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4th annual Beer Institute Membership Meeting sets sights on proactive program.

4th annual Beer Institute Membership Meeting sets sights on proactive program

Addressing the fourth annual Beer Institute Membership Meeting in Washington, D.C. last week, Miller Brewing Co. president and outgoing Beer Institute chairman, Leonard Goldstein, told audience members that as an industry, "we can't bury our heads in the sand and hope the problems will go away, and on the other hand, we can't overreact."

Goldstein said the industry must focus on 1)Breaking the alleged link between alcohol and illegal drugs; 2)Resisting any effort to increase the tax on beer, such as excise taxes; 3)Defeating the efforts to limit the marketing of the industry's products, and; 4)Increasing the educational efforts on alcohol awareness. Goldstein then turned the meeting over to incoming Chairman, Peter Coors, president, Coors Brewing Co.

Coors said that brewing industry would, through the Beer Institute, correct the misconceptions regarding brewer efforts to fight alcohol abuse. At this point, Coors said, the beer industry is in stormy seas, individuals joining together, engines sputtering, sails torn, waves washing over the bow.

"The industry is facing a problem of public perception on the issue of alcohol abuse," Coors said, echoing Goldstein. "It must be the role of the Beer Institute to set the record straight if we are to overcome efforts to restrict our products by limiting advertising and increasing taxes."

The new chairman also unveiled the brewers' commitment to present and support a proactive program to further combat the industry's problems. The program is currently in the planning stages and will be officially announced in the near future.

Noticeably absent from the meeting were representatives from the Stroh Brewery Co. and G. Heileman Brewing Co., since those brewers had changed their status from senior voting members to regular, non-voting members. The management committee agreed upon the new dues structure, but those numbers were not released.

Nonetheless, sources agree that the Stroh and Heileman dues are well below those of the three remaining senior members (Anheuser-Busch, Inc, Miller Brewing Co., and Coors Brewing Co.), whose regular dues were increased from $257,000 to $336,000 (before special assessments). Additionally, the dues structure for supplier members of the Institute were "reinstated to their 1985 level," meaning they doubled.

The Beer Institute announced a 1990 operating budget of $1.62 million, with an additional $3.9 million contributed by the senior members, earmarked for California's fight of the "nickel-a-drink tax" (the Connelly initiative). Last year, $84,000 was expended to combat that proposal; however, members believe a total of $7.2 million will be needed to defeat the proposed legislation in 1990.
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Publication:Modern Brewery Age
Date:May 28, 1990
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