A call to action!

Back on March 16th we posted a story about a proposed change to federal tax regulations as they apply to the craft beer industry. I’m talking about H.R. 4278. It has to do with the way the tax regulations define a small brewery. You can read more about it by seeing our original post.

We all need to take a moment to contact our representatives and tell them to support H.R. 4278. Really, it only takes a few moments to do it. Below, we have included information about how to contact your representative and what you should say. Wherever you live in Washington, whoever represents you, it is worth your time letting them know that you want them to support H.R. 4278. It is especially important if you live in Representative Dave Reichert’s district (District 8).

Washington representatives McDermott and Reichert are members of the Ways and Means Committee. McDermott is co-sponsoring this bill (cheers to you, Mr. McDermott). It is now essential that we reach out to Reichert. His support is essential for this bill to move along. If you work/ live in his district, please take a moment to contact him and tell him that you want him to support H.R. 4278.

We are revisiting this issue because it is very important that we, as craft beer lovers, make our voices heard. Also, it is good for the country as a whole, not just the beer industry and beer lovers. John N. Friedman, an economics professor at Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government, recently published a report on the effects of H.R. 4278. The complete report is available in PDF format. Here are the highlights of his study.

  • The proposed reduction in the federal excise tax on beer produced by small brewers (i.e., brewers producing up to 6 million barrels of beer per year) would increase economic activity by $115.6 million in 2010 and $733.8 million over five years.
  • Federal tax revenue would fall by $10.6 million in 2010 and $67.3 million over five years.
  • Economic activity would increase by $10.91 per dollar lost in government revenue, making the bill an efficient use of government funds.
  • The bill would stimulate job creation quickly and at a low cost.
  • The bill would generate more than 2,700 new jobs over the first year to eighteen months followed by an average of 375 new jobs per year over the following four years.
  • Each new job would cost less than $4,000 in foregone government revenue in 2010.

Call to action

It is very easy to contact your representative and make your opinion known. Just click here, enter your zip code, and fill out the simple form. You don”t need to be fancy, long winded, or eloquent. Just tell them that you want them to support H.R. 4278.

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Here is the simple message I sent my representative this morning:

I urge you to support H.R. 4278 – a bill that provides much-needed updates to the small brewer tax regulations. Please take a moment to consider the robust and growing craft beer industry here in Washington state and support H.R. 4278.



  1. According to one of Charlie’s recent tweets, Reichert is already on board with this:

    H.R. 4278 Update: Rep Reichert(WA), newest cosponsor. http://bit.ly/aUz3w9 Call your CongrRep.
    10:31 AM Mar 26th via TweetDeck

Another Call to Action

It is legislative season and we beer lovers have some work to do. Imagine being able to buy kegs (1/2 barrel, 1/4 barrel, 1/6 barrel or smaller) at your local bottle shop. No need to call in a favor from your local pub owner. No need to pay a visit to the brewery. There is a bill in front of the legislature right now that would allow bottle shops to start selling kegs. House Bill 1462 will change the law that only allows specialty beer/wine shops to sell 5 gallons or less of beer.

You can very easily contact your local legislative representatives and tell them to support HB1462. It has passed the House of Representatives unanimously and it is currently “in rules” (in the Senate Rules Committee). There is always a chance that it will not get out of committee and will not make it to the floor for a vote. Contact your representatives and tell them that you want HB 1462 out of rules and on the floor for a vote and, when that happens, you want them to vote yes.

It is easy to find your representatives and contact them individually or collectively. It’s like filling out an online form. EASY! Send them a quick and simple note to let them know your opinion. Go to This Web site to find and contact your representatives.

Cut and paste this, if it helps:

As one of your constituents, I am writing to tell you that I want HB 1462 out of committee and on the floor for a vote. When that happens, I want you to vote in favor of HB 1462. I want my local beer/wine store to be able to sell beer in quantities larger than 5 gallons.



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