On November 4, Brewers Association (BA) CEO Bob Pease and Beer Institute (BI) CEO Jim McGreevy spoke with House and Senate staff about the Craft Beverage Modernization and Tax Reform Act (H.R. 2903/S.1562). This was the first event executed jointly by the two association that was open to all Members of Congress and staff. The purpose of the briefing was to educate hill staff about the legislation and address any concerns. Nearly 40 people were in attendance for the briefing—only five of which were from offices whose Member of Congress were already bill co-sponsors.
The discussion was moderated by BI Communications Director Denise Dunkel, and guided mostly by questions from the audience. Both associations gave their organization’s background, giving Pease the chance to differentiate the BA from the BI by discussing the broad membership, publishing, the American Homebrewers Association and events.
On a question about the origin of the beer excise tax, Pease was able to discuss the history and definition of the American craft brewer and how it relates to the tax reform bill. He stated, “The small brewery tax differential is critical to the success of the American craft brewing industry.”
“The small brewery tax differential is critical to the success of the American craft brewing industry.”
Bob Pease, Brewers Association CEO
Both Pease and McGreevy discussed the economic benefits of the bill. Pease used Port City, a brewery many hill staffers know well, as an example. He described how much they would save, given their current size, and how they would use the money. This was also a great opportunity to mention the growth of the industry and the how the tax legislation would help keep that momentum going.
Following the discussion, the BA and BI hosted a reception, giving the group additional time to discuss the legislation.