Public Relations / PressUncategorizedU.S. Rep. John Katko visits Lock 1 Distilling Co. in Phoenix NY

August 7, 2019



August 6, 2019

U.S. Rep. Katko visits Lock 1 Distilling Co. in Phoenix NY

Congressman John Katko Visits Lock 1 Distilling Co. in Phoenix, NY
Lock 1 Owner Stephen Backus, Mayor Caleb Sweet, Superintendent Jim Lynch, Lock 1 Owner Brenden Backus, Rep. John Katko, Hill Island Distilling Owners Ann and David Benton pose for a photo during the Congressman’s recent visit to Lock 1 Distilling Co.

Focus on small business highlights impact of State & National Legislation

Congressman John Katko(24th District, NY) visited Lock 1 Distilling Co. in Phoenix, NY on Tuesday August 6th. Katko was welcomed by Village of Phoenix Superintendent Jim Lynch and Mayor Caleb Sweet. The visit gave the Congressman, a strong supporter of small business, an opportunity to see the effect that NY State grant funding opportunities can have on a small community.  It also gave Lock 1 owners, Brenden Backus and Stephen Dates(Owner Kevin Dates was unable to attend), an opportunity to voice their support for the Craft Beverage Modernization and Tax Reform Act. (H.R.1175/S.362)

Extension of tax break critical for small business growth.

Introduced by Reps. Ron Kind (D-Wis.) and Mike Kelly (R-Pa.) in the House and Sens. Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) and Roy Blunt (R-Mo.) in the Senate, the Craft Beverage Modernization and Tax Reform Act (CBMTRA) would permanently extend the reduction in the excise tax on beer, wine, and distilled spirits that was passed as part of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017.

Passage of this legislation is crucial to sustaining healthy growth in the craft beverage industry.  Failure to act will result in small craft distillers facing up to 400% increases in their taxes. That would force many distillers to shut down. Backus and Dates were joined by David and Ann Benton of Hall Island Distillery (Triple E Vodka) in Cicero, NY.  All four are members of the NY Distillers Guild which strongly supports passage of H.R.1175. They urged Katko to consider co-sponsoring and vocally supporting passage of this legislation before time runs out at the end of the year.

“Distillers reinvest these critical tax savings in their businesses and local communities–hiring more employees, investing in new equipment and increasing both grain and packaging purchasing.” – Distilled Spirits Council

Joining Mayor Sweet and Superintendent Lynch were Debbie Dates – Brand Ambassador for Lock 1 Distilling Co., Roxanne Demo – Village of Phoenix Clerk, Laura Gonzalez – Deputy Clerk, and local business owner Tammy Remington Lynch.

Show us your Cuse Juice!

Congressman Katko took time to view the Distillery, paused for a brief tasting and even purchased a bottle of Cuse Juice, an extremely popular Lock 1 Distilling Co. product which is currently the topic of a heated public debate. Syracuse University has insisted that Lock 1 Distilling Co. stop selling Cuse Juice by October 1st of this year and have entered into an agreement with Lock 1 for the products end at that time. SU is asserting Trademark protections over the word “CUSE” in the products name, even though they do not hold a registered Trademark under that name in the Distilled Spirits category.  The Congressman is a graduate of the College of Law at Syracuse University (1985–1988).

Lock 1 Distilling Co. is a grain to glass, Farm Distillery located in sight of Lock 1 of the Oswego Canal in downtown Phoenix, NY. We proudly ferment, distill, bottle and sell handcrafted spirits made in small batches from local ingredients.  Lock 1 Distilling Company is family owned and operated.

Visit – for more information on our Award winning Ryze Vodka, Inferno Cinnamon Whiskey, Liquid Candy Cane Peppermint Whiskey, Locktender’s and Drawbridge Gins.

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