San Diego Brewers Guild Names 15-Year Beer Industry Veteran As New Executive Director

San Diego Brewers Guild, a nonprofit 501(c)(6) organization that promotes local small businesses and entrepreneurs of craft beer, has named 15-year beer industry veteran Erik Fowler as its new Executive Director.

He replaces Paige McWey Acers, who departed for Brewers Supply Group after more than five years in the role and 10 years overall with the Guild. Board President Haley Smith made the announcement.

Erik Fowler, New Executive Director Of San Diego Brewers Guild

Meet Erik Fowler: A Seasoned Professional

Fowler, 35, spent the last nine years as Head of Education & Craft Hospitality at White Labs Brewing Co. and its sister company, White Labs, a yeast wholesaler with a team of biochemists that explore new ways to advance brewing. He is a Certified Cicerone®, a certification for skilled beer professionals that is often referred to as the equivalent for sommeliers of wine.

The Ramona native also served as a Director on the Brewers Guild Board of Directors for the last year and a half.

“My passion for beer and brewing stems from my very first visits to taprooms and beer bars,” Fowler said. “From the industrial garages of new breweries that were opened by both homebrewers and industry veterans, to the culinary programs of San Diego’s early gastropubs, my experiences were formative, and I fell in love with the budding community.”

“Fast forward to 2023, it’s up to us as a trade group to ensure craft beer’s continued relevancy and accessibility in our local communities with an ever-changing landscape. I will carry the torch for San Diego craft beer with pride and continue Paige’s legacy of helping so many independent craft breweries prosper.”

San Diego County is known as The Capital of Craft™, a moniker that was trademarked in 2015. San Diego has the most craft brewery locations among all counties in the United States with more than 150. The Brewers Guild was founded in 1997 with 15 breweries. McWey Acers was named the Guild’s first Executive Director in December 2017. She started with the Guild as an administrator in May 2013.

Fowler was part of the first cohort to graduate from the Business of Craft Beer program at San Diego State University in 2013. He also earned a certificate from UC Davis’s Intensive Brewing Science for Practical Brewing program. Fowler now serves as an instructor at SDSU, as well as in UC San Diego’s Extended Studies brewing program.

“I have worked with Erik for the last few years while on the Board of Directors, and he brings so much knowledge and enthusiasm to our organization,” Smith said. “I know he will do a great job leading us and working with our members, both individually and collectively, to continue to grow San Diego’s bustling craft beer industry.”

Fowler began his professional brewing career as a beer buyer, followed by becoming one of the first employees of the now-defunct nano-brewery, ChuckAlek, in Ramona. He then worked for Stone Brewing and helped open its downtown taproom on J Street.

Upcoming Events and Information

The Brewers Guild’s 2023 Board of Directors can be found here.

Individual brewery events for throughout the year are posted on the Guild’s calendar. The 15th-Annual San Diego Beer Week will take place November 3-12.

Congratulations, Erik Fowler, for being the new Executive Director of San Diego Brewers Guild!

The Latest
Embodied Pacific at UC San Diego
This fall, UC San Diego will unveil Embodied Pacific, an exciting multi-sited exhibition in partnership with the Getty initiative PST ART: Art & Science Collide....
Vinyl Disco Brunch Party at Beeside Balcony
Beeside Balcony in La Jolla is kicking off springtime with a new Vinyl Disco Brunch Party! Complete with stunning ocean views of the La Jolla coastline,...
Willie Nelson & Family Live at The Rady Shell
Mark your calendars and get ready for a musical journey with the legendary Willie Nelson & Family, gracing The Rady Shell at Jacobs Park. The...
man selling avocados at the fallbrook avocado festival
Spring is just around the corner and so is the Fallbrook Avocado Festival! Over 450 vendors will line Main Avenue and cross streets from East...
Kountry Wayne
Setting the stage for another month of outstanding and talented performers, The Magnolia is prepared for a great month of May—inviting you in to relax,...
Wild Weekend: Amazonia at San Diego Zoo for Earth Day
There are interactive experiences and fun for the whole family as you join us to celebrate Earth Day and Wild Weekend: Amazonia at the San...