from locally sourced ingredients.Hop Stop Farm$43,000
An Economic Impact Analysis of Pennsylvania’s Beer Industry: The study will measure the direct, indirect, and induced impacts of the three tiers of Pennsylvania’s beer industry (production, wholesale, retail). Additionally, the study will estimate the effects of Act 39 of 2016 and COVID-19 on the industry.West Chester University$98,126
Craft Beverage Trail Expansion, Marketing, Sales, Engagement: Through development of an interactive online trail guide and new app, Explore Schuylkill will further develop, expand, and enhance marketing and promotion of the existing Craft Beverage Trail which showcases America’s Oldest Brewery within the growing craft beer industry.Explore Schuylkill$26,403
Enhanced Marketing for the Bucks County Ale Trail: Visit Bucks County, Bucks County’s officially designated tourism marketing agency, will use grant funding for new and enhanced marketing for the 26 breweries on the Bucks County Ale Trail in 2023. New content and increased advertising, including static and digital billboards and digital promotions, will drive traffic and increase sales by offering new and additional reasons to visit Bucks County breweries.Visit Bucks County$75,000
Allegheny County 2023 Craft Brewery Tourism Campaign: VisitPITTSBURGH will use awarded grant funds to continue to position Pittsburgh as a craft beer destination, driving visitor traffic and new business to area breweries. The campaign will be anchored by two major goals: promote Pittsburgh as a unique, must-see craft brewery destination and boost awareness of the diverse and quality products being developed in and by Pittsburgh breweries.VisitPITTSBURGH$65,000
Cumberland Valley Beer Trail Marketing Enhancements: Funds will be used to increase awareness of the Cumberland Valley Beer Trail through marketing efforts, including vinyl wraps on 12 full-time rideshare vehicles in out-of-state target markets and to conduct a photo/video shoot highlighting participating locations for future marketing use across all marketing media.Cumberland Area Economic Development Corporation$40,000
“WHAT’S BREWING”: “What’s Brewing” is a television series promoting all aspects of Pennsylvania’s evolving craft brewing industry. Recorded at brewery sites throughout the state, the program is also designed to promote tourism. Grant funding will provide for 36 new shows. CCI Communications Inc.$113,960
The Who Behind the Brew: Expanding upon its established beer-focused column, PA Eats will publish The Who Behind the Brew features each month, focused on people working in all aspects of the beer industry, including grain and hops farmers. PA Eats believes an imperative part of the longevity and resilience of PA’s craft brewing community is telling the stories of the people working within it and aims to continue building a community of engaged, passionate, locally focused beer fans.PA Eats$25,400
Launching Allegheny Mountain Malt: Food21’s Farm to Tap program seeks to increase the use of Pennsylvania-grown barley in the state’s craft beer industry by demonstrating the value to growers, processors, and brewers. Food21 will also establish Allegheny Mountain MALT, a new line of locally raised and sustainably grown malt. Food21$55,900
Use of Exogenous Sulfur-Carbon Lyases to Increase Desirable Hop Derived Thiol Concentrations in Pennsylvania Beers: Hops, a key brewing ingredient, contain extremely potent aroma active compounds called polyfunctional thiols that are highly desirable because they contribute pleasant flavors (e.g., “tropical,” “passionfruit,” “grapefruit”) to beer. This project will explore the use of enzyme additives, which are more commonly used in the wine industry, as a technique for increasing the concentrations of desirable polyfunctional thiols in beer.Pennsylvania State University$66,409
Building the Commonwealth Grain Brand: An Agricultural Marketing Campaign for Pennsylvania Malt and Brewed Beverages: This project aims to build the Commonwealth grain brand through education, networking, and direct-to-consumer marketing. Specific objectives include quarterly releases of the statewide collaboration “PA Pride,” grain demonstrations at PA farmers’ markets, the annual “Philly Grain & Malt Symposium” convening event, and a series of videos, articles, and resources promoting PA breweries using local grain.Deer Creek Malthouse$149,951

Act 39 of 2016 also expanded the Pennsylvania Wine Marketing and Research Board and authorized the PLCB to approve up to $1 million annually for wine research and promotion.

