Small Brewer Caucus inbody

The Brewers Association, Boulder, Colo., announced the formation of the Senate Small Brewers Caucus by Sen. Max Baucus (D-Mont.) and Sen. Mike Crapo (R-Idaho).

The senators sent a letter to colleagues sharing, “In recent years, the more than 1,700 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 million in business, personal and consumption taxes.”

Mirroring the House Small Brewers Caucus that formed in 2007, the Senate Small Brewers Caucus provides a forum for members of the Senate and their staff 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 association says.

The caucus also will 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 1,700-plus small American breweries account for about 5 percent of all the beer consumers in the United States and 50 percent of brewery jobs, the association says.

Sens. Crapo and John Kerry (D-Mass.) introduced this session’s U.S. Senate bill S. 534 that aims to recalibrate excise taxes on America’s small brewers. The bill is co-sponsored by 17 of their Senate colleagues.