With a new report out that finds the United States’ unemployment rate, in June, hovered at 9.50 %, job creation remains a crucially high priority. As the country looks to rebound from the recession that has hit every industry hard, including beer, many leaders in Washington have set their sights for their local craft brewery when they return to their home states for the August recess.
Craft brewers represent a twinkle of light in a still dim and uncertain future. Many members of Congress and the Senate recognize that, despite a myriad of challenges, the craft beer segment has continued to grow, representing an opportunity to create ten-of-thousands of jobs for the improving US economy, not only in the brewhouse, but in companion industries like agriculture and tourism, areas that have had a tough go in the current economic climate.
A recent example of an elected official visiting his local craft brewer happened on July 5th when US Senator Ron Wyden (OR) stopped by Ninkasi Brewing in Eugene to talk about lowering the federal excise tax for small brewers with the introduced bill S.3339. The state of Oregon is heavily entrenched in the craft beer culture with almost 100 small breweries in the state today and the Pacific Northwest region being home to the majority of hops grown in the country, there is no doubt that a bill to help brewers expand their business and cultivate jobs was welcome news from Senator Wyden.
In addition to S.3339, Congressman Richard Neal (MA) has introduced HR 4278 which is a companion bill to the Senate’s S.3339 introduced by Senators John Kerry (MA) and Mike Crapo (ID) and which Senator Wyden is a co-sponsor of. To find more information on either of these bills visit their Resource page.