SENATE SMALL BREWERS CAUCUS IS FORMED
Proving that they are an industry deserving of serious recognition, the Brewers Association recently announced that the Senate Small Brewers Caucus has been established. The formation of the Caucus was led by Senators Max Baucus (D-Montana) and Mike Crapo (R-Idaho), who support the role of America’s small and independent brewers as an engine of economic growth in the country. In a Dear Colleague letter, Senators Baucus and Crapo noted, “In recent years, the more than 17OO craft brewers all across America have met growing consumer demand for their products by brewing flavorful and innovative beers which they encourage Americans to enjoy in a responsible manner. These small and independent brewers . . . generate more than $3 billion in wages and benefits, and pay more than $2.3 billion in business, personal and consumption taxes.” Mirroring the House Small Brewers Caucus, formed in 2OO7, the Senate 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 will also provide opportunities for Senators and staff to learn about the science and art of brewing beer, and the cultural and economic contributions made by small brewers to their communities. Currently, the 17OO+ small American breweries account for about five percent of all the beer consumed in the United States and 5O percent of brewery jobs – totaling some 1OO,OOO good-paying part- and full-time positions across the country. Senator Crapo, along with Massachusetts Senator John Kerry introduced this session’s Senate bill S. 534, which would recalibrate excise taxes on America’s small brewers. Joining Senators Kerry and Crapo were 17 of their Senate colleagues who signed on as original co-sponsors.