High Cotton Brewing’s Mike Lee hands out samples of Ginners Pride ESB at the Fix the Beer Tax rally on Friday at the Young Avenue Deli.
More than 100 beer enthusiasts and industry representatives gathered Friday night in Memphis to rally for change in Tennessee’s beer taxes.
The “Fix the Beer Tax” campaign, which launched last week in Nashville, took over the Young Avenue Deli in Cooper-Young for a rally in support of the “Beer Reform Act of 2013.”
“This bill is about bringing jobs to Tennessee. If we can fix our beer tax, we can have more brewers here, more jobs in those breweries. We can have more choices for consumers and more choices, most importantly, at a lower price,” said Tennessee State Sen. Brian Kelsey (R-Germantown), sponsor of the bill. (Watch video of Kelsey’s speech below.)
The Beer Tax Reform Act of 2013 seeks to reform the 17% beer wholesale tax in Tennessee, which contributes to the state having the highest beer taxes in the nation. (Read FuzzyBrew’s earlier post here.)
In addition to speeches by Kelsey and others, there was great Tennessee beer to try.
Here’s the full press release about Friday’s event in Memphis:
Beer Tax Reform Act of 2013 campaign rallying at Young Avenue Deli
Distributors, Brewers, Consumers: Rein in nation’s highest, out-of-control beer tax
MEMPHIS – A statewide campaign to reform 1950s era beer tax policy that is the root cause of Tennessee’s dubious rank as the nation’s highest beer tax state will conduct a Memphis rally at Midtown’s Young Avenue Deli on Friday, Feb. 8, at 5 p.m. Participants will include legislative sponsor Brian Kelsey, Memphis area beer distributors and brewers, and hundreds of consumers.
The Beer Tax Reform Act of 2013, filed Jan. 29 by Sen. Kelsey (R-Germantown) and Rep. Cameron Sexton (R-Crossville), proposes to modernize Tennessee beer tax with a simple modification. It would calculate wholesale tax on volume rather than price and solve Tennessee’s odd (and nationally unparalleled) tax policy that currently results in the beer tax rate rising exponentially higher every year.
Here’s how much higher it rises: In 2008, Tennessee caught and passed Alaska as the top state taxer of beer. By 2012, Tennessee had increased that lead by 12 points, and if the state keeps rising at the current average annual price increase of $1.15, in five years the average tax rate will be $42.75 per barrel – 29 percent higher than Alaska; in 10 years it will be $48.50 – 46 percent higher; in 15 years, it will be $54.25 per barrel – 64 percent higher.
The statewide Fix the Beer Tax campaign began last week in Nashville with an event that attracted more than 400 Tennesseans and resulted in an explosion of statewide social media in support of legislative reform. This week the campaign will be visible in dozens of Memphis area restaurants and craft brewery establishments, inviting consumers though social media to voice support and contact legislators. The campaign is on the Web at www.fixthebeertax.com; on Facebook at www.facebook/fixthebeertax; and on Twitter at @fixthebeertax.
“Tennessee is beyond the tipping point,” said Rich Foge, president of Tennessee Malt Beverage Association. “The current tax policy allows the tax rate to rise unchecked at such a dramatic rise that it is now impacting competitiveness, economic opportunity and costs and choice for consumers. The tax rate is out of control – it’s time to modernize this old tax and make it right.”
Also, here’s video from the “Fix the Beer Tax” kickoff in Nashville this week:
The Fort Collins craft brewer’s Ranger IPA, Abbey and Trippel, as well as the Lips of Faith series and seasonal Frambozen, are slated to hit the Memphis market next week in bottles and on draft, according to distributor Budweiser of Memphis.
Budweiser of Memphis has recently opened up a new company called West Tennessee Beverage to service liquor stores and bars and restaurants with high-alcohol licenses. Budweiser of Memphis has also recently taken over the craft beer portfolio of Southwestern Distributing as part of the sale of Southwestern’s beer business to the Hand Family Companies.
What’s your favorite New Belgium beer? Leave a comment below.
On Wednesday, Oct. 10, at Alchemy, there will be a vertical tasting of three different batches of Hop Project. Then on Thursday, the 11th, there will be a beer dinner at Sweetgrass. (Check out the menu below.) Finally, on Friday, the 12th, the Young Avenue Deli will host a cask ale and custom pint glass night.
Of course Yazoo will be at the Cooper-Young Regional Beerfest on Saturday, Oct. 13. Tickets are $35 in advance and are available online.
Here’s the menu for the Yazoo dinner at Sweetgrass. Tickets are $35 per person. For more information, call 901-278-0278.
Pickled Shrimp BLT
Allen Benton’s Smoked Bacon, arugula, confit tomatoes, lemon aioli Served with Gerst.
Stuffed with broccoli barley risotto, butternut squash puree, cranberry gastrique Served with Pale Ale.
Grilled Beef Heart
Smoked sage hominy, pumpkin seed mole, sweet onions Served with Sue.
Dark Chocolate Stout Cake
Salted caramel ice cream, chocolate covered bacon Served with Stout.