Federally Legalize Hobby Distilling

$1,620 of $30,000 goal

Raised by 22 people in 22 months
Rick Morris
on behalf of Hobby Distiller's Association
 KELLER, TX
Our Goal
The Hobby Distiller's Association (HDA) has been advocating for legalization of hobby distilling in America since 2014. Our goal is to finally give hobby distilling the same legal standing already afforded to hobby brewing and wine making. To do this, we need to conduct a proper federal advocacy and lobbying campaign.   While we have had marked success with our current DC representation (more on that below), it has required significant resources.  Unfortunately, while it is essential that we keep fighting for equal treatment, we are unable to do so without additional funding.

Our Expenses
The HDA currently operates as a division of Brewhaus America due to lobbying restrictions placed on non-profit organizations (if the HDA were set up as a traditional non-profit, we would have to stop paying our lobbyist once we ran out of funds collected from membership). Our current structure, however, has allowed Brewhaus to pay our lobbyist to work towards legislative changes beyond what membership dues cover, which has been over $60,000 to date.  The money raised from this campaign will go directly to pay our lobbyist in 2017.

Our Progress
In 2016, we came closer to legalizing hobby distilling than any organized effort has ever come before.  The Craft Beverage Modernization & Tax Reform Act introduced in both the House and Senate (H.R. 2903 and S. 1562, respectively), both included provisions legalizing hobby distilling with certain limitations.  In the House, the measure had 288 cosponsors, and in the Senate, the bipartisan tally came to 51 cosponsors.  

We were excruciatingly close last year, and we simply need more funding if we want to see this through to the finish line.

While lobbying is typically extremely expensive, HDA is fortunate to work with Lobbyit.com, a firm providing professional advocacy services for a fraction of the cost of the rest of the industry.   While other forms charge $15-$20k/mo. for federal advocacy, Lobbyit charges a fraction of that.  As a result, we have achieved our progress for a relatively modest sum.  We need to keep up the effort.

Below is a timeline of our accomplishments since we formed in 2014.

March 2014: Hobby Distiller’s Association founded and hired our lobbyist.
June 2014: Our lobbyist meets with several senators in DC and organizes an initiative for HDA leadership to meet with members of Congress as well.
September 2014:
HDA leadership, members of membership committee, and HDA lobbyist meet with Senators Ted Cruz and John Cornyn, Representative Michael C. Burgess, and the Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau (TTB) in multiple trips to Washington DC.
October – January 2014: Language for a bill that would legalize home distilling as a hobby is drafted with the help of Legislative Counsel.
February 2015: HDA leadership and HDA lobbyist meet with the Senate Finance Committee as well as the Assistant Secretary of Tax Policy at the Department of the Treasury.
June 2015: The HDA bill was rolled into a much larger bill called the Craft Beverage Modernization and Tax Reform Act of 2015 and introduced in both the House and the Senate (S.1562 and H.R.2903).
September 2016: HDA leadership and HDA lobbyist meet with the Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau (TTB).
October 2016: Over 65% of the entire House of Representatives, representing 47 states including the District of Columbia, have signed on as cosponsors of H.R.2903. Also, 51% of the entire Senate, representing 31 states, have signed on as cosponsors of S.1562.
May 2017: We've had to pull the plug on our lobbyist for the time being due to lack of funding. It costs $3000/month to pay for a lobbyist, and we have been unable to sustain that from membership dues and donations. Any funding earned from this point on is now being saved in an account to go towards hiring him back.

Keep in mind that you don't have to be a hobby distiller yourself to support this cause. Perhaps you are a friend, family member, or co-worker to someone who is interested in hobby distilling. All we want is for hobby distillers to enjoy the same legal standing as hobby brewers and wine makers. Any donation is greatly appreciated. Thank you for your support.

For those who do not know what hobby distilling is, please check out the Hobby Distiller's Association .

If you are unable to donate, please like us on Facebook and spread the word about our cause so we can garner enough public support to show Congress that we are serious about this.
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$1,620 of $30,000 goal

Raised by 22 people in 22 months
Created January 4, 2017
Rick Morris
on behalf of Hobby Distiller's Association
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