USPS Shipping Equity Act
In the 117th Congress, Representatives Jackie Speier (D-Calif.) and Dan Newhouse (R-Wash.), and Senator Jeff Merkley (D-Ore.) introduced the United States Postal Service (USPS) Shipping Equity Act, bipartisan legislation that would give USPS the same ability as private carriers to ship alcohol in states where it is legal to do so. The legislation garnered bipartisan support, but unfortunately could not find a legislative vehicle. The Brewers Association will be working with the legislative champions and supporters of the bill to reintroduce in the 118th congress.
About the USPS Shipping Equity Act
In addition to giving breweries (and wineries and distilleries) another avenue to ship their product, the legislation:
- Would not make any changes to federal excise tax collection, nor inhibit state and local authorities to regulate beverage alcohol.
- Would not impact the strong safeguards to prevent underage consumption of alcohol by minors.
- Is estimated to provide the postal service with $180 million in additional revenue per year.
Currently, 13 states and Washington, D.C. allow breweries to ship beverage alcohol products using private carriers. The USPS Shipping Equity Act supports consumer choice and offers producers – many of whom are in rural or remote areas – the opportunity to reach their adult customers that may otherwise be unable to purchase the product locally or travel to acquire it. Direct-to-consumer (DtC) shipping serves as an important complement to the traditional three-tier system of beverage alcohol distribution. Allowing the USPS to compete in this market would be beneficial to breweries and consumers by supporting consumer choice.
A consumer survey by SOVOS Ship Compliant and Harris Poll found that 84% of regular craft beer drinkers – defined as those who drink craft beer at least once per month – want to be able to legally purchase beer via DtC shipping to their homes. Additionally, the survey found that more than 73% say the pandemic has increased their interest in purchasing craft beer via DtC shipping.
To meet that demand, we have seen state laws expanding to allow shipping and delivery of alcohol products, as well as allowing alcohol “to-go” at restaurant and bars. The USPS Shipping Equity Act would help small and independent breweries, wineries, and distilleries meet that demand by allowing the postal service to provide another method of getting their product to market. In addition to the Brewers Association, the legislation also has the support of the American Craft Spirits Association, American Mead Makers Association, American Postal Workers Union, Distilled Spirits Council of the United States, National Association of Postal Supervisors, National Postal Mail Handlers Union, National Rural Letter Carriers Association, United Postmasters and Managers of America, and WineAmerica. View a letter of support from more than 100 associations.
Learn more about USPS Shipping Equity Act and Direct to Consumer Shipping
Federal Affairs Updates
Brewers Association Director of Federal Affairs Katie Marisic provides federal affairs updates about what is going on in Washington, D.C. and the issues that the Brewers Association is currently working on.
The possible government shutdown at the end of September could negatively impact small and independent breweries. Learn how.Read More
On July 25 and 26, 100 brewery representatives, guild leaders, and allied trade members came to Washington, D.C. for the Brewers Association’s (BA) 2023 Hill Climb.Read More
This bipartisan legislation would allow the USPS to ship alcohol (beer, wine, and spirits) in states where it is currently legal to do so.Read More
The Brewers Association will be hosting our annual hill climb in Washington, D.C. July 25-26. Join us to advocate on behalf of your business and your community.Read More
This legislation is intended to help hospitality businesses still recovering from COVID-19 by creating a tax credit to offset qualifying payroll tax liabilities in 2023.Read More
Tariffs and Trade
Government Affairs news and announcements trade negotiations, tariffs and federal government investigations that could impact breweries and their supply chain partners.
Two investigations by U.S. agencies have led to the imposition of tariffs that may have an effect on breweries. Here’s what you need to know about them.Read More
On September 1, 2019 anyone importing brewing machinery from China into the United States will be required to pay an additional 10 percent tariff, regardless of whether the machinery was ordered prior to the tariffs going into effect. Read More
The administration recently proposed 25 percent tariffs on $300 billion worth of goods imported from China, including brewing machinery. Learn more about how you can submit comments on these tariffs.Read More
On May 29, 2019, the Department of Commerce announced affirmative preliminary determinations in the antidumping duty investigations of imports of refillable stainless-steel kegs from China, Germany, and Mexico.Read More
On May 20, 2019, the United States government officially lifted the steel and aluminum tariffs on Canada and Mexico as an incentive for Congress to pass the United States Canada and Mexico Act.Read More
The House and Senate Small Brewers Caucuses provide a forum for members of Congress and their staffs to discuss the issues important to small brewers while exploring what lawmakers can do to strengthen the growth and role of these small businesses in local economies across the country.
House Small Brewers Caucus Members
163 Members in 39 States, the District of Columbia*, and Puerto Rico* represented as of August 2, 2023.
If your state is not represented in the House Small Brewers Caucus, learn how to recruit your representative to join.
Rollover the map to view House Small Brewers Caucus members or download a PDF of the full list.
*DC-At Large Eleanor Holmes Norton (D)
*PR-At Large Jennifer Gonzalez Colon (R)
About the House Small Brewers Caucus
The House Small Brewers Caucus in the United States House of Representatives provides the small brewing community in America an extremely important forum in Washington, D.C.
