CPP: New Belgium grows WNC brewery — and political clout

Here’s an excerpt from the Carolina Public Press article:

Earlier this year, the brewer [New Belgium Brewing Co.] took steps to form a political action committee (commonly abbreviated as PAC). The step is believed to be a first for brewers in the exponentially growing craft beer industry.

Along with filing paperwork to form a PAC on the federal level, the employee-owned company also moved to establish PACs on state levels where it has a brick and mortar presence, forming groups in both Colorado and North Carolina—where it’s currently building a $175 million, 133,000 square-foot brewery in the heart of Asheville’s River Arts District.

The move comes at a significant time for New Belgium, the nation’s third-largest craft brewer having produced more than 760,000 barrels of beer in 2012. It also comes at a significant time craft brewers across the country, who continue to chip away at a market share long held by industry stalwarts like MillerCoors and Anheuser-Busch.

While large-scale brewers and wholesalers have been long-active on the political scene, New Belgium’s foray into the field indicates the craft industry is beginning to find its niche. …

Andrew Lemley, government affairs specialist for New Belgium, told Carolina Public Press that the company’s PACs would seek to champion candidates who supported the craft beer industry, along with core issues New Belgium was already actively engaged in supporting, like water quality and alternative transportation.

About Jake Frankel
Jake Frankel is an award-winning journalist who enjoys covering a wide range of topics, from politics and government to business, education and entertainment.

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