WASHINGTON, D.C. – As American Craft Beer week drew to a close, Senate Democrats met with over a dozen small brewery owners to discuss unique challenges facing the craft brewing industry. Sen. Mark Begich (AK), Chair of the Democratic Steering and Outreach Committee (DSOC), hosted the roundtable along with Vice Chair Sen. Jeanne Shaheen (NH) and Business Outreach Chair Sen. Chris Coons (DE). Sen. Ben Cardin (MD), who recently reintroduced the Small BREW Act to support pro-growth taxation in the brewing industry, was among those in attendance.
As the craft brewing industry continues to grow and contribute to economic recovery, today’s meeting served as an important opportunity for Senate Democrats to hear directly from a diverse collection of small brewers. Participants, who are all members of the Brewers Association, came from states across the nation. Though their personal stories of running breweries ranged from continuing decades-long family traditions to making a leap of faith from another career, the brewers described a shared commitment to growing their businesses and improving their communities.
“Alaska small brewers do more than help Alaskans thaw out over the long winter with frosty brews: they create thousands of jobs and put millions of dollars back into our economy,” said Sen. Begich. “I’m proud to sponsor The Small BREW Act and pleased to welcome Ben Millstein of Kodiak Island Brewing Company to the Senate because Alaskans are proud of their local small breweries. We should be doing all we can to help them hop ahead like other small businesses.”
“It was an honor to help arrange a panel of small brewery owners to meet with members of the DSOC. The discussion on small business issues and job creation was excellent,” said Brewers Association Chief Operating Officer Bob Pease. “Small brewers are quintessential small businesses, and they are creating jobs. The Senators who participated in the meeting were well versed on the issues facing my members, and I appreciate their leadership and support.”
The craft brewing industry employs over 108,000 Americans. Growth has remained strong through the recovery, with double-digit increases in output in each of the last two years.
American Craft Beer Week, May 13-19, is a weeklong celebration of America’s small and independent craft brewers and their contributions to America’s communities and economy.
For photos from today’s meeting click here
About the Senate Democratic Steering & Outreach Committee
The Senate Democratic Steering and Outreach Committee is dedicated to fostering dialogue between Senate Democrats and leaders from across the nation. Each year, the Steering Committee hosts numerous meetings with advocates, policy experts, and elected officials to discuss key priorities and enlist their help in the development of the Senate Democratic agenda. The Committee serves as a liaison between Senate Democratic offices, advocacy groups, and intergovernmental organizations. It is one of three Democratic Leadership Committees in the Senate and is chaired by Senator Mark Begich (AK) and vice chaired by Senator Jeanne Shaheen (NH).