The Caucus was formed in 2007 by interested members of Congress to gain a better understanding of all aspects of small brewing, from business and regulatory issues to the brewing process and history of the small brewing community. The purpose of the House Small Brewers Caucus is to provide elected officials and their staffs an interactive opportunity to learn about the dynamics of running a small business as a brewery and the quality, process, and value of craft beers and small brewing activities.
While small breweries share many of the same priorities and concerns that other small businesses have, brewing is a highly regulated business and has unique issues that most Americans are not aware of. The Small Brewers Caucus intends to provide information about the science and art of beer and brewing as well as relevant business, regulatory, and societal issues.
House Small Brewers Caucus Co-Chairs
Senate Bipartisan Small Brewers Caucus Members
34 members in 24 states represented as of January 3, 2023.
If your state or district is not represented in the Senate Bipartisan Small Brewers Caucus, learn how to recruit your representative to join.
Rollover the map to view Senate Bipartisan Small Brewers Caucus members or download a PDF of the list.
About the Senate Bipartisan Small Brewers Caucus
The Senate Bipartisan Small Brewers Caucus was founded by former Senator Max Baucus (D-Mont.) in June, 2011 and is now chaired by Senators Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) and Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska).
Mirroring the House Small Brewers Caucus (formed in 2007), the Senate Bipartisan Small Brewers Caucus provides a forum for members of the Senate and their staffs to discuss the issues important to small brewers while exploring what lawmakers can do to strengthen the growth and role of these small businesses in local economies across the country.
The caucus also provides opportunities for Senators and staff to learn about the science and art of brewing beer, and the unique cultural and economic contributions made by small brewers to their communities.
Senate Bipartisan Small Brewers Caucus Founding Representatives
Connect with Elected Officials
Building a relationship with your elected officials is one of the most important “government relations” functions you can perform as a member of the craft brewing community.
The Brewers Association Board of Directors and staff have made the development of a strong and meaningful government affairs relationship a priority.
Together we’ve achieved some notable results:
- Achieving passage of the Craft Beverage Modernization and Tax Reform Act (CBMTRA) – resulting in permanence of recalibrated federal excise tax and saving small and independent breweries more than $80 million annually
- Advocating for priorities like the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP), Economic Injury Disaster Loans (EIDL) and grants, and the suspension of federal excise tax payments
- Pursuing additional COVID-19 relief for small and independent brewers
- Twice turning back potential new taxes in the form of TTB user fees
- Successfully streamlining the excise tax payment schedule for many small brewers
Ask your Members of Congress to Support our Current Initiatives
Fairness for Craft Beverage Producers Act
The Fairness for Craft Beverage Producers Act is legislation that would give breweries and other beverage alcohol producers access to additional Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) funds provided in second draw loans and add NAICS code 3121 to the list of hardest hit businesses that can receive additional months of principal and interest payments on 7(a) or 504 loans. Having access to that additional funding is critical to many small and independent breweries. Members of Congress need to hear from you about your support for the Fairness for Craft Beverage Producers Act.
Restaurant Revitalization Fund Replenishment Act
The Restaurant Revitalization Fund (RRF) is providing critical funding for small hospitality businesses, but it does not currently have enough funding to meet the needs of all businesses that applied. We need Congress to provide additional funding for the RRF. The Restaurant Revitalization Fund Replenishment Act (H.R.3807/S.2091) would add an additional $60 billion to the RRF and ensure that the businesses who qualified and applied will receive a grant. Members of Congress need to hear from you about your support for the Restaurant Revitalization Fund Replenishment Act.
Arrange a Congressional Visit to your Brewery
It’s Easier than You Think!
The invitation can be made with a quick phone call or email. The visit itself will only take an hour of your time, but will keep paying returns on the local and national levels. And, it’s easy.
Identify Your Elected Officials:
- U.S. House of Representatives
- U.S. Senate
- Project Vote Smart is an excellent resource for state-level elected officials
You will typically find specific office contact information in the contact section or footer of an elected officials website. Identify the district office contact information for arranging the visit.
Phone the office to make your request, asking to speak with the scheduler. If there is more than one district office, determine which is the nearest to your brewery and call that one.
If you have any questions or if you need help with contact information for state or district directors or schedulers, please email us for assistance. And finally, stay in touch and let us know how your visit goes.
On July 25-26, the Brewers Association will host its annual Hill Climb for Brewers Association members in Washington, D.C.
Participating in a hill climb is one of the most important things a brewery owner can do to help their business be successful. Members who participate in the hill climb get the opportunity to build relationships with members of Congress and advocate on behalf of the 9,000+ breweries that make up the craft brewing industry.
Small and independent breweries need a strong and unified voice in Washington, D.C. Will you join the Brewers Association and help ensure that our industry is heard?
Get in Touch with Government Affairs Leaders
Email Us: firstname.lastname@example.org
President and CEO, Brewers Association
Federal Affairs Director, Brewers Association