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Texas Craft Brewers Guild offers membership scholarships

This month, a grant program is open for applications to support aspiring craft brewery owners in Texas. Beneficiaries will receive one year of free membership (a $300 value) to the Texas Craft Brewers Guild, the trade association for independent craft breweries in Texas. The grant program is funded by Method Architecture, a Texas-based firm that is also a longtime member of the Guild.

“Joining the Guild at the earliest stages of a brewery project can avoid wasted time, expense, headaches and heartache, so the benefits of membership are very real,” says Meg Ellis, the Guild’s deputy director. “And from an industry perspective, this grant program goes a long way toward making our industry more inclusive, creating an on-ramp for entrepreneurs who might not otherwise see themselves reflected in our membership.”

Benefits for Brewery in Planning members include access to the Guild library of recorded and live online educational resources, attending monthly member meetings and annual conferences, connecting with nearly 250 experienced brewery owners and more than 70 colleagues in planning about the statewide, and networking with hundreds of vendors, like Method Architecture, that will be crucial to their success as brewers and business owners.

Deidre and Will Amaya, the husband-and-wife team who recently founded Bay Area Brewing Co. opened in Rockport, Texas, received grants in the 2023-2024 cycle.

“The Brewery in Planning Grant is not just a monetary award. For us it was much more,” says Deidre. “We (used) the recognition as an opportunity to build our brand and grow our community as we looked to crowdfund and be taken seriously in a lucrative coastal real estate market.”

Entering the craft brewing industry is difficult, and startup costs continue to rise, along with the rising costs of ingredients, equipment, personnel and the ongoing logistical challenges that began during the COVID-19 pandemic. Studies have shown that people of color, women, LGBTQIA+ individuals, and entrepreneurs outside metropolitan areas experience barriers to accessing credit, capital, and other business support.

“We know the barrier to entry for starting a new business can be tough, especially for minority business owners,” said Jackie Rye, Method Architecture Partner and project lead for multi-medal breweries including True Anomaly Brewing (Houston) and HIll won the beer competition. Country destination Bear King Brewing (Marble Falls). “Our hope is that the grants will allow these entrepreneurs to focus on what they do best and fully utilize the resources available within the craft beer community.”

In 2021, the first year of the grant program, approximately thirty applications were submitted representing every corner of the Lone Star State, including projects in Prosper, Tyler, College Station, Missouri City and Allen, expanding the reach and appeal of craft beer companies to inhabitants were shown. in rural, suburban and urban communities alike. To date, 18 grants have been awarded. This year the organization wants to award another five subsidies.

Applications must be submitted before May 31, 2024. Eligibility criteria, award timeline and application form can be found at https://texascraftbrewersguild.org/method-bip-grants

Learn more about the 2023 grantees here: https://texascraftbrewersguild.org/2023bipgrantees/