Brewers Climb Capitol Hill to Advocate for Small and Independent Brewers

134 brewers, brewery owners, employees, and state guild representatives gathered in Washington, D.C. today to advocate on behalf of the country’s small and independent brewers. The group visited the offices of more than half the United States Congress, logging 398 total visits.

The top priority for attendees was supporting the Craft Beverage Modernization and Tax Reform Act (H.R. 1175/S. 362) and make the current federal excise tax recalibration rates permanent. The legislation currently has the support of 160+ members in the House and more than half of the United States Senate. Brewers shared their stories about how they are using the money they saved on the recalibration to reinvest in their businesses, hire new employees and increase employee benefits.

Trade and tariffs were another key issue, with brewers discussing the impact the current tariffs have on their business. Attendees also advocated for full funding for the Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau and for hops and barley funding for the United States Department of Agriculture-Agricultural Research Services.

For more than a decade, the Brewers Association and their members have been coming to D.C. to advocate for the small and independent brewing community. “The attendees who participate in these events aren’t just advocating for themselves, they are representing the more than 7,000 small and independent breweries located across the country and the more than 150,000 people they employ, and they deserve our thanks.” said Brewers Association President and CEO Bob Pease. “They are making sure that the brewing community’s voice is represented and heard in D.C. and in our state capitals.”

The day ended with a reception held at the Library of Congress where 22 breweries poured beer for members of Congress and Congressional staff.

Katie Marisic is federal affairs manager at the Brewers Association (BA). Based in Washington, D.C. she plans and executes legislative, regulatory and political strategies to drive the associations federal affairs presence on Capitol Hill. Prior to working for the BA, Katie was vice president of political affairs at the National Association of Federal Credit Unions. She got her start in politics working on congressional campaigns during the ’06 and ’08 elections. A Pennsylvania native, Katie is a long time craft brewing supporter. In 2013 she helped to open Atlas Brew Works in Washington, D.C. When she is not advocating for the craft brewing community on Capitol Hill you can sometimes find her pouring beers at a local tasting room.

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