Friday, May 22, 2009

The real Beer Wars

It's on, folks. After reading Jeff's post at Beer Stained Letter the other day, I also received the following in the AHA's daily Tech Talk mailing. From Charlie P:

"Some of you are aware of the headline discussions in Washington DC
this week and last week regarding proposals to dramatically increase Federal
Excise Tax on brewers and other alcohol beverage industries. Brewers
Association staff and those who are working on behalf of the Brewers Association
in Washington, DC are in daily and regular communications on how to best
represent small brewers concerns in these very critical discussions.
Dramatic excise tax increases would be harmful to both small brewery
businesses and to the existing American beer culture of enjoyment and

In order to gain strategic ground before any
Federal Excise Tax increase was proposed, the Brewers Association earlier this
year teamed up with the Beer Institute to help introduce two bills advocating a
reduction in Federal Excise Tax. These two bills are House Bill H.R. 836 and
Senate Bill S.1058. They are helpful as both a defense and as a proactive
initiative. H.R. 836 has 178 co-sponsors. S.1058 introduced last
week has an initial 7 co-sponsors in the Senate. These two bills can help
us push back on proposals to dramatically increase excise taxes on small brewers
and the industry as a whole.

Earlier this year small brewers were
asked by BA to call their Representatives and ask them to sign on as co-sponsor
of H.R. 836. Soon they will be receiving information asking them to
call their Senator to become a co-sponsor of S. 1058.

In addition
to the threat of Federal Excise Tax increases, the Administration's new budget
outline proposes the establishment of annual user fees to fund TTB's agency
budget, which in effect would be an additional tax on brewers and other related

Brewers Association is involved in expressing concerns
on behalf of small brewers and beer enthusiasts on these two legislative
matters. You may hear from us in the near future regarding actions which
you can be involved in on these matters.

The Brewers Association
feels it is of utmost importance during these critical times that the beer
industry present a united and coordinated effort on the federal level.
This is why we have teamed with the Beer Institute to help us represent
our constituencies. If you are involved or are considering being involved
in any other Federal initiatives that would be relevant to American small
brewers, please let us know about them."

So there you have it. Stay aware. Take your vitamins. And get ready for war!!!!!!!

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