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Brewers Association calls for Craft Beverage Modernization and Tax Reform Act

The American beer industry generates $253 billion each year for the U.S. economy.

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U.S. Senators Joni Ernst (R-IA) and Heidi Heitkamp (D-N.D.) became the 50th and 51st Senators to officially endorse the Craft Beverage Modernization and Tax Reform Act (S. 1562). This bipartisan bill has wide support from the brewing industry and seeks to recalibrate the current federal excise tax structure for the nation's brewers and beer importers and reform burdensome laws regulating America's brewing industry.

"It's been 40 years since excise tax has been reformed for American brewers," said Bob Pease, President and CEO of the Brewers Association, the not-for-profit trade association dedicated to small and independent American brewers. "As we reach 51 co-sponsors in the Senate, the majority of both chambers of Congress have demonstrated their commitment to recalibrating the federal excise tax.  When passed, this legislation would enable thousands of small businesses in every state and congressional district to continue to reinvest in their businesses and create jobs."

The American beer industry supports 1.75 million jobs, contributes nearly $79 billion in wages and benefits each year to American families, and generates $253 billion for the U.S. economy.

The Beer Institute and the Brewers Association are collaborating closely to pass the bill, which was introduced in the Senate by Senators Ron Wyden (D-OR) and Roy Blunt (R-MO). The House companion bill (H.R. 2903), introduced by Representatives Erik Paulsen (R-MN) and Ron Kind (D-WI), has received official support from 283 members of the House of Representatives. 

Specific provisions of the bill include:

  • Reducing the federal excise tax to $3.50 per barrel on the first 60,000 barrels for domestic brewers producing fewer than 2 million barrels annually 
  • Reducing the federal excise tax to $16 per barrel on the first 6 million barrels for all other brewers and all beer importers.
  • Keeping the excise tax at the current $18 per barrel rate for over 6 million barrels 
  • Reducing bonding and filing requirements for the 90% of American breweries that pay less than $50,000per year in federal excise taxes 
  • Expanding the list of ingredients that could be automatically included in beer without federal government approval 
  • Allowing small, unaffiliated brewers the ability to collaborate on new beers, and giving them the flexibility to transfer beer between breweries without tax liability.

The Hop Growers of America, the Can Manufacturers Institute, Glass Packaging Institute, the National Barley Growers Association and the National Corn Growers Association have also endorsed the legislation.

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