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Beer Institute Names External Affairs, Communications Directors


WASHINGTON, DC – The Beer Institute today announced the hiring of Christina Hartman as senior director of beer policy and external affairs and Megan Kirkpatrick as director of communications. The trade association also promoted veteran staffer Susan Haney to senior director of industry affairs and added Sandra Castro to manage administrative duties.

The additional staff expertise will boost the Beer Institute’s policy and communications abilities. The trade association engages lawmakers, regulators, the news media and industry stakeholders on behalf of the brewers and importers of more than 90 percent of all beer consumed in the U.S.

“As the one trade association that benefits the entire brewing and importing industry and our key suppliers, the Beer Institute is continually increasing our professional capabilities to better serve all brewers and beer importers,” said Beer Institute President Joe McClain. “We have a great team of talented professionals to help our members meet their goals, whether that’s reminding policymakers that beer is the lowest-alcohol choice, or that the beer industry has a tremendous economic impact in the U.S., contributing more than $223 billion to the economy and employing more than 1.8 million Americans.”

In her position as senior director of beer policy and external affairs, Hartman will represent the beer industry on a wide range of public health and policy issues. She will focus primarily on the federal executive branch agencies and national and international organizations involved in combating alcohol abuse, alcohol research, public health measures and related topics. She comes to the Beer Institute from The Pew Charitable Trusts, where she worked with a broad range of partners to advance legislative goals to incentivize the development of new antibiotic drugs. Prior to that, she worked as a senior international health analyst for the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, where she worked closely with the World Health Organization, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and other partners to build influenza vaccine production capacity worldwide.

Kirkpatrick will work closely with Vice President of Communications Chris Thorne on developing and implementing a broad communications strategy to address the growing challenges facing the industry. Her background in grassroots initiatives, corporate communications, social media and media relations will help tell the Beer Institute’s story. In earlier positions at Qorvis Communications and Burson-Marsteller’s Direct Impact, Kirkpatrick advised a wide range of corporate and trade association clients including aerospace giant Pratt & Whitney, technology leader Adobe and ethanol trade group Growth Energy.

A 12-year veteran of the Beer Institute, Haney was promoted to senior director of industry affairs, focusing on a range of issues including membership development and legislative strategy. Haney has an impressive record as a coalition-builder among the Beer Institute membership and industry as a whole. Her new responsibilities include coordination and outreach with brewers, beer importers and allied businesses as the Beer Institute activates its membership in support of its policy and communications goals.

“Every segment of our industry should be concerned about the pending tax and regulatory threats, protecting the three-tier system and the fact that our nation’s economy is still growing too slowly. These changes to the Beer Institute team should assure every member, from the smallest brewer to the largest, that we take these challenges seriously, and we are in the best possible position to advocate on their behalf,” McClain said.

The beer industry continues to be a driver of job creation and economic impact. Recent data shows that the industry includes more than 2,500 brewer and importer establishments, 3,300 beer distributor facilities and 547,000 beer-selling retail establishments. In 2011, beer sales rose 2 percent to more than $98 billion, the largest share of revenue and volume within the alcohol beverage sector.


The Beer Institute, established in 1986, is the national trade association for the brewing industry, representing both large and small brewers, as well as importers and industry suppliers. The Institute is committed to the development of sound public policy and to the values of civic duty and personal responsibility: