Over two hundred brewers, brewery owners, and state guild representatives left their home states and traveled to Washington, D.C. for the annual hill climb. This event took place in conjunction with the Craft Brewers Conference & BrewExpo America®.
The day began with a briefing so hill climbers knew what to expect as they entered Congressional meetings.
Armed with their schedules and talking points, the group set out to meet with staff from offices of nearly every U.S. state.
At the top of the list of topics was the Craft Beverage Modernization and Tax Reform Act. Introduced at the beginning of the 115th Congress, this legislation would lower the federal excise tax paid by craft brewers. Brewers explained that a recalibration of the tax rate would allow them to reinvest in their companies, creating the opportunity for more local, manufacturing jobs. If their Member of Congress was not yet a co-sponsor, they encouraged them to come on board.
Grassroots lobbying is a key way for brewers to advocate for their business. Making connections and explaining more about the brewing process is key to gaining support of legislative officials. The annual hill climb will help protect brewers from even unexpected regulatory issues. It helps to ensure the long term success of the craft brewing industry.