Small Brewers on Capitol Hill

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Last week, small brewers from across the country, along with Brewers Association staffers were in Washington D.C. for a series of different events and activities. Brewers Association President, Charlie Papazian; Chief Operating Officer, Bob Pease and Pete Johnson, Programs Manager participated in the inaugural joint meeting of the House and Senate Small Brewers Caucuses as well as partnered with the National Barley Growers Association on a reception for Member of Congress and Hill staff in the Cannon Caucus Room where Brewers Association member beer was provided. Additionally, BA staff coordinated lobby visits to 20 different Congressional Offices to seek support for Small Brewer Federal Excise Tax legislation.

On hand to meet with their home state’s representatives were Brewers Association members, and brewery owners, David Cole from Epic Brewing (UT), Dan Kopman of Schlafly (MO), Fritz and Erin Rahr of Rahr and Sons Brewing (TX), Jim Ebel of Two Brothers Brewing (IL) and Mike Killelea of Legend Brewing. Mike is also head of the Virginia Craft Brewers Guild (VA).

Hill Tasting

St. Louis Brewery/ Schlafly Beer Co-founder, Dan Kopman, himself no stranger to visiting legislators, spoke at the Democratic Senate Steering Committee, but perhaps the most buzz-worthy development on Capitol Hill last week was the Super Bowl wager between New York Senator Charles Schumer and Senator Jeanne Shaheen of New Hampshire. The friendly wager promoting each state’s world class craft breweries would have the losing team’s Senator purchasing a round of craft beer for each member of the Senate from the opposing team’s state, or in the case of Shaheen, region.

If the New England Patriots had won, Shumer would have purchased rounds of Smuttynose. Since the New York Giants won Shaheen will purchase craft beers potentially from six New York breweries including Brown’s Brewing Company, Brooklyn Brewery, Blue Point Brewing Company, Matt Brewing Company, Captain Lawrence Brewing Co and Ithaca Beer Co. Read more on