If you don’t read our Facebook page then you didn’t yet get the call to arms from Ralph Erenzo at Tuthilltown Spirits. He’s asked us for help getting folks to consider supporting a bill he and other American distillers helped draft that will give Federal tax breaks to small spirits producers, much like the ones, he says, that are now given to small American craft brewers and wine makers.
“If this Bill passes,” he wrote to us in an emailed plea, “small producers will pay a fraction of what they are paying now, leaving more cash in pocket to buy local raw materials, hire new staff, and grow their distilleries into strong and viable local businesses.”
The idea that legislation can have great affect on the liquor landcape isn’t lost on us. In fact, as we wrote in a 2009 profile of Tuthilltown, a 2002 law encouraging spirit makers to set up small micro-distilling operations using locally farmed products was what enabled them to make a start. That same law is what also helped three small distilleries launch in Brooklyn last year. (Edible Brooklyn profiled the three businesses this past summer in their first-ever Alcohol Issue.) Also last year we wrote about what might happen to local bottle shops and their owners if that long-debated law finally passed to allow New York State supermarkets to sell wine.
You can read more about the distillery tax cut bill — it’s called H.R. 777, and was sponsored by Rep. Maurice Hinchey, of New York State’s 22nd congressional district — right here. You can also “support” the bill or leave a comment right here. Or if you’re really into supporting small batch booze, suggests Erenzo, consider contacting your own representatives. You can find those right here.