Sprecher Root Beer Makes it to the White House

No kidding!  On Saturday President Obama stopped by The Dairy Godmother in Fairfax, Virginia with daughters Malia and Sasha and his requisite cadre of bodyguards.   Owned by Waukesha native Liz Davis, the store sells frozen custard and other wonderful things from Wisconsin, including Sprecher Root Beer.  According to an article in the Milwaukee Journal today (www.jsonline.com), while the president and his daughters indulged in frozen custard “Obama’s personal aide Reggie Love bought a four pack of Sprecher Root Beer.”

Tailgate Sunday

Join us at the brewery on Sunday when we’ll have one of our famous summer  tailgate parties.  Enjoy some grilled sausages and dogs, play some bung hole toss, take a tour, sip some great beer and soda, and enter to win prizes.  Doors open at 11am.  Sprecher Brewery is located at 701 W. Glendale Ave, Glendale, WI, just north of the city of Milwaukee.

Milwaukee Liver Life Walk Kick-Off Tonight!

Kick-Off Party for the Milwaukee Liver Life Walk tonight, starting at 5:30pm in the Uecker Room at Miller Park.  This is an rsvp event, but mention the Sprecher Blog and you’re good.  This is a great opportunity to get up close and personal with the famous racing sausages and Liver Man as well as other notables.

The Liver Life Walk is a national event with walks taking place across the US to raise funds for the American Liver Foundation and local chapters.  The money raised will be used for research and education.  Liver disease comes in many forms, some affecting infants, others affecting children, teens and adults.

The Milwaukee Liver Life Walk will be held on August 8th.  It’s a 5k/3 mile walk along the lakefront beginning at Veteran’s Park, Lincoln Memorial Drive.  8:30am check-in with the walk beginning at 10:00am.  Prizes, treats and celebrity ambassadors including Olympic Gold Medalist Bonnie Blair, and Marquette Basketball Star Bo Smith.

BTW: We need walkers to join the Sprecher Liver Life Walk  Team.  Sign-up and receive a free team t-shirt.  You can sign-up online at the American Liver Foundation website: go.liverfoundation.org — just follow the prompts to join Team Sprecher, or  contact Michelle at mbrzek@sprecherbrewery.com for more details.


Wisconsin Beer Tax

Is  Sprecher Brewing Company, along with members of the Wisconsin brewing industry, the Wisconsin Grocers Association, the Tavern League – which represents 5,000 bars and liquor stores –  right to oppose the current beer tax increase propsal now in the legislature?

Wisconsin will have a $6.6 billion budget shortfall this year so to some in the legislature  it makes sense that they raise taxes and cut services wherever possible, even though people are  losing jobs, businesses and homes.   Theoretically, increased tax revenue along with cuts in public spending will result in a decreased budget shortfall and all will be well.  But generating operating revenue by increasing taxes at a time when people’s incomes are diminishing seems chimerical, a reactive grasping at straws more than anything.  Be that as it may, doing something is far better than doing nothing.   Best if it’s the right something.

Rep. Terese Berceau and Sen. Fred Risser, both Madison Democrats, proposed a beer tax increase from $2 to $10 per barrel to help fight drunken driving and treat alcohol addiction and mental illness.  The beer tax has not been raised since 1969 and is currently the 3rd lowest in the nation.  According to a May 15 article in Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, “Berceau said her plan would raise tax on a 6-pack from 3.6 cents to 18 cents.  Overall, it would cost beer drinkers $40 million to $48 million.”   Sounds like a lot of money for worthwhile programs, but one must question whether Rep. Berceau’s estimate of the cost to the consumer is accurate.

In other words, if the barrel tax begins at the breweries, the multiplier effect will kick in and an additional fee will be added at each stop along the way (distributor, retailer) so the final cost to the consumer ends up being significantly higher.  Potentially, this means more tax revenue and more funds for worthwhile programs all things being equal.  But all things are not equal at present.  We’ve gone from an economy where a significant majority of the population felt flush to one where a significant majority is counting every dollar and saving rather than spending.   The net effect is less consumers and higher unemployment, evidenced by the recent waves of layoffs as well as stores, restaurants and bars closing due to lack of business.

Personally, I question whether now is the right time to raise the beer tax.  What do you think?