U.S. Senator Launches Campaign to Support Local Breweries
Have you ever wondered what Congress can do to help the craft beer industry grow and thrive? To begin with, they can enact legislation that benefits the industry, such as the Brewery Employment and Excise Relief act (the BEER Act). Both Senator Murray and Cantwell support the BEER act, which remains on the table and hopefully will soon become law. Read previous stories about the BEER act.
Also, Congress can enact legislation that helps breweries find financing to fund growth and expansion. Recently, Senator Cantwell played an instrumental roll in passing the Small Business Jobs Act, which helped Elysian Brewing secure financing for its big expansion project (read about it here).
While that kind of support is valuable, there is something else our elected officials can do to foster the brewing industry: they can promote the product.
U.S. Senator Charles Schumer of New York recently announced the launch of an “I Love NY Brew” campaign intended to promote the state’s 77 breweries. In a press release Schumer said he is pushing to expand New York brewers’ market share so that they can grow their business and hire more employees in a industry that currently supports nearly 60,000 New York jobs. Recognizing that many breweries lack resources to adequately promote themselves, Schumer is calling on New York’s restaurant and retail associations to help champion the virtues of locally brewed beer.
“Local breweries across the state are proven job creators, helping support 60,000 New York jobs and brewing not simply great beer, but billions for our local economy too,” said Schumer. “Craft breweries have catapulted New York to the top shelf of beer states, and our beers are more than ready for prime time. Whether you are searching for a six-pack at your local 7-Eleven or grabbing Buffalo wings with a beer after work, you should have a wide assortment of locally brewed beers to choose from.”
While it may seem like little more than lip service, people listen when a U.S. Senator speaks. This is especially true when the Senator speaks to organizations like the National Association of Convenience Stores and Fuel Retailing and the NYS Restaurant Association. Suffice it to say that powerful organizations have relationships that need to be maintained with powerful people.
Schumer continues, “I’m strongly urging New York restaurants, bars and convenience stores alike across the state to take a close look at New York’s beers, and consider putting them on their shelves or on their menu. It would be a win-win, both for those selling the beer, and for the breweries making it.”
I applaud Senator Schumer for recognizing the value of a vibrant brewing industry in today’s economy. Whether they represent Washington or not, I hope other members of Congress follow his lead.
Here is the press release from Senator Schumer’s office.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: December 14, 2011
SCHUMER LAUNCHES “I LOVE NY BREW” CAMPAIGN TO BOOST NY’S BREWERIES – PUSHES NYC & NY STATE RESTAURANTS, BARS AND CONVENIENCE STORES TO SELL LOCALLY BREWED BEER FROM UPSTATE, NYC & LONG ISLAND
Schumer, Joined By Upstate Brewers, Calls On NYC & NYS Restaurants, Bars & Heads Of Convenience Store Associations To Sell More Locally-Brewed Beer From New York – Plan Would Help Boost One Of NY’s Fastest Growing Industries
Plan Would Be A Shot In The Arm For 7 Breweries In The Hudson Valley, 15 Breweries In The Southern Tier, 7 Breweries In The Capital Region, 10 Breweries on LI
Schumer: When It Comes To Beer Choice This Holiday Season It Should Be New York’s Own!
Today, joined by the head of the New York Brewers Association and several brewery owners from Upstate New York, U.S. Senator Charles E. Schumer announced the creation of his “I Love NY Brew” campaign to place more locally-brewed, New York beer in New York City and state restaurants, bars and convenience store shelves. Schumer, a strong supporter of New York’s growing craft brewery industry, is pushing to expand New York brewers’ market share so that they can grow their business and hire more employees in a business that currently supports nearly 60,000 New York jobs. In a personal letter to the National Association of Convenience Stores and Fuel Retailing and the NYS Restaurant Association, Schumer urged both associations to offer more beer brewed at the 77 micro-breweries, regional craft breweries, and brewpubs across the state. Schumer said that pushing New York-brewed beer onto convenience store shelves and restaurants in major cities like New York would be a major step forward for an industry that pumps billions of dollars into the state’s economy each year.
“Local breweries across the state are proven job creators, helping support 60,000 New York jobs and brewing not simply great beer, but billions for our local economy too,” said Schumer. “Craft breweries have catapulted New York to the top shelf of beer states, and our beers are more than ready for prime time. Whether you are searching for a six-pack at your local 7-Eleven or grabbing Buffalo wings with a beer after work, you should have a wide assortment of locally brewed beers to choose from. I’m strongly urging New York restaurants, bars and convenience stores alike across the state to take a close look at New York’s beers, and consider putting them on their shelves or on their menu. It would be a win-win, both for those selling the beer, and for the breweries making it.”
“The growth of the craft brewing industry in New York State is tremendous,” from David Katleski, President of NYS Brewers Association. “Continued growth will greatly contribute to the number of jobs, tax dollars, and economic benefit to NYS. Of all the beer sold in NYS, NY craft beer currently represents a 7.5% market share. One can only imagine the economic impact to our state if craft beer sales here reflected that of craft beer sales in Oregon, where they’re 30%.”
The approximately 2,000 small breweries across the country combine to employ nearly 100,000 American workers. In New York, the beer industry directly supports approximately 60,000 jobs in brewing, distribution and sales. According to the Beer Institute, these jobs paid nearly $4.6 billion in wages last year, and accounted for more than $13.2 billion in economic activity during 2010. New York breweries paid $1.13 billion in federal taxes, and $1.14 billion in state and local taxes last year. In a meeting with New York brewers from across New York earlier this month, the brewers told Schumer that local convenience stores and restaurants, particularly those in New York City, represent the largest untapped markets for Upstate and Long Island beer. Several breweries that have tapped into these markets told Schumer that they had quickly become an integral part of their business. Genesee Brewing in Rochester has become incredibly popular in Brooklyn, helping to drive up sales and overall revenue. In order to help brewers sell more beer within the state, Schumer today is launching a new campaign to encourage restaurants and convenience stores to look locally when stocking their shelves.
Schumer is asking the New York State Restaurant Association to encourage their member restaurants to offer locally brewed beer on their menu. In addition to getting more beers into restaurants close to where it is brewed, Schumer will be pushing the New York City members of the Restaurant Association to consider offering beers brewed across Upstate New York and Long Island. While some beers like Genesee and Saranac have gained popularity in the downstate market, Schumer and New York brewers believe this market is vastly underutilized and represents the chance to dramatically grow craft brewing across the state. Many smaller breweries don’t have the resources to launch extensive marketing campaigns. To combat this problem, as part of Schumer’s campaign the New York State Brewers Association will be providing promotional material, on behalf of its members, to restaurants and convenience stores to help boost awareness of locally brewed beer in hopes of increasing sales. Schumer, who toured breweries throughout the state earlier this year, noted that brewery owners tend to put increased revenue back into the business in the form of capital improvements or hiring new workers. Today, Schumer also called on the National Association of Convenience Stores and Fuel Retailing to encourage their major chain members to carry locally brewed beers at their New York location.
“Getting New York beers on convenience store shelves and in local menus would help pour jobs into New York’s breweries,” continued Schumer. “Our local breweries provide good-paying jobs and help draw tourists and visitors to the Empire State – I’m going to do everything I can to help them grow and expand even further.”