Tuesday, May 09, 2006

Beer Biz Fends Off The Big Box

WASHINGTON, D.C. - This week, beer brewers and distributors meet for their annual legislative conference. One thousand of them will rub elbows, drink beer and charge up to Capitol Hill to call on their elected representatives.

"This is the time when we tell the industry story," says Craig Purser, president of the National Beer Wholesalers Association (NBWA).

That story has plenty of positives to it, as any aficionado of brews will tell you. American brewers, 2,400 of them, make the U.S. the world's No. 1 beer producer. According to NBWA, the industry is responsible for 1.8 million jobs and chips in $30 billion to state and federal tax coffers annually.

But it won't be all happy talk from the beer crowd to Congress this week. On the top of the agenda: warding off challenges to the regulatory status quo. "There's an erosion of the ability of states to regulate licensed beverages," says Purser.

Full story at Forbes.com