December 1, 2010
Craft Brewers Conference & BrewExpo America, March 23-26, 2011, Hilton Union Square
The Brewers Association is an association of craft brewers whose purpose is “to promote and protect small and independent American brewers, their craft beers and the community of brewing.” The craft brewers pride themselves on their small size and independence (no more than than 25% of their breweries can be owned by another industry member who is not a craft brewer). The Brewers Association credits the rise of craft brewing in the United States to a grassroots culture that arose in opposition to severe industry consolidation in the late 1970s.
The Brewers Association must be acutely aware of the fact that craft breweries face constant pressure and competition from major corporate breweries. A craft brewer’s survival must depend on average consumers choosing a (most likely more expensive) independent product over the cheap and mass-produced corporate beer offerings.
And yet, the Brewers Association has shown no qualms about choosing to violate the worker-called boycott of Blackstone’s Hilton Union Square. Hilton is owned by the Blackstone Group, the world’s largest private equity firm, with $119 billion in assets in its management.
The Hilton Union Square’s 850 union workers are fighting Blackstone to maintain affordable health care, decent wages, and a fair pension. They have asked customers like the Brewers Association to patronize non-boycotted hotels until they achieve a fair contract. We had hoped the Brewers Association, which knows what it’s like to fight Goliaths, would stand with the little guy, but so far, they’ve refused to even talk with us.
Are you a craft brewer or are you planning to attend the Craft Brewers Conference and BeerExpo America? Contact Bradley Latham and Bob Pease of the Brewers Association and tell them to honor the worker-called boycott of the Hilton Union Square and move the conference to a non-boycotted location.Bradley Latham Event Coordinator Phone: 303.447.0816 ext. 153 Bob Pease Chief Operating Officer Phone: 303.447.0816 ext. 112