When Americans think of Political Action Committees (PACs), they think of industry giants like AT&T pouring millions into the coffers of political campaign accounts.
However, just as beer makers and distributors ensure that golden brew makes it into the mugs of Americans, they’re also among the top PACs pouring money into political contests.
The National Beer Wholesalers Association Political Action Committee donated over $4 million to candidates in both 2014 and 2016 and so far in 2018, they’ve handed out $2.9 million in funds.
The group keeps a fairly even split of giving between Republicans and Democrats.
When Republicans control congress, the National Beer Wholesalers Association (NBWA) appears to give a little bit more to GOP candidates and vice versa.
The NBWA is funded by, you guessed it, beer distributors, hundreds of them that you’ve likely never heard of.
The distributors pony up $5,000 to $250 each election cycle to influence politicians around the nation and keep all sides happy.
Since 2012, the NBWA has the second most generous PACs to candidates.
Since 2000, the group has been in the top 12 highest giving PACs.
So far this, year, the NBWA has given to both R’s and D’, most notably giving Georgia’s John Lewis $10,000 (who boycotted Trump’s State of the Union and voted in favor of impeachment.)
The group also contributed $10,000 to one of Congress’ most liberal members, Jerrold Nadler.
Distributors give significantly more to Congress than America’s largest beer manufacturer, Anheuser-Busch which has dished out only $578,208 on contributions to committees and candidates so far this year.
Unlike the NBWA, Anheuser-Busch’s PAC has supported democrats over republicans since 2008.
Why would AB do that?
Because employees of Anheuser-Busch give disproportionally to Republicans, so far in 2018 from both AB employees and their PAC, democrats have received $344k while republicans have been given $990k.
The beer industry is following the old school method of giving to all to prevent future legislative problems, instead of mimicking the efforts of the insurance and health industries who drown politicians in money in order to reap the benefits while American taxpayers suffer under the new policies.
But it’s not so innocent in beer world.
Facing growing market pressure from craft and local beer makers, industry giants are using their political muscle to place ridiculous laws on the books to stifle competition.
Throughout the nation, beer distributors are partnering with giants like AB InBev to shut down craft beer tasting rooms that – gasp – allow consumers to purchase their beverages directly from the source.