Wednesday, October 28, 2009


Hey Gang!

Well sorry for the crazed delay in random thoughts from the brewery. First and formost, this Saturday we are having a Halloween/Costume party! The doors of the brewery will be open at 7pm and at 8pm the Alex Wilson Band will take the stage till 11pm.

Admission is FREE! We will just charge for pints!

We will also have a costume contest complete with prizes. First prize will be a dream date with Leif! (just kidding!) We will be giving away a few items from the gift shop for the most creative costume, most elaborate, funniest and scariest. If anyone has any suggestions for other categories - post a comment! (It would be really good to have a comment or three..srsly!)

Ok, over the last several weeks we here at the brewery have been crazy busy with of course - the beer business! One of the things that Todd posted on was about the excise tax increase threat. A couple of Tuesday's ago - I went to Madison and experienced the full effect of a public hearing on the subject. I saw folks that want it and of course those that don't. One of the more impassioned testifying came from my friend Paul Graham who is the owner and President of Central Waters Brewing Company in Amherst. It struck a cord with me and I know the panel as well as he described how a tax increase would be detrimental to his business. This excise tax is a 400% increase - thats right - 400%!!

This is a tax which is levied on a small business (ours!) irregardless of profitability - same with the Federal excise tax! The REALLY sad part of the hearings is that small brewers are getting lumped into the same category as all the big ones. Getting blamed for alcohol addiction in TEENS (When was the last time you saw a teenager grabbing a 6pack of wild ride?)

The proponents of the tax will state that the increase is ONLY .03 cents per bottle. What they failed to realize that is the three cents will increase to .09 cents per bottle by the time it hits the consumer! (Wisconsin is a three-tier system state meaning that we the breweries sell the beer to wholesalers who in turn sell it to the retail outlet. Each Tier will mark up the cost of the product accordingly to their profit margin) So that .03 cents per bottle will become $2.16 per case or .54 cents per 6pack. Lemme tell you folks there was a time (before recession) that most thought that the price of CRAFT beer was recession proof and could just keep going up - it just isnt that way. Everyone watches what they spend. If our six pack price would go up an additional .54 cents - we are looking at a decrease in volume, which in turn would mean the loss of jobs, which in turn, since we work on a thin profit margin, may even cost us our business. That is not so good. Find me this weekend on Friday or Saturday night and I will be happy to talk taxes (well for awhile anyway) with you. Oh yeah - impact to our little brewery? An additional $30,000 in taxes.

SO - please contact your state legislators! Tell them you dont support the increase in taxes.


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