Fix the Beer Tax

By 2013, Tennessee’s wholesale beer tax rate had become the highest in the nation and was rising higher every year. The Tennessee Malt Beverage Association wanted to reign in the runaway tax with a solution that would require legislative action by the Tennessee General Assembly. TMBA turned to Hall Strategies to develop a campaign. We acted swiftly to create a movement that would bring consumers across Tennessee into the conversation with a simple yet hard-hitting demand: Fix the Beer Tax!

In less than two weeks the Fix the Beer Tax campaign launched, including a robust Website that linked consumers’ demands directly to their district house and senate representatives, a high-impact marketing presence in many bars and restaurants across the state. We developed and placed opinion columns and letters to the editor in dozens of newspapers, created a Facebook page that grew followers by the thousands and conducted a state tour that generated large crowds and publicity at events in microbreweries and taverns in towns and cities across Tennessee. The surge of grassroots activity was cited for near unanimous approval in the house and senate, and to the delight of Tennessee beer lovers, The Beer Tax Reform Act was signed into law by Gov. Bill Haslam.