At a time when the divisive nature of the United States is receiving much attention, it seems as though we have found a topic that both sides can agree upon: craft beer. In late January, the Craft Beer Modernization and Tax Reform Act was introduced in both chambers of Congress with bipartisan support.
In the U.S. Senate, Ron Wyden (D-OR) and Roy Blunt (R-MO) introduced the bill, while Representatives Erik Paulsen (R-MN) and Ron Kinds (D-WI) introduced it in the House. The bill contains 12 of the original sponsors from the Senate and 13 from the House, according to the Brewers Association (BA). Seeking to recalibrate the current federal excise tax structure for U.S. brewers, the bill will support economic development and job growth, the association adds.
“Small and independent craft brewers are among the leading manufacturers in our country, and over the last few decades have created thousands of well-paying jobs in communities across the United States. The Craft Beverage Modernization and Tax Reform Act is synonymous with economic development and job creation,” said Bob Pease, president and chief executive officer of the BA, in a statement. “With the beginning of the new Session of Congress, we are working hard to build support for this bipartisan legislation, which, if enacted, will help breweries all over the country generate more jobs and pour more money back into the economy.”
Among the tax provisions in the bill is reducing the federal excise tax to $3.50 a barrel on the first 60,000 barrels for domestic brewers that produce fewer than 2 million barrels annually. Another provision is to reduce the federal excise tax to $16 a barrel on the first 6 million barrels for all other brewers and all beer importers. For barrelage in excess of 6 million, the excise tax will stand at $18 a barrel, according the BA.
Perhaps this bill will be something that we all can raise a glass to later this year.