Washington Congresswoman Jaime Herrera Beutler is working with local craft breweries to streamline the business of beer making. The Republican from southwest Washington toured a Vancouver brewery this week and hosted a roundtable discussion.
It’s no surprise that craft breweries are a big deal in the Pacific Northwest. But they’re also big business.
In 2014, Washington craft breweries brought in more than 1.6 billion dollars. The state ranks second in the nation, only behind California, for the highest number of breweries.
33 of them are in Congresswoman Jaime Herrera Beutler’s district.
At Thursday’s roundtable, many applauded the industry’s quick growth, but bemoaned long wait times for licensing and tax approvals. Herrera Beutler is backing a bill that would fix these issues.
“And some of the biggest hurdles they’re facing are what I hear from a lot of small businesses: government red tape, wait times," Herrera Beutler said. "The bill that I’m co-sponsoring on would help change that.”
According to the state brewers association, more than one third of Washington craft breweries opened in the last 3 years.
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