The nine wine projects totaling $990,662, summarized below, were recommended by the Pennsylvania Wine Marketing and Research Board and subsequently approved for funding by the PLCB:

GRANT PROJECTGRANTEEGRANT AMOUNT
Evaluation of Herbicide Toxicity and Persistence in Popular Grapevine Cultivars Grown in PA: The project aims to learn more about the scope of vineyard herbicide drift issues and the nuances of chemistry-specific herbicide damage threat to grapevines, thereby raising awareness about herbicide drift and stewardship regarding Pennsylvania vineyards. Pennsylvania State University$71,811
Increasing Desirable Aroma Compounds in Pennsylvania Wines by Treating Post Harvest Grapes with Elemental Sulfur: Varietal thiols are potent aroma active molecules that contribute highly desirable flavors to aromatic white wines, but, unfortunately, they’re often difficult to coax out of wine grapes. This project will evaluate some simple and cost-effective ways of increasing the levels of these compounds in wines made from Pennsylvania-grown grapes.Pennsylvania State University$83,242
Pennsylvania Wines Statewide Marketing: The Pennsylvania Winery Association will promote and market to wine enthusiasts through various marketing strategies (digital, print, video, etc.), to educate consumers about the diversity of the PA wine industry. Pennsylvania Winery Association$341,133
Evaluating Insecticide Resistance in Pest Populations across the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania: Through a collaborative partnership with Pennsylvania growers, this project aims to identify and verify the presence of insect pest populations that exhibit resistance to agrochemicals. A series of in vitro assays will be performed to diagnose the physiological mechanism(s) of resistance, which provides valuable information that will assist with the development of effective, site-specific pest management plans. Pennsylvania State University$38,079
Determining Fungicide Resistance in Grapevine Downy Mildew to Identify and Develop More Sustainable and Effective Disease Control: Downy mildew has been a major disease driving fungicide spraying in Mid-Atlantic vineyards. This proposal will determine frequency of resistance to commonly used fungicides and characterize resistance mechanisms in downy mildew populations, minimizing ineffective sprays.University of Maryland$79,370
Building Cluster Counting into My Efficient Vineyard to Aid Yield Prediction: Most yield prediction techniques are manual and/or destructive, involving counting clusters and assessing average cluster weight. For this project, a previously developed, inexpensive, easy-to-use smartphone cluster counting method for vertically shoot-positioned vines will be programmed into the myEV tool (available at efficientvineyard.com).Cornell University$54,107
Understanding Pennsylvania Wine Consumers and Their Wine Purchasing Behaviors Post-COVID-19: The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic has changed consumer behaviors; however, it is unclear how wine consumers have shifted their behaviors and attitudes towards PA wines. The project aims to uncover the how and why of these changes and develop recommendations for the Pennsylvania wine industry to target new consumer needs more effectively.Pennsylvania State University$116,600
Assessment of Economic Decision Levels for Spotted Lanternfly in Vitis Vinifera: This project aims to study spotted lanternfly economic thresholds and impacts on cabernet franc, measuring how insect density and number of yearly infestations impact yield losses, plant decline, and vine death. This research will inform management of spotted lanternflies and usage of insect-suppressing techniques.Pennsylvania State University$108,524
Regional Variability in Tannin Extractability from Red Hybrid Grapes: The tannin content of red wine is an important aspect of its quality; however, for various reasons, interspecific hybrids wine, which account for a large portion of PA wine production, are low in final tannin content. This work seeks to better understand regional variability in both total tannin content and factors impacting extractability and persistence, so producers can more predictably make higher tannin wines from available fruit.Pennsylvania State University$97,796

The PLCB regulates the distribution of beverage alcohol in Pennsylvania, operates 600 wine and spirits stores statewide, and licenses 20,000 alcohol producers, retailers, and handlers. The PLCB also works to reduce and prevent dangerous and underage drinking through partnerships with schools, community groups, and licensees. Taxes and store profits – totaling nearly $19.5 billion since the agency’s inception – are returned to Pennsylvania’s General Fund, which finances Pennsylvania’s schools, health and human services programs, law enforcement, and public safety initiatives, among other important public services. The PLCB also provides financial support for the Pennsylvania State Police Bureau of Liquor Control Enforcement, the Department of Drug and Alcohol Programs, other state agencies, and local municipalities across the state. For more information about the PLCB, visit lcb.pa.gov.

Pennsylvania ranks second in the nation for volume of craft beer production, having produced 3.2 million barrels in 2021 for a $5.5 million economic impact.

Fifth in the nation for wine production, Pennsylvania welcomes more than two million visitors to Pennsylvania wineries annually generating more than $476.5 million in tourism revenue. The economic impact of wine in PA is more than $1.4 billion.

Governor Wolf has served for two terms as a leader consistently at work for the people of Pennsylvania. Learn more about how his Priorities for Pennsylvania have fueled the commonwealth’s comeback, leaving Pennsylvania in a much better place than when he arrived.

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