They say that political discussions have no place at the dinner table.
Welp, we hope you’re not eating dinner, because this week’s been a doozy.
On Monday, there was a meeting of the Garden State Craft Brewers Guild, and on the agenda was a discussion of current beer-related legislation, including Bill S2910, which would allow breweries like to CMBC to sell beer at farmers markets and, ultimately, “grow the state’s agriculture and tourism economies,” according to Senator Tom Kean. Another current bill, S2911, would allow customers to bring their own food to tasting rooms.
“Only in New Jersey do you need a law permitting something that’s already allowed,” says CMBC/Guild President Ryan Krill, referring to the fact that bringing food into a tasting room isn’t technically prohibited under current legislation. “The laws are just murky.”
So, for several months, Ryan and other members of the Guild’s board have been meeting with legislators across the state in order to open a dialogue that will, hopefully, lead to some clarification.
“The lawmakers have been receptive,” he says. “They know bills like this will create jobs, and we have the stories and people to back that up. Beer is a bipartisan issue.”
Then, later in the week, Ryan met with New Jersey’s Lieutenant Governor Kim Guadagno and Assemblyman Sam Fiocchi in order to talk economic sustainability and share some pretty swell statistics about how small brewers contribute. For instance: More than four million pounds of spent grain from Jersey breweries are recycled annually, and used by state farmers for high-quality animal feed.
Finally, Ryan left for the annual “Hill Climb” happening now in Washington DC. Here, over 200 industry leaders will fight the good fight for the Small BREW Act, legislation that would lower the federal excise tax for America’s small brewers, allowing for greater job creation and “reinvigoration of local economies.”
We’ll keep you posted on how it all turns out. In the meantime, back to your regularly scheduled dinner conversation.