Got beer? State lawmakers propose beer commission to market industry, improve tourism
Denise Lockwood
Milwaukee Business Journal

A group of state lawmakers introduced a bill in the state Assembly Tuesday that would create a beer commission to formally market Wisconsin as a beer-making mecca with the hope of bringing more tourism to the state.
Rep. Gary Tauchen (R-Bonduel) said he authored the bill because he wants to create a seven-member Wisconsin Beer Commission that would help improve the business climate for brewpubs, and small and big beer brewers, similar to how the Milk Marketing Board has helped the dairy, cheese and other milk products industry in Wisconsin.
If the proposal becomes law, the beer commission would help market and advertise beer, and conduct research related to the marketing and advertising of beer. It would also have a presence at State Fair Park to sell Wisconsin-made beer.
"When I think of the three things Wisconsin is good at making -- cheese, brats and beer -- I thought, how can we leverage that? Then I thought, the Milk Marketing Board does research on cheese and that has helped that industry tremendously by finding new markets for those products," Tauchen said. "I want this commission and the Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection to take beer to the next level."
Tauchen said he would like to bring more beer travelers to Wisconsin. He explained how he wants to help promote travel in the state by touting its brewpubs, micro breweries and larger brewers. The commission would comprise four members representing Wisconsin brewers or brewpubs that make 300,000 barrels of beer or less, one brewer that makes more than 300,000 barrels of beer, a beer wholesaler, and a chairperson.
"If we have them working together, it gives them the opportunity to present their products, and then others will want to go visit the breweries and spend money here," he said.