MADISON (AP) – State brewers are behind legislation that would create a Wisconsin Beer Commission to market and promote their product.
Rep. Gary Tauchen has offered a bill that would set up a commission with four members representing small brewers or brewpubs, one member for large brewers, one for wholesalers and a chairperson.
Tauchen says he wants to make Wisconsin the “Napa Valley of craft brewing,” according to WISC-TV. In addition to promoting, marketing, advertising and researching beer, the commission would also have the authority to sell Wisconsin beers at the State Fair Park.
“I thought there should be something we can do to help take beer to the next level. So I came up with the idea of the beer commission, which could work out of the Department of Ag (Agriculture), Trade and Consumer Protection and utilize the State Fair as a funding source. It gives the players in the industry an opportunity to work together,” said Tauchen.
The Brewers Association says Wisconsin ranks 11th in the nation for the number of breweries per capita.
“Wisconsin is known for supporting local industry much like the milk marketing board and the dairy industry,” said Carl Nolen, the president and CEO of Wisconsin Brewing Company in Verona.
“The purpose of a beer commission is really for the purpose of education and what it means when you support a local brewery you are supporting a local farmer, you are supporting raw materials produced in our state it’s all about job creation,” said Nolen.