August recess is soon upon us. The magical time when much of Washington, D.C. vacates and heads back to their home states and districts for an entire month. Right now is the perfect time for you to invite Senators and Representatives to visit your brewery.
- Build a relationship. You have the best job in the world–you make beer for a living! But that doesn’t mean it’s easy. The beverage alcohol industry is highly regulated and it is good to have allies. You make an amazing beverage in your legislators’ home states and districts, and employ their constituents in solid manufacturing and service industry jobs. Invite your legislators to visit your brewery and see the work that you do on a daily basis, maybe even let them sample a beer or two. You are passionate about what you do and that is something that will resonate with members of Congress.
- The Craft Beverage Modernization and Tax Reform Act (CBMTRA). With the recess, lobbying stops in D.C., but it doesn’t mean that progress on the bill has to come to a halt. The newly introduced CBMTRA (S.1562/H.R. 2903) is a broad bill that includes a restructuring of the federal excise tax as well as other regulatory fixes that would be very beneficial to the craft brewing industry. Congress needs to be educated on the new legislation. Inviting your member of Congress to your brewery allows you to continue your advocacy efforts and keep the bill fresh in their minds. Help your legislator visualize how you would use the money saved on federal excise taxes, let them meet the employees that would be impacted if you had extra capital, explain how much time you would save if you didn’t have to get TTB approval to use certain exempt ingredients. Your efforts will help give us a leg up when they get back to D.C. in September.
- The Small Brewers Caucuses. As a craft brewer you know how important it can be to have loyal fans and supporters. Legislators that join the House and Senate Small Brewers Caucus are our fans on Capitol Hill. The BA works with the caucuses to host events and educate members of Congress and staff about craft brewing in the United States. Our last event featured Kim Jordan of New Belgium Brewing and Steve Hindy of the Brooklyn Brewery talking about how they got started and the future of small and independent craft brewers. Next will be a briefing about homebrewing. Currently there are 151 members of the House Small Brewers Caucus from 40 different states and 27 members of the Senate Bipartisan Small Brewers Caucus from 21 different states. Let’s work together to get representation from all 50 states! Ask your member of Congress so show their support of small brewery business by joining the Small Brewers Caucus. Remember with beer, there are no red states or blue states, only brew states.
- Everybody is doing it. Visiting breweries is quickly becoming the campaign stop of choice for presidential candidates and other local officials. Who can blame them? 75 percent of adults live within 10 miles of their local craft brewery, many of which are hubs of their communities. It’s a great way for candidates and legislators to interact with small business owners, workers and their constituents, as well as garner some positive press.
So there you have it–four simple reasons to invite your legislator to visit your brewery this August. Reach out to their district or state offices today and don’t forget to let the BA know about your upcoming visits! We always want to publicize when a member of Congress visits your establishments.