PITTSTON — Several state legislators were given a hands-on, insider’s perspective on the brewing process, as well as learning about the direct economic impact craft brewers have on communities throughout the state.
The Brewers of Pennsylvania — the state’s official beer guild — hosted state Sen. John Yudichak, D-Plymouth Township; state Rep. Mike Carroll, D-Avoca; and state Rep. Aaron Kaufer, R-Kingston, at the latest “Brewer for a Day” event held at Susquehanna Brewing Company in Pittston on Monday.
The Luzerne County delegation received an up-close brewing experience where they weighed hops, analyzed malts, learned about the fermentation process and engaged with the state-of-the-art automation that helps SBC brewers produce craft beers.
Fred Maier, SBC’s co-founder and vice president, said the legislators learned about the state’s craft beer industry in Luzerne County and beyond. He said he looks forward to working with the Luzerne County delegation on issues important to the success of craft brewing.
Carroll said he is always eager to highlight the successes of area small businesses such as Susquehanna Brewing.
“Not only is this business thriving, but the award-winning beer being produced has quickly become a very popular product throughout the mid-Atlantic region of the United States,” Carroll said.
Yudichak said craft breweries are opening across Pennsylvania, but particularly, in Northeastern Pennsylvania where entrepreneurs are driving revitalization in cities and towns and creating much-needed jobs.
“I enjoyed the opportunity to learn more about the Susquehanna Brewing Company’s operation, and I will continue to work with them and other craft breweries in my district to protect and expand this unique industry in the region,” Yudichak said.
With craft beer becoming a popular commodity in recent years, Kaufer said he is grateful to have had the opportunity of an inside look on production at the Susquehanna Brewing Company.
“It’s great to have breweries and small businesses, like SBC, in our area respond to a growing trend — in this case craft beer — so that people don’t have to drive far distances to a city,” Kaufer said. “It is heartening to see the strong entrepreneurial spirit of our area creating jobs and expanding opportunities throughout Luzerne County and the commonwealth.”
According to information provided by the legislators, in July 2016, Gov. Tom Wolf signed a $1.3 billion revenue package that included a Malt Beverage Tax Credit not to exceed $5 million annually. The tax credit, matching equipment and facilities investments made by applicant breweries, has been one of the BOP’s top legislative goals since 2013. The BOP fully supports the tax credit measure and considers it a major victory for all craft breweries in the commonwealth, particularly smaller breweries as the benefits of the measure is capped at $200,000 per year, per brewery.
The Brewers of Pennsylvania, a strong and influential organization, serves the consuming public of Pennsylvania by encouraging brand diversity in the market. BOP members employ an estimated 10,000 employees earning $296 million in wages and generating $1.1 billion in direct economic benefits to communities throughout the state.
Reach Bill O’Boyle at 570-991-6118 or on Twitter @TLBillOBoyle.