Every so often, a bit of esoteric legislation comes along that would be a major benefit to a particular industry and people in that industry try to present the information in a way that will motivate their consumers to care. This is what I’m attempting to do right now.
If you haven’t already given up on caring, and on life, here is my pitch for the Small Brew Act (for which the good information can be found here, http://www.brewersassociation.org/government-affairs/excise-taxes/small-brew-act-vs-beer-act/ )
1. Craft Brewers aren’t rich, they are stupid. With the exception of the former owners of 10 BBL Brewing and Elysian Brewing (who in case you weren’t aware are owned by Anheuser-Busch Inbev, a Belgian company largely owned and operated by Brazilians) along with Jim Koch, Ken Grossman and the owners of the other 50 largest breweries in the nation, Craft Brewers accountants share at the end of every year the good news, “you have no federal income tax to pay!!” Why are small Craft Brewers not paying federal income tax and stupid? Well, because they got into a business that requires a large, and ongoing, amount of capital investment.
The refrain “I should have gotten into software” can occasionally be heard when Tyson comes to me and says we’re at capacity. Why? The difference between 30 copies of software and 30 kegs of beer. One requires a person to press CTRL+ALT+V 30 times, the other one requires a minimum of $25,000 for a new tank. (I realize I am over simplifying the software model so there is no need to point out I’m stupid, I already did). Do I really wish I was in software? Absolutely not. There is only one place I want to be and that is in Craft Beer but I wouldn’t mind a little less tax burden to help keep this baby going.
2. Lots of shitty industries get preferential treatment, why not give some to a group of businesses that for the time being appear to be good citizens? Craft Brewers, as I have pointed out in at least one other blog post are engaged members of local communities. Sure, we don’t create new and temporary communities with human sized pac man games and waterslides and live music with a bunch of disposable materials that will go into the landfill #upforwhatever. We do really boring stuff like open our doors to local charities to help raise money and awareness for hunger or helping fire victims. We employ locals and look them in the eye and say, I’ll be damned, you are a person with up to 3 names that tell a story about who you are. When that happens it is really hard to look at someone’s request for a raise as solely a burden on the Profit & Loss statement. And we craft brewers are really inefficient so we have to hire a proportionally larger amount of people than big brewers; that’s why this is referred to as a jobs bill. Why wouldn’t we want to help Craft Brewers continue to strengthen communities and create jobs?
3.Competing is hard. Yup, you read that right. I’m pretty much saying tip the playing field in our favor. Which is impossible. We are already at such a distinct disadvantage that if consumers ever stop caring about who makes their beer and what it tastes like, small Craft Brewers are dead in the water. There is absolutely not a chance in hell we could compete with the big brewers without the consumer demand for local. So, I’m hoping you will see the value in your local brewer’s company and support an attempt to use tools similar to what we might call a Handicap in golf to give us a fighting chance should tastes and tactics change.
4. Why not? You might look at my arguments and see the countless instances of faulty logic and ridiculous assertions and think, ‘screw this guy, what a moron’ to which I say ‘is that a promise?’and ‘I didn’t get to choose my genetic hardwiring’. I would also say, let’s try it. We’ve done way stupider things in an effort to support way stupider things. Let’s send a message America, and that message is ‘we f*#king love craft beer and craft brewers and we’re willing to put our money where our filthy mouths with refined palates are!’
hugs and kisses