With the publication of the 2013 Stewardship Report, the Brewers Association is highlighting some particular areas of interest regarding the organization’s endeavors and accomplishments on behalf of members in 2013.
The Brewers Association (BA) recently published the latest Stewardship Report. This report serves as a summary of Brewers Association board, committee, staff and member activities in the 2013 calendar year. A major priority of the BA (and part of its purpose) is to protect small and independent breweries across the U.S. In 2013 the organization continued to focus on government affairs efforts ranging from monitoring state regulatory activity and assisting state brewers guilds to lobbying to reduce the federal excise tax for small brewers.
At the end of 2013, there were 137 House co-sponsors and 36 Senate co-sponsors of H.R. 494 and S. 917, the graduated small brewer excise tax reduction legislation. These bills seek a recalibration of the small brewer excise tax rate on the first 60,000 barrels to $3.50 per barrel and also provide for reducing the upper tax rate to $16 per barrel on beer production above 60,001 barrels up to 2 million barrels for brewers with an annual production of less than 6 million barrels.
In March, 220 state guild representatives and small brewers representing 46 states conducted more than 300 individual Congressional meetings.
BA Chief Operating Officer Bob Pease and 13 Brewers Association member brewers appeared before the United States Senate Democratic Steering and Outreach Committee in May to discuss their businesses, the challenges and opportunities in the small brewing community. The discussion covered a wide range of issues from taxation and regulation to the key role many small breweries play in revitalizing communities across the country.
In December, seven BA small brewery members led a tutored beer tasting for House Ways & Means Committee members and staff.
House and Senate Small Brewers Caucuses
Brewers Association members and staff participated in three joint House-Senate Caucus meetings in 2013. Topics included an introduction to small brewer excise tax recalibration legislation, the differences between craft brewed beer and adjunct lagers and a session featuring the BA small brewers participating in the Senate Democratic Steering and Outreach Committee.
There are 20 members of the Senate Bipartisan Small Brewers Caucus and 123 members of the House Small Brewers Caucus as of December 2013.
State Brewers Associations
The Brewers Association continued its support of state associations with meetings at the Craft Brewers Conference, Great American Beer Festival® (GABF) and the 2013 Washington, D.C. Legislative Hill Climb. Additionally, 14 guilds participated in the Support Your Local Brewery Guilds Pavilion at GABF. BA staff attended 41 guild meetings, plus three national and three regional guild meetings in 2013, and helped five new guilds organize.