David vs Goliath – Craft Beer Seeks Tax Breaks

I get visions … no, not clairvoyance … and no, not pink elephants when I’ve been out and about on an extended Jax Brew Bitch Prowl. Hmmm … well, maybe Tinker Beer, the Brew Fairy – but NOT pink elephants – ever.

The visions I mentioned are those I get when I read a book, a blog post, an article.

Reading this article by Kelley Beaucar Vlahos in Fox News – Politics website (http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2015/02/28/beer-battle-congress/) , these visions came to my mind:

David and Goliath, Tip Outs and the board game of Risk.

Tip Outs – defined as:

“An amount or percentage of a server’s tips that the server shares, either voluntarily or as mandated in a tip tip_outsharing or tip pooling agreement, with other employees such as bussers, bartenders, back waiters and host/hostesses whose job duties indirectly assist the server.”

The Government wants their “tip out”. Some of the rationale the Government offers to validate their claim for a portion of breweries’ revenues includes administration of the funding for the infrastructure used by the brewery in roadways and utilities, oversight and enforcement of regulations and public services of police, fire and ambulance availability.

In the article, the common beef that both the Small BREW Act (supported by microbreweries) and thedavid_goliath-1 competing Fair Beer Act (supported by Big Beer) are trying to address is that both David and Goliath feel Government’s mandated “tip out” is excessive and limiting their ability to expand and create more jobs. Although “job creation” is an overused political touchstone phrase, there is no doubt that some of these taxes could best be used INSIDE the breweries – whether micro- or macro-.

The David and Goliath allegory can be easily interpreted. The paragraphs in Ms. Vlahos’s article:

“Driving the fight are small, independent craft brewers, who are growing in both size and popularity in the United States – so much, that beer giant Budweiser spent $9 million on a Super Bowl ad this year mocking the craft beer phenom. Now, the “pumpkin peach ale” producers have their own lobbyists and are enlisting home-district members of Congress to sponsor legislation cutting the excise tax on their sudsy creations.”

and, in discussing the Big Beer-friendly Beer Institute,

“The institute comprises MillerCoors, Heineken USA, Constellation and others, as well as AB InBev. The latter became the biggest beer company in the world, after American producer Anheuser-Busch was acquired by the Brazilian-Belgian giant InBev in 2008. Together, they represent a $245 billion industry with 2,800 breweries and 2 million jobs worldwide.”

stagger the imagination. David has indeed become a contender in Goliath’s world. And that world is getting smaller, bit by bit – craft beer convert by craft beer convert – pint by pint – snifter by snifter.

Big Beer territories are being seized by smaller local-focused craft beer microbreweries like countries in the riskboard game of Risk. The new flags flying over these territories are there because of folks like you who continue to take the battle to the barricades consistently with every beer you order – with every bottle or can you purchase – at every craft beer establishment you frequent.

Thank you for what you do. YOU are our most effective Davids.