The Austin Food & Wine Alliance Culinary Grant Program is the nation’s first program to provide funding that supports culinary innovation and contributes to the local community.


About the Austin Food & Wine Alliance Grant Program

What are the AFWA Grant Awards?
Launching into its sixth year of supporting culinary innovation and community giveback through its one-of-a-kind grant program, the Austin Food & Wine Alliance will award $60,000 in grants this year to selected organizations/individuals based on culinary innovation that contributes to the Austin and or Central Texas community. The grant amount is the largest in the organization’s history and pushes the cumulative total to $252,500 given to local culinary professionals and businesses for innovative projects that give back to the community.


What are Key Dates in the Grant Application Process?

  • Grant applications must be received via online submission at AustinFoodWineAlliance.org/grants between Sep. 13 – Oct. 15, 2018 (Application must be received by midnight).
  • Applicants will be notified no later than Nov 21, 2018.
  • The Grant Award Ceremony will be held Dec. 5, 2018 at the Fairmont Austin.


What are the Grant Eligibility Requirements?

  • Eligible applicants: Food and beverage artisan producers, chefs/culinary professionals, farmers, wine-, beer- and spirit-makers, and food-focused non-profits serving the Austin and or Central Texas Community
  • You must be located in the Central Texas region in one of the following counties: Bastrop, Bexar, Blanco, Burleson, Burnet, Caldwell, Comal, Gillespie, Grimes, Guadalupe, Hays, Kerr, Kendall, Lampasas, Lee, Llano, Mason, Travis and Williamson
  • Must demonstrate how the grant will be used for culinary innovation
  • Must demonstrate community giveback and/or show the impact the initiative will have on the community
  • Represent fiduciary responsibility and transparency
  • Must follow the reporting and accountability guidelines
  • Agree to participate in PR and social media initiatives to promote AFWA & Grant Program
  • Agree to AFWA website presence and mutual promotion of AFWA & Grant Program
  • Must submit three (3) current reference letters with dates detailing relationship to the organization/individual and explaining why the applicant should receive a grant.”


What Type of Projects/Initiatives have won AFWA Grants previously?
Since 2012 and through 2017, the AFWA has awarded $192,500 in grants to fund local projects. Some grant recipients include:

  • Seeding and establishing the state’s first organic apple orchard with Argus Cidery
  • A unique food preservation project for a mobile kitchen and traveling canning museum with Confituras
  • The first USDA-inspected salumi producer in Texas with Salt & Time Butcher Shop & Salumeria
  • The state’s first locally grown and malted barley to support craft beer production with Blacklands Malt
  • A one-of-a-kind volunteer program teaching farming skills to diverse populations and culinary students with New Farm Institute at Green Gate Farms
  • Production of a documentary film to teach students about the process of raising beef in Texas from pasture to plate with Pflugerville’s Connally High School Culinary Arts Department
  • a Georgetown farm producing stress-free, free-range meat while helping wounded veterans with Snodgrass Farm

For more details on past grant winners and their projects, click here.


Who are The Grant Judges?
The AFWA 2018 Grant Judging Committee is composed of a private panel of prominent culinary professionals and community members. Because the judges are deeply involved in the community, we do not share their names. The committee makes all decisions on grant awards and are based on the grant criteria, application information, and the goals of each applicant.


A Few Tips for Applicants:

  • Provide funding options on your application. If the grant judging committee doesn’t award the amount requested, tell them what you could do with a lesser amount to move your project forward.
  • Grant winners are selected from the pool of applications submitted for that year. In some years, that may mean there are more artisan producers or farmers but don’t assume the same type of applicant will be more favored than others.
  • Judges review all materials submitted. Grants are awarded based on meeting the grant criteria, complete application information and goals of each applicant.


When is the application period?
The application period will be from September 13 to October 15.


How can I make a donation to support the Culinary Grant Program?
Woohoo! Please click here to learn the many ways to support the Culinary Grant Program.


How can I or my business sponsor a grant?
Covering an entire grant of $5,000 offers the opportunity to name the grant and direct it toward a specific type of recipient that aligns with your giving interests. Whether a one-time or annual grant, your generous sponsorship will leave a lasting impression and provide value to the Central Texas culinary community for years to come.


How much has the Alliance given?
Austin Food & Wine Alliance has awarded $192,500 in grants to the Central Texas culinary community since 2011.


When will I hear back regarding my application?
Grant winners will be notified by November 21, 2018.


What are the eligible grant categories? How do I know which category to apply for?
Grants are awarded in the categories of Individual, Non-profit, and Business. If you’re unsure where you fall, we are happy to help- please email info@austinfoodwinealliance.org.


If I have previously received an AFWA grant, can I re-apply?
Yes! And in several cases, grants have been given on a second or third try. If you’ve received a grant, you can also apply again after three years of receiving the grant award.


What followup is required if I win a grant?
Grantees are required to submit two performance reports updating the AFWA on the progress achieved since receiving the grant. The final performance report will serve as a permanent record of the grantee’s accomplishments. These reports are due six months after receipt of the grant and will provide information to the AFWA Grant Selection Committee and staff as they evaluate the significance and impact of the AFWA grants.


Do I have to live in Austin to apply?
You must be located in the Central Texas region in order to be eligible. The following counties are eligible: Bastrop, Bexar, Blanco, Burleson, Burnet, Caldwell, Comal, Gillespie, Grimes, Guadalupe, Hays, Kerr, Kendall, Lampasas, Lee, Llano, Mason, Travis and Williamson.


When is the grant awards ceremony?
Grant award winners will be announced in a formal ceremony at the Fairmont Austin Hotel in Downtown Austin on December 5, 2018.


Who can attend the grant awards ceremony?
The formal ceremony is invite-only. Attendees include the grant award winners and their loved ones, participating restaurants and vendors, and AFWA sponsors and supporters.


How much funding is given out each year?
Grant award funding changes each year based on fundraising efforts and community support. In 2018, the AFWA will be awarding $60,000 in culinary grants.


What are the sizes of the grants?
Please refer to the grant recipient page to review the grant awards from previous years. Grant awards start at $2,500 and vary based on each year’s applicants, with the largest grant awarded so far being $12,500.


Is there any way I can see the questions on the application before I start the application process?
Yes! Click here to download a sample grant application.


Additional questions? Please contact culinarygrants@austinfoodwinealliance.org.