Putting a Cork in Overregulation
While the name may be a little odd, the practice by Oregon’s breweries and ranchers of “brew to moo” certainly is not. The byproduct of beer-making, called spent grain, is often given or sold by breweries to ranchers to use as animal feed. Together, Oregon’s breweries and Senator Wyden successfully fought back the FDA’s attempt to overregulate this process, which would’ve cost brewers millions and forced tons of spent grain to go to waste. The fight took Senator Wyden across Oregon to meet with local brewers at Widmer Brother Brewing in Portland and with Southern Oregon brewers at Caldera Brewing in Ashland.
And the trip wasn’t just about beer. Oregonians can now fill wine growlers and enjoy Oregon’s world-renowned wines at home! Recently the federal government issued rules conflicting with Oregon’s own laws that allow wine growlers. Wineries, wine collectives, and restaurants joined forces with Senator Wyden to ensure that the federal law didn’t override Oregon’s. Senator Wyden and Congressman Earl Blumenauer went to the SE Wine Collective in Portland to help fill the first legal wine growler – full of Oregon’s Heiloterra Pinot Noir.
In between fighting for wine growlers and “brew to moo,” Senator Wyden joined Senator Merkley, Governor Kitzhaber and Interior Secretary Sally Jewell to celebrate the signing of the Klamath Basin Agreement. He also heard from Oregonians at his annual Hood River, Wasco, Gilliam, Sherman, Klamath and Lake county town halls. He also held his 700th (!) town hall in Fossil in Wheeler County. Ron also participated in the openings of the Fort Dalles Readiness & Workforce Innovations Center, the new solar and geothermal energy project at the Oregon Institute of Technology in Klamath Falls, and the Grants Pass Veterans Outpatient Clinic as well as the groundbreaking of a veterans clinic in Eugene.
If there’s one thing the past couple of weeks showed, is that when Oregonians come together we can do big things.