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State-Backed Beer

Nov 24, 2006 - The state of Washington has announced the members of its new state commission for craft brewers. Lawmakers approved the promotional group in the last legislative sessions. It will represent licensed breweries - 84 strong in Washington - that produce less than 100,000 barrels annually per location.

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"That it's part of the state government system, that it's recognized as a pretty important agricultural product to the state, makes it exciting," said Paul Gatza, director of the Brewers Association. "When you're dealing with an alcoholic beverage industry, it's hard to get the state to get anywhere near it except to regulate it. But to promote the quality of the state's beers is just a wonderful direction."

The Washington commission will collect a 10-cent per barrel assessment on a maximum of 10,000 barrels per brewer, as well as revenue from commission-sponsored festivals, to pay for promotional activities.

Members hope to replicate the success of the Washington Wine Commission, which promotes Washington wines domestically and internationally.


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