National Beer Institute lists Ron Kind among bipartisan dozen Beer Champions of year

WASHINGTON, D.C. (WKBT) — Just in time for Oktoberfest: Lift a stein to toast U.S. Rep. Ron Kind as one of the Beer Institute’s bipartisan dozen Beer Champions of the year.

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The Washington-based institute, which announced the champions on Tuesday, recognized the La Crosse Democrat for his “instrumental leadership in supporting federal policies that aid the success of U.S. brewers and beer importers.”
Kind also was a major advocate of long-term tax relief for brewers and beer importers in the Craft Beverage Modernization and Tax Reform Act, which he sponsored with Rep. Mike Kelly, R-Pa., the Beer Institute said.
Deeming the institute’s declaration as “an honor,” Kind said, “Here in Wisconsin, our beer industry is not only a critical economic engine but also a large part of our state culture. I’m proud to support this vital industry through legislative efforts to ensure it can continue to thrive and create good-paying jobs across Wisconsin and the nation for years to come.”
The beer industry is particularly vital in La Crosse, home to the City Brewing Co. — one of the larger breweries in the country — and a number of craft breweries and pubs.
In Kind’s 3rd Congressional District, the beer industry supports more than 7,600 jobs and more than $1 billion in economic output, according to the institute.
Statewide, the brewing industry provides 64,972 jobs, pays a total of $2.9 billion in wages and has an economic impact of $9.8 billion, the institute says. In neighboring Minnesota, the industry provides 42,983 jobs, pays $2 billion in wages and contributes $6.6 billion to the economy.
Nationally, more than 2 million Americans owe their livelihood to a robust beer industry, said Jim McGreevy, president and CEO of the Beer Institute. America’s beer industry contributes about 1.6% of the nation’s gross domestic product.
“From farmers to truck drivers and brewers to bartenders – the production, distribution and sale of beer create good-paying jobs in every corner of our nation—employing our neighbors, friends and family,” despite significant hardships during the COVID-19 pandemic, McGreevy said.
Others on the institute’s bipartisan list of Beer Championsare:
• Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y.)
• Sen. Roy Blunt, R-Mo.
• Sen. Catherine Cortez Masto, D-Nev.
• Sen. Kevin Cramer, R-N.D.
• Sen. Rob Portman, R-Ohio
• Sen. Ron Wyden, D-Ore.
• Rep. Henry Cuellar, D-Texas
• Rep. Andy Harris, R-Md.
• Rep. Mike Kelly, R-Pa.
• Rep. Darin LaHood, R-Ill.
• Rep. Richard Neal, D-Mass.