When people think of craft brewing, they don’t necessarily think of political activism. But thanks to an active and informed community of craft brewers and enthusiasts, that perception is starting to change.
Since I started at the Brewers Association less than nine months ago, I have been blown away by the impact craft brewing is having in Washington, D.C. People want to talk about what’s happening in the brewing community, primarily because brewery owners, brewers, employees and their fans are passionate about the beers produced by craft brewers and the community they create around their beer.
I see the brewing community making an impact every day. These numbers will give you some insight into the current impact of beer politics in Washington, D.C.
Bills currently in Congress impacting the craft brewing community
There are currently six bills in Congress that would directly impact the craft brewing community. Whether it’s reducing taxes, changing bond requirements, or allowing the Postal Service to ship alcohol, members of Congress are introducing legislation that could positively impact your business.
24 & 111
Senators and Representatives, respectively, co-sponsoring the Craft Beverage Modernization and Tax Reform Act
As of October 20, 2015, 24 Senators and 111 Representatives co-sponsored the Craft Beverage Modernization and Tax Reform Act, a Brewers Association-backed bill that would reduce federal excise taxes (FETs) for the craft brewing industry. In fact, there are three different bills in the 114th Congress that would reduce your brewery’s FET.
33 & 181
Senators and Representatives, respectively, members of the Small Brewers Caucus
There are 33 senators and 181 representatives, as of Oct. 20, that make up the Small Brewers Caucus, which is fast becoming one of the largest interest group caucuses in Congress. The Small Brewers Caucus educates lawmakers about the craft brewing business. From labeling requirements to regulating what can be done with spent grains, caucus members have opportunities and resources to learn more about what affects you. Invite your legislators to join the Small Brewers Caucus.
New Support Your Local Brewery Advocates at GABF
Nearly 550 people filled out the “Protect Craft” passport at the Support Your Local Brewery pavilion during this year’s Great American Beer Festival. Attendees tried beers, spoke to guild leaders, signed up for Support your local brewery, and emailed their lawmakers to join the small brewers caucus. Beer lovers have shown they are more than willing to take action!
People who reached out to their legislators in your support
Over 3,000 people have reached out to their legislators asking them to support legislation lowering the FET for the craft brewing industry. This kind of grassroots effort is what sets craft brewing apart from the crowd – that, and the fact that you’re making beer! To join your peers and advocate for a lower FET for your brewery.
Breweries registered in the United States in 1873
In 1873, there were 4,131 registered breweries in the United States, the most the country had ever seen. Now, 142 years later, we are finally on track to surpass that record. More craft breweries equals more craft beer, which in turn equals more brewing enthusiasts. This will undoubtedly mean a more active and active brewing community.
Every member of the brewing community
The last number is also the most important and it represents you. If you want to continue to see the craft brewing community and its influence grow, you’ll have to do your part. Continue to create a quality product, defend the interests of your brewery and actively participate in the community. 2015 was a great year for craft brewing. With the help of one more person, namely you!, the future can be even brighter.