Across the United States, competition in the craft beverage alcohol industry is growing. Home to more than 300 licensed breweries, cideries, distilleries, meaderies, and wineries, Maryland offers consumers and visitors a bounty of great-tasting and authentic local libations. When compared to our regional neighbors, Maryland’s craft beverage alcohol industry is woefully underpromoted and at a serious competitive disadvantage.
Historically, these industries have promoted themselves independently, each targeting their own audiences and consumer groups. As craft beverage alcohol consumer demand evolves, so does the opportunity to reach a broader target audience. Today’s consumer seeks a variety of beverages, often blurring lines between product categories and interests and not fitting squarely into a position like “beer drinker.”
Currently, Maryland’s craft beverage alcohol producers operate within an industry facing numerous pressures. Since the beginning of 2023, Maryland has witnessed the closure, acquisition and/or consolidation of nearly one dozen breweries, wineries, distilleries and alcohol wholesalers. While each of these instances cites a unique business case, pressures like consumer preference, access to capital, retail saturation and widespread economic uncertainty are ongoing concerns for businesses in the industry.
This project aims to promote all locally crafted alcohol product types, benefiting the state’s alcohol industry by strengthening the position of locally produced beverages in a growingly competitive market. This effort encourages new businesses to enter the market while supporting Maryland’s manufacturers, retailers, and wholesalers. This project increases awareness about the state’s industry and increases demand for locally made alcoholic beverages. This project is anticipated to endure for several years and will roll out in discrete phases.
The RFP period for this promotional initiative is open from Friday, October 20, 2023 through Friday, November 17, 2023. Each response to the RFP should provide the required and requested information therein. View and download the full RFP for this project here.