During the historic Delaware Craft Brewers Guild formation meeting on Monday, June 27, held at Dogfish Head Craft Brewery's Milton facility, Delaware Congressman John Carney Jr. (D) made a guest appearance to learn more about the Delaware craft beer industry and the Small Brewer Reinvestment and Expanding Workforce Act (Small BREW Act).
Sam Calagione, Dogfish Head CEO/President, and Mark Edelson, one of the founders of Iron Hill Brewery, both Members of the Brewers Association's Board of Directors, originally planned for this meeting to focus on the start of the Delaware guild, but when they reached out to Carney's office to inform him that most of the state's small brewers would be in attendance, the brewers were honored to learn the Delaware congressman added it to his calendar!
With Brewers Association guild specialists, Pete Johnson, Programs Manager, and Acacia Coast, State Brewers Associations Coordinator, also in attendance for this initial meeting, the group voted on a mission statement and sorted out various preliminary details of forming the Delaware Craft Brewers Guild. Carney, along with Deputy State Director, Molly Magarik, then joined the meeting to discuss issues breweries are facing as well as the excise tax recalibration bill.
The bill's goal of stimulating economic activity by creating jobs in the craft brewing segment was underscored by Edelson's estimate that nearly 100 jobs will be created when Iron Hill opens its ninth location in late 2011. Representative Carney listened intently to all the Delaware brewers had to say and asked insightful questions, making for an extremely productive dialogue.
Following the meeting, Calagione led Carney and the group on a tour of the Dogfish Head brewery and a tasting of a variety of Delaware beers provided by the attending brewers.
Currently, H.R. 1236 has 90 co-sponsors and S. 534 has 35 co-sponsors. Each sponsor list boasts strong bi-partisan support of the initiatives. The House side bill has been referred to the House Committee on Ways and Means while S. 534 currently resides in the Senate Finance Committee.