Press Release

House Small Brewers Caucus Reestablished in New Congress

Rep. McHenry to serve as Vice Chairman of bipartisan group

Washington, March 17, 2015 | Jeff Butler (202-225-2576)

Reps. Patrick McHenry (R, NC-10), Peter DeFazio (D, OR-04), Mike Kelly (R, PA-03) and Richard Neal (D, MA-01) are pleased to announce the House Small Brewers Caucus has been reestablished in the 114th Congress. Founded by DeFazio and Rep. Greg Walden (R-OR) in 2007, this bipartisan group is dedicated to issues affecting America’s small brewers and currently includes 143 members of the House.

Craft brewing is a fast-growing, $34 billion+ industry that directly supports 115,000 American jobs. In order to create a better business environment for small brewers, the Caucus is backing legislation that would reduce the excise taxes on the sale of the first two million barrels of beer sold by small brewers each year. The Small Brewer Reinvestment and Expanding Workforce (BREW) Act would allow small brewers to use the savings to purchase more equipment and hire more workers, boosting local economies in communities across the country.

"With over 20 small breweries in the 10th District I know the positive, job-creating impact these small businesses can have,” McHenry said. “I look forward to continuing as Vice Chairman of the Caucus as we work in a bipartisan fashion to advance their interests."

“If you need an example of how craft breweries affect local economies, just look at Oregon,” DeFazio said. “Even during the recession, craft breweries experienced strong growth and today, it’s a $3 billion industry in my state. These small businesses support thousands of local jobs and provide the rest of us with a quality American product. This is exactly the kind of growth I’m proud to support.”

“I am very excited to begin work with the Small Brewers Caucus and honored to serve as a co-chairman,” Kelly said. “These main street businesses contribute powerfully to their local economies and provide many thousands of jobs to hardworking Americans from coast to coast. In Pennsylvania alone, craft breweries add to the commonwealth’s economy by nearly $2 billion. I look forward to making sure national policy allows them to keep brewing, growing, and creating more American jobs.”

“The craft brewing industry in Massachusetts is thriving because they make distinctive products for passionate consumers. These breweries are locally owned, generate economic development and create good jobs. I have been an enthusiastic supporter of these small businesses and entrepreneurs and I am proud to be a part of the leadership of this bipartisan caucus,” said Congressman Richard E. Neal.

“The Brewers Association would like to congratulate Rep. DeFazio (D-OR), Rep. Kelly (R-PA), Rep. Neal (D-MA) and Rep. McHenry (R-NC), Co-Chairs and Vice Chairs, respectively, of the House Small Brewers Caucus,” said Bob Pease, president and CEO of the Brewers Association. “They and the other 143 members of Congress who make up the Caucus recognize the economic impact that craft breweries have had over the past 25 years and continue to have in their communities across the country. More than 3,400 craft breweries are responsible for employing more than 115,000 Americans in quality manufacturing and service jobs. We thank the Chairs and Vice Chairs for their efforts, which help foster the continued growth of—and job creation by—craft breweries across the country.”

Note: Last week Congressman McHenry spoke with NPR's All Things Considered about the Caucus and craft beer's positive impact on the 10th District of North Carolina. That story can be found here.