Small Brewers Discuss Business Issues at U.S. Senate Forum

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At the invitation of the United States Senate Democratic Steering and Outreach Committee, Brewers Association Chief Operating Officer Bob Pease and thirteen Brewers Association (BA) member brewers appeared before the committee on Thursday, May 16 to discuss their businesses.

The committee invited the BA and a select number of individual BA members to appear so they could learn about the challenges and opportunities the small brewing community faces, the individual stories of how the breweries represented were started and how they have grown as small businesses in a highly regulated industry. The discussion covered a wide range of issues from taxation and regulation to the key role many small breweries play in revitalizing communities across the country.

The committee was also interested to learn about how small breweries act as economic engines, not only in their home communities through direct job creation, but also in the economic impact they have on related industries.  Recognizing the enormous economic value that small breweries bring, the committee hopes these discussions will lead to the identification of specific actions that will help small brewery businesses to continue to grow and thrive.

At the close of the hour-long session, Committee Chair Senator Mark Begich (AK) invited the brewers back at a future date to continue the discussion.

Participating BA member brewers:

Scott Newman-Bale, Shorts Brewing Co.
Curt Cameron, Thomas Hooker Brewing Co.
Peter Egelston, Smuttynose Brewing Co.
Gary Fish, Deschutes Brewery
Jeff Hamilton, Sprecher Brewing Co.
Steve Hindy, The Brooklyn Brewery
Jim Lutz, Coastal Brewing Co.
Nick Matt, F.X. Matt Brewing Co.
Ben Millstein, Kodiak Island Brewing Co.
Gene Muller, Flying Fish Brewing Co.
Volker Stewart, The Brewer’s Art
Brian Smith, Blackfoot River Brewing Co.
Steve Wagner, Stone Brewing Co.

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