I would first like to thank Kendall at Washington Beer Blog for bringing this to my attention since I am an avid follower of politics not only on the national stage but also locally.
I wanted to first preface that I am not Anti-Wine industry, more to the point I am simply looking for an even playing field given to all of that provide the public with alcoholic beverages. House Bill 1415 continues the unfortunate trend of helping Washington Wine out while continuing to hold back the progress of the craft beer movement.
I decided to write to both of our Senators (Maria Cantwell and Patty Murray) in hopes that they would read my letter and reconsider their endorsement of an exclusionary bill that allows Washington’s wine industry to continue being hoisted up while beer like some sort of long since newborn child rests uncomfortably floor. Below is a copy of my letter to the senator from Seattle.
it has come to my attention that HB 1415 has recently passed House review and is currently waiting for Senate Rules Committee review without inclusion of Washington's craft beer industry. As a craft beer consumer, amateur scribe, and active volunteer at epicurious events; I assist spreading the word of craft beer and all that it represents in Washington state.
Washington state although one of the largest recognized producers of craft beer per capita only sees the fraction of the support that Oregon's brewing community experiences from it legislators. This is never more evident than the state of Oregon's dedicating a week to Oregon craft beer every July. Compounded by this is that the number of breweries in Washington and Oregon are nearly identical. Craft brewing experiences Year over year growth over large scale brewing operations such as Anheuser-Busch and Miller-Coors (formerly, SABMiller, Molson - Coors),further demonstrated by the continual employment in the state.
Senator, to allow this bill to move forward and omit the craft beer industry is a demonstration of this states unwillingness to support the bartender, the metal fabricator, the truck driver, and the farmers everywhere in this state. Ms. Cantwell, to let this bill pass as it stands without an addendum to include craft beer fails to say thank you to those who work so very hard to harvest the hops, to use spent grains to feed their cattle, and those that continually put a refreshing drink on the table for all who work so hard for this state.”
There will be more to post as soon as I have composed my letter to Ms. Murray pointing out my concerns to her potential signing of this bill as it stands.