History in the Making: District Cincinnati Changes Its Name to District Midwest

As the MBAA Heritage Chair, I am pleased to share with all of you...history in the making! District Cincinnati is formally announcing that it is changing its name to “District Midwest.”

At our two previous Board of Governors meetings—first in Portland, Oregon, in July 2012, and our most recent meeting in Austin, Texas this past October—much of the dialogue centered around ensuring value and driving relevance to our membership. Our MBAA Strategic Plan and its accompanying objectives deal with encouraging more participation in our local districts. Answering this call, many of us in District Cincinnati began discussing the possibility of changing the name of our local district from “District Cincinnati” to, well, something else that would better reflect just who we are. Over the course of several district meetings, members discussed the pros and cons of the name change.

The “preservation debate” is rarely, if ever, an easy one, and our district name change certainly fits that billing.  Some members were very much opposed to the change, citing the long-standing heritage of Cincinnati and its brewing traditions. We were, after all, one of the original districts present at that first Chicago meeting when our founders formed MBAA in March of 1887—a remarkable claim! Just a few years ago, we even changed our district emblem to better reflect this.

I reminded our members that, in order to drive relevance and better reflect its purpose, even MBAA has changed its name three times since 1887! In like manner, our name change to "District Midwest" also drives relevance and better reflects our purpose. The name is far more inclusionary. It acknowledges and receives with open arms the gifts of the separate brewing heritages of the entire state of Ohio, all of eastern Indiana, and all of northern Kentucky.

The change was agreed upon at our April 6, 2013, district meeting, which was, quite fittingly, at the Morlein Lager House... in downtown Cincinnati. The MBAA Executive Committee fully supports the name change. Now we begin a second challenge: that of creating an emblem that properly represents just who we are as a district while at the same time recognizing our 127-year district history.

RickCincinnatiForweb.jpg

The accompanying photo was taken at our April 6 Morlein Lager House meeting. It shows me (left) with long-time District Cincinnati member John Piening (right), of Samuel Adams, proudly wearing a shirt bearing the District Cincinnati emblem. John is a third generation Cincinnati brewer. The Morlein Lager House mural behind us colorfully depicts the history of Cincinnati brewing. On that mural, nestled neatly between our shoulders is John's grandfather! This is District Cincinnati's heritage at its very best!

Cheers!
Rick Seemueller

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