As you learned from The Who, What and Why of Small Brewers Caucuses, the federal Small Brewers Caucuses are key allies for the craft brewing industry. Therefore, the Brewers Association takes a special interest in this group to make sure that the members of the Caucus see value in their membership. One thing the BA does to help educate congress is to host events where staff and legislators can learn about different aspects of the craft brewing industry. The more educated they are about different aspects of craft brewing the more likely they are to be active members of the Caucus.
One recent event was on the topic of homebrewing. The BA’s own Director of the American Homebrewers Association, Gary Glass came to Washington, D.C. to speak about homebrewing in the U.S., some of the politics of homebrewing and how it translates to the craft brewing industry. Nearly 40 congressional staff members were in attendance for the presentation. Gary covered a range of topics, including the number of American’s who identify as homebrewers, legalities of homebrewing, the growing influence that millennials have on the hobby and how homebrewing has evolved due to the internet giving everyone access to recipes.
Only five of the staffers in attendance were homebrewers, but based off of the questions asked Gary likely encouraged some new participants. Gary also gaged staff interest about doing a hill staff only homebrew competition—he received some enthusiastic responses!
After the presentation the BA hosted a tasting for staff that included beers from breweries or brewers that started out homebrewing, including Dogfish Head, Flying Dog Brewery, New Belgium Brewing, 3 Stars Brewing Co. and more.
Past BA events include Kim Jordan of New Belgium Brewing Co. and Steve Hindy of The Brooklyn Brewery talking about how they started and grew their breweries and Jeff Hancock of D.C. Brau discussing the impact of federal excise taxes on craft brewing. The BA will continue to host educational events to promote craft brewing in Washington, D.C.