According to The Daily Beast, Budweiser’s Superbowl ad poking fun at craft beer breweries and their “pumpkin peach ale” has caused some very real-world consequences—namely, angering many members of Congress who remain strong allies to the craft beer industry. Congressmen and women across the aisle find themselves chastising the ad, many in support of local breweries in their own districts, which, as The Daily Beast‘s Matt Laslo suggests, can serve as untapped sources of “creative energy, votes and small dollar donations” for politicians.
Representative Patrick McHenry (R-N.C.), who serves as a co-chair of the House Small Brewers Caucus, called the ad “insane,” with the Caucus’s founder, Representative Peter DeFazio (D-Ore.), explaining that, “They [Budweiser] know that the craft beer industry is eating their lunch…More and more Americans are developing a taste for beer that isn’t insipid and has real taste.”
Just 72 hours after Budweiser’s ad angered thousands of craft beer lovers across the country, legislature was already being reintroduced by Senators Ben Cardin (D-Md.) and Susan Collins (R-Maine) in support of the craft beer industry. The Small BREW (Brewer Reinvestment and Expanding Workforce) Act helps promote the growth of small breweries by dropping the tax rate per barrel from $7.00 to $3.50 for the first 60,000 barrels a brewery produces, it would then continue to save them $2.00 on every barrel made until they hit two million. Any macro brewery producing more than six million barrels would be excluded from the rates.
As is always the case in politics, the story can’t be over without some kind of opposition, which, in this case, comes in the form of big beer fighting back with The Fair BEER (Brewers Excise and Economic Relief) Act. The Fair BEER Act essentially extends the Small BREW Act to macro breweries after removing taxes for the first 7,143 barrels. Stay tuned to see how the story unfolds. [The Daily Beast][Photo: Flickr/Shreveport-Bossier Convention and Tourist Bureau]