If you’ve been following our coverage of the bill working its way through the Illinois legislature, you know that we’ve been vocal about opening up the state’s distribution laws to benefit the microbreweries, brewpubs and small craft brewers that we know and love. We’ve been keeping our eyes on the situation for a while, and you can find our posts on the situation here and here. Now, we’re asking you to join the call in a campaign we’re calling Save the Craft.
The two bills, Senate Bill 88 and House Bill 205, are very soon to be called to a vote. We’re asking you to call or email the Executive committee chair and co-chair in both branches of legislature to express your support for moving this bill forward, and a “Yes” vote on both.
These legislators are as follows:
- Chairperson: Don Harmon – Phone: (217) 782-8176 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Co-Chair: Ira I. Silverstein – Phone: (217) 782-5500 Email: email@example.com
- Chairperson: Daniel J. Burke – Phone: (217) 782-1117 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Co-Chair: Joseph M. Lyons – Phone: (217) 782-8400 Email: email@example.com
Just to make this easier on you, we’re providing a sample script for you to use when emailing or calling. Remember – when you get on the phone, be calm, controlled, and extremely polite. The poor person answering the phone isn’t going to make the vote, but they are the arbiter and gatekeeper to the people who will – and how you treat them gets taken into account just as much as your message.
Here’s a good start to what you might consider passing on to your particular legislator:
“Dear (or Hello) ____ ,
I’m calling/writing today to express my support for Senate Bill 88 / House Bill 205 as-is, with no amendments. As a resident of Illinois who appreciates the craft beer community and wants to support the expansion of distribution rights for microbrewers and brewpubs, I believe that this vote would level the playing field between the local breweries and the national macrobrewers.
Please vote “Yes” when these bills come up for a vote. I believe that the citizens of Illinois are best served when increased access to the legal, local products that we believe in and enjoy is made available. We want to support our local businesses over international corporations and keep our money in our communities, and part of how we do that is choosing to support our Illinois brewpubs and microbrewers.
Again, I urge you to please vote “yes” on Senate Bill 88 / House Bill 205 AS-IS, with no amendments.
Sincerely/ Thank you,
Not bad, right? And easy! Takes 3 minutes or so. That small amount of effort could be the difference between further freedom for your favorite craft brewer, or another win for the big guys. In addition, check out our dedicated page here, the form letter we’ve put together, and a fact sheet that hopefully will help further define the issue for you.
To be clear – we are advocating for increased access to the market for small breweries, brewpubs and so on, as well as the right for breweries like Two Brothers to own distributorships like Windy City Beverage. Anything that increases the market access to people who love good beer and want it to you is something that every craft beer enthusiast should support.
We can get macrobrews at many gas stations, convenience marts and grocery stores all over Illinois. Don’t you want that same opportunity for your favorite Illinois-based IPA, Imperial Stout or other malted beverage?
Please! Pick up a phone. Fire off an email. Ask your legislator to vote yes on this bill AS-IS, with no amendments. Help Save the Craft. Is it the most important issue they’ll be facing during this session? No. But that doesn’t mean that our voices and opinions can’t be heard. And of course, please follow us on Twitter and Facebook to stay up to date on news about the legislation – this is just the first step of many, so thank you for all your help and let’s Save The Craft!