"Thanks for the mention," writes Bill Covaleski, brewmaster at Victory Brewing Co., Downingtown, re my item in today's print column of the bipartisan Washington effort to cut taxes on U.S. breweries.
"Congressman Jim Gerlach (R-Main Line, Berks) signed on this bill as a co-sponsor when we alerted him, and so has (U.S. Rep.) Allyson Schwartz (D, Montgomery)," Covaleski added.
I asked in the column whether this will really, as sponsors hope, create net new jobs. Says Covaleski: "Our full-time brewery employees have grown from 2 (at Victory's 1996 founding) to 37 today," plus over 130 mostly part-timers at the adjoining restaurant. "Not quite rivaling the 1,400 jobs (Budweiser maker) AmBev shed in St. Louis last year, but it's a start... (The proposed) excise tax advantage recognizes the fact that private industry turns incentives into results for all Americans."
Victory's expanding: "We have 8 new fermenters arriving August 3-4 that will boost our production capacity past 67,000 annual barrels to over 100,000 annual barrels," Covaleski told me.
"Is there risk in this investment? Of course there is! Will it lead to jobs? Yes, provided the federal government's policies don't create dis-incentives for us" to hire more beer workers.