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The Alchemist Brewery Debuts "Independent, Family Owned" Seal

The Alchemist Brewery Debuts "Independent, Family Owned" Seal

The Alchemist Brewery in Stowe, Vermont has unveiled a new "Independent, Family Owned" seal for its beers. The brewery is responding to the shifting definition laid out by the Brewers Association on what a craft brewery is via its "Certified Independent Craft" seal. More details on the brewery's reasoning is below.


Stowe, VT – How do you know a beer that’s labeled “craft beer” is really made by a small, independent producer? You don’t. That’s why the Alchemist Brewery of Waterbury and Stowe, Vermont, has debuted a new seal that says100%, Independent, Family Owned. The brewery previously printed the widely used and recognized Brewers Association’s Certified Independent Craft seal on all of their canned and bottled beer offerings. However, over the years, The Brewers Association has updated its definition of a craft brewery multiple times to help retain some of its biggest members. And, while this may be good for the country’s biggest craft breweries, “we don’t feel the definition of Craft Brewery, as defined by the Brewers Association, paints a clear picture of our business,” said Jen Kimmich, who co-founded the brewery with her husband John in 2003.

“2019 was a challenging year for craft brewing. We all watched with sadness as many of our favorite breweries were forced to sell out to larger beverage companies, brewery “collectives” and private equity firms. We don’t fault these brewers. These sales often come out of necessity—a last resort to protect a business that is struggling to stay competitive and financially viable. We get it. However, over the years, as our biggest craft breweries have grown in size and have merged with other beverage makers, the definition of “craft brewery” has also evolved,” Jen Kimmich said. “We are a small, family-owned craft brewery and we intend to stay that way, and we want to get that message out to the public.”

The Brewers Association defines “small” as a brewery that produces 6 million barrels of beer or less per year. Their definition of “independent” is “less than 25% of the craft brewery is owned or controlled (or equivalent economic interest) by a beverage alcohol industry member which is not itself a craft brewer.” The Kimmichs believe these parameters are confusing for consumers, who may be unaware of the ownership behind their favorite brews. The Alchemist is committed to being transparent, and to making sure that consumers know where, and how, their beer is made. So, along with their in-house Art Director, Jess Graham, they created their own seal to highlight their business values and fiercely independent approach. 

The Kimmichs started their Vermont-based brewery as a brew pub in 2003. Today, The Alchemist crafts less than 20,000 barrels of beer annually between their two Vermont breweries and they are 100% independent. They are a B-Corp, and they are deeply engaged in community philanthropy, including founding the Alchemist Foundation to expand opportunities for local youth.  Notes co-founder John Kimmich, “Our independence allows us to invest in our communities and our employees, instead of focusing on growth and investor profits. We are passionate about making great beer, but we are also committed to providing good jobs with strong benefits, investing in environmental initiatives to minimize our footprint, and giving back to our communities.”

ABOUT THE ALCHEMIST

The Alchemist, founded in 2003 by John and Jen Kimmich, operates in Waterbury and

Stowe, Vermont, and is Vermont’s only B-Corp brewery. They are known for their award-winning Heady Topper and Focal Banger IPAs as well as a rotating selection of distinctive ales and lagers available at their 16,000- square foot brewery and visitor center in Stowe. They employ 50 people and distribute their beer throughout Vermont. Learn more at www.alchemistbeer.com