Wisconsin lawmaker proposes beer commission

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Posted: Friday, February 28, 2014 --- 9:20pm

Brewing beer is a new venture for Henry Schwartz. But, it's an occupation with a long history, here in Wisconsin

Schwartz founding MobCraft. Launched last year, it's a beer company based on crowdsourcing. Basically, consumers choose what types of beer are made.

"The state of Wisconsin has really blossomed. There are a lot of great breweries that have been here for the past 15-20 years” says Schwartz.

MobCraft is one of many that have helped spur the economy. According to the Brewers Association, craft brewing contributed nearly $34 billion to the US economy in 2012, and nearly $900 million alone in Wisconsin. The industry also added more than 360,000 jobs nationwide. Nearly 10,000 of those were in Wisconsin..

And a Wisconsin legislator wants beer to give the state an even bigger economic boost. Representative Gary Tauchen (R, 6th Assembly District) is backing a bill that create a Wisconsin Beer Commission. The group would focus on the marketing and promoting of beer made in Wisconsin.

"I see Wisconsin definitely being on the map as one of those states that has a lot of great craft beer. It just needs a bit more recognition as that” says Schwartz.

NBC 15 reached out to Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) for comment on the bill. A spokesperson says they're still reviewing the bill, but aren't against it, as long as it doesn't promote underage drinking.

The bill is currently being circulated for co-sponsorship and it'll likely have a hearing during the next legislative session.