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Washington State Contemplating Beer Commission

Elysian Brewing co-owner Dick Cantwell was featured in an AP story which ran today in the Seattle Times. It appears that the state legislature is “poised” (their word) to create a state beer commission to promote Washington-made beers.

From the article:

The crusade to establish Washington-made as a premium microbrew brand is in line for some help from the state Legislature, which appears willing to create a new industry promotional arm called the Washington Beer Commission.

If lawmakers give their blessing, the commission would be officially empowered to levy a modest tax on its producers, put on fundraising festivals, and — perhaps most importantly — give away free beer.

“I drink milk, personally,” said state Sen. Marilyn Rasmussen, D-Eatonville, a dairy farmer who is a sponsor of the Beer Commission bill. “But as long as they use Washington hops and Washington barley, I approve.”

The beer makers’ model is the Washington Wine Commission, seen as instrumental in promoting the state’s most well-known adult beverage during its rise to national prominence in the past 20 years.

Dick Cantwell, brewer and co-owner of Elysian Brewing.

Sounds good to me. Washington certainly makes some wonderful beers and they should shout about them. In addition to being home to the first brewpub in modern times — Grant’s in 1982 — Washington state won the sixth highest number of medals at last year’s Great American Beer Festival. There are 54 active members of the Washington Brewers Guild and include many world class breweries.

And congratulations to Dick on the good press.

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