Monday, March 30, 2009

Beer lobbyists in Washington, D.C.

Washington, D.C. beer people. Look up from your morning lattes. Take out your iPod earbuds.

Some of the beer glitterati are here in town. They might be standing right there on the Metro, or sitting on the next barstool at Brasserie Beck.

They're here for the 19th Annual National Beer Wholesalers Association/Brewers Joint Legislative Conference.

NBWA/Brewers Joint Legislative ConferenceIt's four days of meetings, discussions, and lobbying ... yes, lobbying: talking with legislators about matters that adversely affect the selling of beer, including craft beer. See, lobbying isn't evil when the issues are good. Well, wait, that's what everyone says.

The following issues are on the agenda for the 2009 Legislative Conference:

  • Strengthening the State-Based Regulation of Alcohol
    Recently, special interest groups have attempted to use federal litigation [to bypass or reinterpret] the 21st Amendment.

  • Supporting Quality Jobs, Solid Wages and Good Benefits in a Free Environment
    Opposed to proposed “card check” legislation [ disagrees and is in favor of amending antiquated labor laws.]

  • Promoting Responsibility and Sustainability
    America’s beer distributors are deeply rooted in their local communities. They work hard to fight underage drinking and drunk driving. [Everybody's jumping on the green bandwagon.] Beer distributors know the importance of using resources wisely, and energy alternatives where necessary, to leave a better community for the next generation.

  • A Tax on Working Men and Women
    In this difficult economy, the American beer consumer pays more than 40 percent of the total tax burden on beer. Nearly 50 percent of all beer in the U.S. is purchased by consumers with household incomes less than $50,000. [An inverse relationship between income and good taste?]

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