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“Fix the Beer Tax” supporters rally in Memphis at Young Avenue Deli

February 09, 2013 By: mike Category: Breweries, Craft beer, Distribution, Events, Memphis

High Cotton at Fix the Beer Tax rally

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.”
Fix the Beer Tax
“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.

For a $5 donation, you could sample beers from Ghost River Brewing, Jackalope Brewing CompanyYazoo Brewing Company, Calfkiller Brewing Company, along with Memphis start-ups Memphis Made Brewing Company and High Cotton Brewing Company.

You can follow the progress of the bill on the Tennessee General Assembly’s website here, or follow the campaign at www.fixthebeertax.com, and at www.facebook.com/fixthebeertax.

State Sen. Brian Kelsey:

Memphis Made’s Drew Barton:

“Fix the Beer Tax” campaign comes to Memphis on Friday with rally at Young Avenue Deli

February 06, 2013 By: mike Category: Breweries, Craft beer, Distribution, Events, Memphis

Fix the Beer TaxThe “Fix the Beer Tax” campaign — which is aimed at reining in Tennessee’s highest-in-the-nation beer taxes — is coming to Memphis this week.

The Young Avenue Deli in Cooper-Young will play host to a rally on Friday from 5-7 p.m. in support of the Beer Tax Reform Act of 2013. There will be petitions to sign and Tennessee-brewed beers available for tasting. Brewers, distributors and legislative sponsor State Sen. Brian Kelsey (R-Germantown) will be in attendance.

The statewide campaign, which is being spearheaded by the Tennessee Craft Brewers Guild and Tennessee Malt Beverage Association, was launched last week in Nashville with a rally at Yazoo Brewing Company that drew more than 400 people.

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:

High-gravity beers from Colorado’s New Belgium Brewing arriving soon in Memphis

December 07, 2012 By: mike Category: Breweries, Craft beer, Distribution, Memphis

New Belgium logoIf you live in Memphis and like beers from Colorado’s New Belgium Brewing Co., you soon won’t need to trek to the Walgreens in West Memphis, Ark., to buy New Belgium’s higher-alcohol beers.

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.

Many liquor stores that sell high-gravity beers will have the New Belgium line-up, as well as bars and restaurants with a good selection of craft beer, including The Flying Saucer, Young Avenue Deli, Local Gastropub, Alchemy, Sweet Grass, Aldo’s Pizza Pies, Mellow Mushroom, Hog & Hominy and others.

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.

Yazoo Brewing to host neighborhood events leading up to Cooper-Young Regional Beerfest

October 01, 2012 By: mike Category: Breweries, Craft beer, Events, Memphis

Yazoo Brewing CompanyLeading up to the Cooper-Young Regional Beerfest, Nashville’s Yazoo Brewing Company is going to be having some fun in the Cooper-Young neighborhood.

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.

1st Course
Pickled Shrimp BLT
Allen Benton’s Smoked Bacon, arugula, confit tomatoes, lemon aioli
Served with Gerst.

2nd Course
Roasted Quail
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.

For more information, call 901-278-0278.