Governor Wolf Announces $1.2 Million in PLCB Grants to Develop and Promote Pennsylvania Beers

December 04, 2019

Governor Tom Wolf today announced the Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board (PLCB) has approved $1.2 million in grants for 18 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.

“Pennsylvania’s craft brewers are some of the most innovative, entrepreneurial people in the food and beverage industry,” said Governor Wolf. “These grants will support the innovation that has made Pennsylvania number one and will help keep us on top. By investing in the industry as a whole, increasing the quality and availability of locally-sourced ingredients, and building the consumer base, we are working to strategically sustain growth.”
Act 39 of 2016 created the Pennsylvania Malt and Brewed Beverages Industry Promotion Board 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 grant funds to be made available in subsequent years.

Since the first two rounds of beer grants awarded more than $1.5 million ($704,985 in 2017 and $816,412 in 2018) to projects, the Pennsylvania Malt and Brewed Beverages Industry Promotion Board recommended utilizing some of the unallocated grant funds from prior rounds for this current round of projects.
The grant projects, summarized as follows, were recommended for approval to the PLCB by the Pennsylvania Malt and Brewed Beverages Industry Promotion Board.

Grant Project: Grantee: Grant Amount:
Beer Tourism Grant for the Craft Beer Trail of Greater Philadelphia: Grant will allow Visit Philadelphia to market and promote greater Philadelphia’s craft beer and breweries in order to boost Philadelphia and Pennsylvania’s image as one of the country’s top destinations for craft beer; generate positive economic impact by driving visitation to Pennsylvania breweries; increase the number of breweries people visit; and increase the amount of money people spend at regional breweries. This grant builds upon a similar grant issued for October 2019 through June 2020 and extends funding through June 2021. Visit Philadelphia $150,000
Increasing the Participation of the Black Community in PA Craft Beer: Increase the awareness, knowledge, and experience of black people in craft beer and support and promote the Pennsylvania beer industry by offering educational opportunities (workshops, site visits, trainings) to drinkers, hop growers, and potential brewers in black communities in the greater Pittsburgh area. Black Brew Culture (Amber Epps Consulting & Mike Potter) $130,350
Poured in Pennsylvania, The Series: This series will follow the same themes, stories, and creative approach as the documentary Poured in Pennsylvania, funded through a previous grant cycle. The series – featuring 16 to 20 episodes, each 30 to 45 minutes in length and digitally distributed via Amazon Prime – will explore the state’s craft beer industry, including its impact in agriculture, tourism, and the economy in order to both educate viewers and spur beer tourism throughout Pennsylvania. GK Visual, LLC $120,000
Development of a Quality Testing Program to Support Pennsylvania Raw Materials and Malt Beverages: Creation of the first analytical lab dedicated solely to malt beverages in Pennsylvania, which will improve accessibility to affordable testing for farmers and brewers, provide assistance and education in quality production for farmers and manufacturers, and empower businesses to respond to quality concerns and build their own quality programs. University of the Sciences in Philadelphia Brewing Science Program $97,299
Grain Drying Proposal to Increase Quality and Production of Pennsylvania Malting Barley: Development of an economical, carbon-neutral drying process that will support increased production of Pennsylvania malting barley, prevent malting-quality barley from being rejected due to moisture levels, and increase the amount of Pennsylvania-grown malting barley available to Pennsylvania malt houses, all without impacting premiums paid to Pennsylvania farmers. CNC Malting Co. $88,640
Use of Wheat and Rye Middlings (Four Milling Byproducts) in Beer Brewing: Middlings, a byproduct of polished flour production typically sold as animal feed, present a potential low-cost solution for brewers to preserve grain flavors in lower-ABV beers. This research initiative will explore best practices for utilizing these grain byproducts during the brewing process, including full-scale testing with local brewpubs. Ryan Elias, Penn State College of Agricultural Sciences $83,790
Use of β-Glucosidase Enzymes to Improve Flavor and Aroma Yield from Hops: Evaluate the use of glucosidases to increase flavor and aroma extraction from hops during several stages in the brewing process. As consumer interest in heavily hopped beers grows, this research has the potential to provide the Pennsylvania brewing industry with a novel way to reduce hop costs while maintaining hop flavor and aroma quality and intensity. Ryan Elias, Penn State College of Agricultural Sciences $82,840
Pittsburgh Brewers Guild Update and Expansion: Expand upon the 30+-member PBG’s foundation and increase industry awareness and beer tourism across the Pittsburgh region by updating the Pittsburgh Brewery Guide and website and re-launching Pittsburgh Craft Beer Week. Pittsburgh Brewers Guild $75,000
