Joseph Curtatone, the Democratic mayor of Somerville, Massachusetts, is calling on city residents to boycott the beer company Sam Adams for profiting off President Trump's "white nationalist agenda."
Boston Business Journal reports that Sam Adams founder Jim Koch and other business executives dined with the president last Wednesday. During dinner, Koch reportedly thanked the president for a tax cut that would greatly help his business compete against foreign brewers. According to the report, Koch told Trump, "The tax reform was a very big deal for all of us, because 85 percent of the beer made in the United States is owned by foreign companies." He added that American beer companies paid 38 percent in taxes while foreign competitors paid 20 percent.
An angered Curtatone tweeted a promise to boycott Sam Adams beer. He also wrote, "We need to hold these complicit profiteers of Trump's white nationalist agenda accountable."
There have been significant changes in favor of American beer recently. Last year, Reason's Christian Britschgi reported that a bipartisan Senate tax reform bill cut taxes for brewers, vintners, and distillers—in some cases by half. Additionally, the bill would ease some regulations on things such as bookkeeping and easier transportation between distilleries. The law went into effect at the beginning of 2018.
"That would have a huge impact on our business," Julie Verratti, co-founder of Denizens Brewing Company, said. "Any type of alleviation is huge for us."
As Reason's Scott Shackford previously reported, this is not the first time a popular beer faced criticism from a Democratic politician for its proximity to Trump. After Dick Yuengling Jr. of the Yuengling brewery welcomed Eric Trump to the brewery in 2016, Pennsylvania state Rep. Brian Sims responded with, "Goodbye Yuengling and shame on you." Though Yuengling Jr. said a Trump presidency would help create more companies like his, Sims dismissed his support as "anti-woman, anti-immigrant, anti-LGBT, anti-racial minority and anti-equality."
Following the tweet storm, Curtatone addressed critics who promised to make Sam Adams their beer of choice.