In a gesture more symbolic than anything else, the U.S. Senate unanimously passed a resolution on Sunday in appreciation of thousands of American Craft Beer Week events as well as the jobs and wages craft has generated in recent years.
The bipartisan measure, introduced Sunday by Sen. Ben Cardin (D-MD), resolves that the nation’s craft brewers are “a vibrant affirmation and expression of the entrepreneurial traditions of the United States.”
The resolution was co-sponsored by Sen. Maria Cantwell (D-WA), Sen. Susan Collins (R-ME), and Sen. Kelly Ayotte (R-NH). Cardin and Cantwell are both members of the Senate Bipartisan Small Brewers Caucus, which aims to advance the causes of craft brewers at the federal level.
Julia Herz, program director at the Brewers Association (BA), commended the emblematic resolution in a news release.
“We are thrilled to see the U.S. Senate recognize the week and commend the accomplishments of small brewery businesses, each of whom are a driving economic force and cultural bright spot for this country,” she said.
American Craft Beer Week took place from May 11-17 in 2015. During that time, more than 2,000 registered American Craft Beer Week events took place in 50 states.
Earlier this year and alongside a companion bill in the House, the Senate reintroduced the Small BREW Act, a graduated tax bill that would turn that symbolic appreciation into genuine reform on an industry-wide scale. Passing that bill won’t be as easy, however. It has to contend with the competing Fair BEER Act, which promotes tax breaks that extend not only to small brewers, but all beer companies that do business in the U.S.
To that end, the BA does have some federal affairs plans this week. CEO Bob Pease told Brewbound he is bringing 155 brewery owners and state guild leaders to Washington this Thursday to advocate on behalf of the industry. The organization plans to host a reception for members of Congress and their staff and conduct meetings with both the Senate and House Small Brewers Caucuses, Pease said.