Allegheny County Craft Brewery Tourism Campaign: A public relations and marketing campaign to increase awareness of Pittsburgh’s craft brewery scene in out-of-market audiences and attract new visitors to the 30+ breweries in the Allegheny County region. Tactics will include participation in an out-of-market craft beer event to promote the Pittsburgh brewery scene, development of a library of photo and video assets showcasing Pittsburgh’s brewing industry, a craft brewery tourism press tour, and digital and social media advertising. Visit Pittsburgh $75,000
Pennsylvania Brewing Symposium: Expansion of the one-day Brewing Symposium hosted by Brewers of Pennsylvania for the last five years to a two-day professional development event, inviting presenters and attendees to share research and experiences, gain insight, discuss the science and business of brewing, and network. Past grant recipients will be invited to deliver updates on their research and findings to the Pennsylvania brewing industry. Brewers of Pennsylvania $71,000
Craft Beer Value Chain Development: Expanding Hops Processing in Western Pennsylvania: A first-of-its-kind-in-Pennsylvania research and development/outreach and education project aiming to increase the market share of local hops in Pennsylvania’s craft brewing industry by increasing the shelf life of locally sourced hops through improved processing and storage methods, increasing brewers’ access to local hops, and expanding local hop growing. Maria Graziani, Penn State College of Agricultural Sciences $56,258
Gluten-Free Beer Production in Pennsylvania Using Unmalted Grains: Evaluation of the use of unmalted grains and enzyme supplementation for several non-barley/wheat gluten-free grains in order to develop best practices for producing sufficient levels of fermentable sugars and free amino nitrogen for gluten-free beers. Darrell Cockburn, Penn State College of Agricultural Sciences $53,514
Education and Marketing of Grain/Malt Produced for Commonwealth Brewed Beverages: Strengthening of the grain and malt value chain in Pennsylvania through enhancement of two events that continue to grow each year: the Philadelphia Grain & Malt Symposium, a technical conference and networking event showcasing Pennsylvania brews using local grains and malts, and the Malt-A-Palooza field day, an education and marketing event celebrating local agriculture and featuring malter demonstrations, brewer expositions, farmer education, and entertainment. Deer Creek Malthouse $47,561
Cumberland Valley Beer Trail Marketing & Visitation Increase: Enhance promotion of the 29-location Cumberland Valley Beer Trail through eye-catching advertising wraps on 20 full-time rideshare vehicles for three months (mid-June through mid-September) in Washington, D.C., and Philadelphia, in order to increase the sale of malt and brewed beverages produced in Cumberland County and the surrounding region and increase sales and visitation to other businesses in the area through beer tourism. Cumberland Area Economic Development Corporation $35,000
Meeting of the Malts: The Growler Awards: Expansion of The Meeting of the Malts, the signature annual event of the Brewers of Pennsylvania, transforming the traditional panel discussion, beer pairing dinner, and beer festival into an industry awards event including all beer entities within the Commonwealth and serving as the primary meeting place to celebrate the successes of the Pennsylvania craft beer industry and discuss industry challenges and trends. Brewers of Pennsylvania $25,000
Educating Agricultural Producers on Legal Considerations Associated with Hops Production on Leased Land: Through creation of educational materials, this project will address commodity-specific legal issues, including lease preparation, of concern to agricultural producers considering undertaking or continuing cultivation of hops, thereby increasing hops cultivated in Pennsylvania and increasing agricultural and beer industry economic development. Ross Pifer, Penn State Center for Agricultural and Shale Law $13,998
Cultivation of Two Unique Pennsylvania Varieties of Hops on Sonco Pipe Trellis System: Purchase of the Sonco Pipe trellis system to compare its cost-effectiveness and durability for hop growing in comparison to conventional Larch poles, along with propagation of two unique Pennsylvania hop varieties. Douglas Clayton, Hop Stop Farm $5,184.20
Construction of an Economical and Efficient Hop Dryer: Grant funds will be used to build an efficient and inexpensive hop dryer that will be able to handle 700 to 800 pounds of wet hops every 12 hours. Assuming the project is successful, mass production of this affordable dryer would allow growers with 2 to 3 acres of hops to avoid significant start-up costs associated with commercially available dryers. Douglas Clayton, Hop Stop Farm $3,821

In addition to the beer grants awarded since 2017, the PLCB has awarded nearly $4 million in grants for the development and promotion of the Pennsylvania wine industry.

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 $18.5 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 www.lcb.pa.gov.

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