San Diego Brewers Guild Names Erik Fowler As New Executive Director

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San Diego Brewers Guild (SDBG), the renowned nonprofit organization championing local craft beer businesses and entrepreneurs, has proudly announced the appointment of Erik Fowler, a stalwart of the beer industry with 15 years under his belt, as its new Executive Director. He succeeds Paige McWey Acers, who has now taken up a new role at Brewers Supply Group after a commendable five-year tenure as the Executive Director and a decade-long association with the Guild. The announcement came from the Board President, Haley Smith.

A dynamic figure in the beer community, Fowler, aged 35, boasts an illustrious career. He dedicated nine fruitful years as the Head of Education & Craft Hospitality at White Labs Brewing Co. and White Labs, the latter known for its pioneering biochemist team in yeast wholesaling, which continually seeks innovative methodologies to revolutionize brewing. Adding another feather to his cap, Fowler is a distinguished Certified Cicerone® — an esteemed certification likened to that of a wine sommelier. Furthermore, his association with the Brewers Guild is not new; the Ramona native has served as a Director on the Brewers Guild Board for the past eighteen months.

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Erik Fowler

Recollecting his early days, Fowler reminisced, “From my inaugural visits to taprooms and beer bars, my affinity for beer and brewing took root. Witnessing the inception of new breweries by novices and industry stalwarts alike and relishing the culinary delights of San Diego’s pioneering gastropubs, I was irrevocably smitten by the burgeoning community.” He further expressed his vision for 2023, emphasizing the trade group’s responsibility in upholding craft beer’s stature in evolving times. “I am honored to continue Paige’s illustrious legacy and ensure that San Diego’s independent craft breweries thrive,” he added.

San Diego County, fondly termed “The Capital of Craft™” since its trademarking in 2015, stands tall with the highest number of craft brewery locations among all US counties, boasting over 150 breweries. The journey began in 1997 when the Brewers Guild came into existence with a mere 15 breweries. McWey Acers commenced her journey as an administrator in May 2013, eventually being appointed as the Executive Director in December 2017.

Fowler’s academic achievements include being an alumnus of the Business of Craft Beer program at San Diego State University, from which he graduated in 2013. He also holds a certificate from UC Davis’s Intensive Brewing Science for Practical Brewing program and presently imparts his expertise as an instructor at SDSU and UC San Diego’s Extended Studies brewing program.

Haley Smith, who has collaborated with Fowler in the past, voiced her optimism, stating, “Erik’s profound knowledge and fervor are unparalleled. I am confident in his capabilities to spearhead the Guild and work in synergy with our members to augment San Diego’s thriving craft beer realm.”

Fowler’s journey in the brewing world began as a beer buyer, which led him to be amongst the pioneer employees at the erstwhile nano-brewery, ChuckAlek in Ramona. Subsequently, he joined forces with Stone Brewing and played an instrumental role in the inauguration of its downtown taproom on J Street.

For more details on the Brewers Guild’s 2023 Board of Directors, interested individuals can visit the official website. Updates on brewery events throughout the year are available on the Guild’s calendar. Craft beer enthusiasts should mark their calendars for the upcoming 15th-Annual San Diego Beer Week scheduled for November 3-12.

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