7 Valuable Organizations Dedicated To Alcoholic Beverages

The alcohol industry is complex, highly competitive, and governed by regulation at every level of government. Designed to create favorable conditions for the production and distribution of beer, wine, and spirits, there are a number of different industry organizations, united by beverage type or region. These groups promote the wares of their members, host events, and lobby on behalf of business interests. In no particular order, this list shares associations bringing together alcoholic beverage companies and related ventures.

#1 is The Brewers Association of Maryland. Founded in 1996, this non-profit trade association works to promote and protect the state's beer industry. The group represents scores of member breweries, from Cecil County in the north to Worcester County at the southern tip of the Delmarva Peninsula.

The organization maintains The Supporters of Maryland Brewing PAC, a lobbying group that works to support policies beneficial to the state's beer companies. Part of its mission is to facilitate the establishment of new breweries and assist them through the licensing and startup process.

Coming in at #2, The Dundee Hills Winegrowers Association was formed in 2005 to highlight the unique relationship among soil, climate, and vintners in this region of Oregon, located southwest of Portland. Known particularly for its Pinot Noirs, the area has been home to vineyards for more than five decades.

The organization is made up of members including vineyards, wineries, retailers, restaurants, and B&Bs and inns. In addition to promoting these destinations and their products, the Winegrowers Association hosts events designed to highlight the best that the Dundee Hills have to offer.

For #3, we have Yakima Valley Wine, which represents the interests of the vino industry in the largest viticultural area in Washington, home to more than 40 wineries and one-third of the state's vineyards. The first grapes were planted in the region in the late nineteenth century, but its reds and whites did not begin attracting major attention until the 1980s.

The group supports marketing programs to build awareness of the region's wines, promotional efforts to attract tourists, and initiatives intended to share knowledge among area growers. Yakima Valley Wine also hosts events, such as tastings, fundraisers, and seasonal celebrations.

The #4 entry is the Wigan Campaign for Real Ale, one branch of a Britain-wide effort to preserve, promote, support and drink beer brewed with a particular set of traditional methods. Situated in a town between Liverpool and Manchester made famous by George Orwell, the chapter numbers more than 700 members, including breweries, pubs, and clubs.

Founded in 1971, the Campaign advocates for quality real ale, cider, and perry, highlights the importance of pubs and clubs to the UK's cultural heritage, and stresses the benefits of responsible social drinking. In pursuit of this mission, branches sponsor beer festivals and awards, host pub finders, and lobby the government on behalf of the industry.

In the #5 spot is The Distilled Spirits Council, which represents producers and marketers of liquor. The group lobbies lawmakers and regulators on the local, state, federal and international levels, promotes companies operating in the industry, and encourages moderate and responsible alcohol consumption.

The council offers members a hand in shaping its advocacy efforts, as well as access to insights and analysis, exclusive industry reports, and an international network of contacts. The organization was founded in 1973, as a merger between the Bourbon Institute, the Distilled Spirits Institute, and Licensed Beverage Industries, Inc.

At #6, Wines of Germany is the exclusive U.S. office of the European country's dedicated viticultural organization. The group offers information on varietals originating in some of the most northerly wine-growing regions in the world and promotes their consumption by Americans.

There are more than 140 different varietals grown in Germany, from Acolon to Zweigeltrebe, but it is the Rieslings and Pinot Noirs that have attracted the most international interest. On behalf of these beverages, Wines of Germany hosts events all over the United States, including paired dinners, food festivals, trade conferences, and tastings.

Finally, at #7, we have the Paso Robles Wine Country Alliance, whose members include wineries, vineyards, and others with a stake in the vino business in Central California. The group runs marketing programs to highlight wines produced in the region and promotional campaigns designed to draw wine-loving tourists.

Located between Los Angeles and San Francisco, the Paso Robles winegrape growing region boasts a climate that has facilitated the production of award-winning premium wines. The area hosts 40,000 vineyard acres, and more than 40 varieties of grape, allowing for a diverse array of reds and whites.