ABL to Recognize NBWA President & CEO Craig Purser with 2019 ABL Top Shelf Award

Award Will Be Presented at ABL’s 17th Annual Meeting in Las Vegas

OCTOBER 1, 2018 – BETHESDA, MD – American Beverage Licensees (ABL) is proud to announce Craig Purser, President & CEO of the National Beer Wholesalers Association (NBWA), will be recognized with the 2019 ABL Top Shelf Award at ABL’s 17th Annual Meeting on March 25, 2019 in Las Vegas, Nevada.

The ABL Top Shelf Award, the highest honor presented by America’s beer, wine and spirits retailers, recognizes those who have demonstrated professional excellence in the beverage alcohol industry, and have had a positive influence in their community.

During his tenure at NBWA, Purser has been a consensus builder among industry partners, alcohol regulators, public health advocates and elected leaders. Under Purser’s leadership, NBWA has worked with a wide variety of stakeholders to help Congress pass meaningful legislation that emphasizes the primary responsibility of the states to regulate alcohol as afforded them by the 21st Amendment. He has also championed efforts to addresses health and safety issues related to underage drinking and worked in coalitions with numerous industry partners to promote and defend the beverage industry.

Purser has served as a trustee for the Alcohol Beverage Medical Research Foundation and the Center for Alcohol Policy. He also serves as a member of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce’s Association Committee of 100, the ASAE’s Key Industry Association Committee and the Association Executives Council of the National Association of Wholesaler-Distributors. He served as the Chairman of the Board of Governors of the Bryce Harlow Foundation, an organization dedicated to advancing integrity in government. Purser has also served as a guest lecturer at the University of North Carolina, the George Washington University and the University of Oklahoma.

“During his nearly 15-year tenure at NBWA, Craig has demonstrated a tireless commitment to supporting the interests of over 3,000 independent beer distributors – working with stakeholders to find common sense solutions to a myriad of issues impacting the beverage alcohol industry,” said ABL Executive Director John Bodnovich. “In addition to his efforts on behalf of NBWA, Craig is committed to improving and advancing ethics in government advocacy, as evidenced through his volunteer work for so many important causes.”

The ABL Top Shelf Award will be presented on Monday, March 25 at the ABL Honors Gala, which is part of ABL’s 17th Annual Meeting in Las Vegas, Nevada on March 24-26, 2019. For more information about the event or to register, please visit the ABL Annual Meeting website or www.ablusa.org.

Sponsorship opportunities for the 2019 ABL Annual Meeting are currently available. For more information please contact Susan Day Duffy, Director of Operations & Trade Relations at day@ablusa.org or 301.656.1494.


American Beverage Licensees is the preeminent national trade association for beverage alcohol retailers. Direct retail beverage alcohol sales in the United States generate as many as 1.94 million well-paying jobs. ABL’s thousands of on-premise and off-premise licensee members are independent and often family-owned establishments. The beverage retailing industry pays over $25.3 billion in federal taxes and $18.36 billion in state and local taxes. To learn more about ABL, visit www.ablusa.org.