The Tennessee Craft Brewers Guild’s “Brewer for a Day” launched last month in legislative districts across the state. More than 30 Guild members hosted their state legislators for brewery tours and industry discussions.
During the “Brewer for a Day” tours, which will continue into the fall, legislators gained firsthand insight into the craft beer manufacturing process and community impact of Guild brewers. Many brewers shared the unique ways in which they use Tennessee-sourced ingredients in their beer. This is a practice roughly 75 percent of Guild breweries participate in.
Another popular topic of conversation was brewery growth, which about 92 percent of Guild breweries report experiencing since they opened.
However, it was difficult for Guild members to talk about growth without also mentioning one of their industry’s biggest challenges: Tennessee’s high wholesale tax, which is the highest in the nation. Guild members appreciated the chance to discuss this issue one-on-one with their legislators in an effort to begin identifying a solution.
“We want to thank the legislators for their interest in learning about our industry and taking the time to meet with our members. Our thriving industry proudly supports Tennessee’s motto – ‘agriculture and commerce,’” said Sharon Cheek, Executive Director of the Tennessee Craft Brewers Guild.
These “Brewer for a Day” events were inspired by the Virginia Craft Brewers Guild and its success in bringing together the brewers and legislators of the state.