Talking to Politicians About Booze Legislation


Craft alcohol producers around the country are pushing Congress to enact the Craft Beverage Modernization Act, which would lower federal excise taxes on booze. Aaron Goldfarb writes for Seven Fifty Daily about how craft distillers are going about pursuing this reform:

H.R. 777 was Erenzo’s first attempt to create some parity with craft brewers and winemakers for Tuthilltown Spirits, the distillery he opened in 2005. Hinchey introduced the bill at Erenzo’s urging, but it didn’t immediately pass. Instead, it took Erenzo many years and a whole lot of lobbying to finally get it passed—something all too often necessary today in the booze industry. While making craft whiskey or gin may seem like a sexy job, a good portion of a craft distiller’s time can also be spent talking to politicians, trying to get laws amended, eliminated, or even written in the first place.

One of the biggest economic issues currently facing craft distillers is federal excise tax (FET) reform. Craft distilleries currently pay approximately six times more excise tax than craft breweries of the same size—and a whopping seventeen times more than small winemakers—something all distilleries, but mainly the little guys, would like lowered...

Read the whole piece here.