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Governor Wolf Announces $791,000 in PLCB Grants for Developing, Promoting Pennsylvania Beers


Harrisburg, PA – Governor Tom Wolf today announced the Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board (PLCB) has approved grants totaling $791,412 for 12 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.

“Increasing the quality, production, and sale of malt and brewed beverages produced in Pennsylvania is vital not only to our growing beer industry, but these improvements also enhance agricultural and tourism opportunities in the Commonwealth,” said Governor Tom Wolf.  “These grants will explore how agriculture can better support brewers, give new tools and resources to beer makers, and ultimately help improve the craft beer experience for Pennsylvania consumers.”

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 craft beer and brewing industry continues to grow and thrive in Pennsylvania, and these grants will fund projects focused on agricultural research, industry training, product development, economic development and consumer engagement to advance production and marketing of Pennsylvania beers,” said Board Chairman Tim Holden. “The PLCB is proud to support the continued development of the commonwealth’s beer industry through these grants."

“Craft brewing has grown exponentially in Pennsylvania,” said Agriculture Secretary Russell Redding. “This investment in research will support our brewers’ efforts to produce quality and variety and stay number one in the nation.”

The grant projects, summarized as follows, were recommended for approval by the Pennsylvania Malt and Brewed Beverages Industry Promotion Board. 

Grant Project: 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 best places for craft beer; drive visitation to the five-county Philadelphia area and its roughly 100 breweries; and encourage more people to visit breweries during their time in the area, increase the number of breweries people visit and boost sales at breweries in the region.
Grantee: Visit Philadelphia 
Grant Amount: $125,000

Grant Project: Pennsylvania Craft Brew Festival
Modelling the successful Pennsylvania Wine Fest held each year at Seven Springs Mountain Resort, the first Pennsylvania Craft Brew Festival is expected to attract 5,000 to 7,500 people and 30 producers to take advantage of tastings and brewer education workshops. Economic impact of the 2019 event is estimated at $1.2 million for the Laurel Highlands Tourism Region.
Grantee: Somerset County Chamber of Commerce 
Grant Amount: $105,000

Grant Project: Improving the Agricultural Value Chain for the Craft Fermented Beverage Industry
Explore brewer demand for agricultural inputs for beer production and inform growers about increasing market opportunities, demand for ingredients and costs for producing crops for the beer industry. The project will facilitate agricultural literacy among brewers, who need to better understand crops’ seasonality and production costs, and farmers, who need better understanding of how to work with and supply local brewers.
Grantee: Penn State College of Agricultural Sciences 
Grant Amount: $98,702

Grant Project: Establishing and Maintaining a Research and Educational Hop Yard in Southwest Pennsylvania
Establish a hop yard in Washington County that will be an educational hub focused on sustainable production of hops, disease management, and growing conditions that will increase hop yield and growing success. The project will integrate local high school students and university students in design of the hop yard and development of marketing and business plans for hops as a local commodity and crop. 
Grantee: California University of Pennsylvania 
Grant Amount: $72,500

Grant Project: Educational Outreach for the Brewing Industry
Development of education, training and technical assistance to build a skilled workforce for the brewed beverage industry. Educational short courses, professional training and laboratory work aims to develop a strong foundation of educational and apprenticeship-type experiences to benefit current employees in brewing, as well as train a future workforce.
Grantee: Shippensburg University 
Grant Amount: $71,701

Grant Project: Pennsylvania’s Brewer’s Yeast Library
Improve the knowledge, processes and opportunities for small breweries in northwest Pennsylvania through development of a Brewer’s Yeast Library, which will offer training and short courses and use of Edinboro University facilities for propagation of yeast. Brewers will gain the knowledge and skills to grow and care for their own yeast, which could save brewers money and avoid contamination and flavor issues.
Grantee: Edinboro University 
Grant Amount: $71,060

Grant Project: The Story of Beer in Pennsylvania
Creation of a stand-alone, permanent exhibit in Pittsburgh informing consumers about Pennsylvania breweries and beers. Compelling stories about the legacy and vibrancy of beer in Pennsylvania will be presented in interactive, interesting and entertaining ways, compelling consumers to learn more about Pennsylvania’s brewing heritage and explore Pennsylvania breweries and beers.
Grantee: National Beer Museum Development Group 
Grant Amount: $59,700

Grant Project: Critical Success Factors for Advancing Beer Tourism in Pennsylvania
Identify, through surveys and interviews of owners of craft breweries in Pennsylvania, current barriers and success factors of craft brewery businesses; discuss with local tourism bureaus selection and promotion of beer tourism activities; and present research outcomes through outreach materials and a handbook.
Grantee: Penn State College of Agricultural Sciences 
Grant Amount: $47,276

Grant Project: Cumberland Valley Beer Trail Marketing and Visitation Increase
Enhance promotion of the existing Cumberland Valley Beer Trail through new photography and videography and expanded marketing campaigns to new outlets and target markets. Marketing efforts aim to increase the sale of malt and brewed beverages produced in Cumberland County and the surrounding region, as well as increase sales and visitation to other area attractions, lodging, dining and shops through beer tourism. 
Grantee: Cumberland Area Economic Development Corporation 
Grant Amount: $50,000

Grant Project: Measuring Amylase Activity in Non-Barley Malts for Gluten-Free Beer
Explore the use of gluten-free alternatives to barley in brewing to identify optimal mashing conditions and complementary combinations of gluten-free grains to achieve fermentable sugars comparable to those derived in barley and wheat worts. Effort will benefit Pennsylvania brewers who are brewing or wish to develop gluten-free beers. 
Grantee: Penn State College of Agricultural Sciences 
Grantee Amount: $46,766

Grant Project: Educating Hops Growers to Enhance and Promote the Pennsylvania Microbrewing Industry
Development of research-based recommendations for current and prospective hops growers on practices to start or improve their hop yard to produce high-quality product for the microbrewing industry.  Grant will sustain an existing research hop yard, provide for hop growing schools in eastern and western Pennsylvania to promote and educate growers on best practices and create an online hops database.
Grantee: Penn State College of Agricultural Sciences 
Grant Amount: $35,175

Grant Project: Malting Barley Extension and Outreach
Raise awareness among farmers, mills and distillers about quality standards for malting barley, which may lead to increased local production, improved grain quality, and availability of grain meeting quality standards.  Roundtable discussions and listening sessions with brewed beverage industry members will inform development of educational materials and field days for growers, buyers and brewers. 
Grantee: Penn State College of Agricultural Sciences 
Grant Amount: $33,532

The PLCB awarded the inaugural round of grants supporting Pennsylvania’s beer industry in February 2018, with grants for 13 projects totaling nearly $705,000.  In June 2018, the PLCB awarded $1 million in grants to enhance the Pennsylvania wine industry and increase production of Pennsylvania-made wines, bringing PLCB wine-grant funding to nearly $3 million since the first wine grants were approved in 2017.

The PLCB regulates the distribution of beverage alcohol in Pennsylvania, operates more than 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 $16.5 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


JJ Abbott, Governor’s Office, 717-783-1116 
Shawn Kelly, PLCB, 717-783-8864
Shannon Powers, Department of Agriculture, 717-783-2628

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