U.S. Reps. Jim Gerlach, R-Pa., and Richard Neal, D-Mass., have reintroduced the Small Brewer Reinvestment and Expanding Workforce Act (Small BREW Act) in Congress. The bill is designed to adjust the federal beer excise tax that small brewers pay on every barrel of beer they make.
Under current law, brewers making less than 2 million barrels a year pay $7 per barrel on the first 60,000 barrels, and $18 per barrel on every barrel after that, the Brewers Association said. The Small BREW Act would create a new rate for smaller brewers.
That rate would be $3.50 on the first 60,000 barrels. The cost would be $16 per barrel for production between 60,001 and 2 million barrels. Brewers that exceed 2 million barrels would pay $18. Breweries with an annual production of 6 million barrels or less would qualify for the new tax rates.
Adjusting the tax rate would provide small brewers with an additional $60 million per year that would be used to support significant long-term investments in tanks and other equipment and create jobs by growing their businesses on a regional or national scale, the Brewers Association said. It also would help level the playing field with national brewers, the group said.
“Craft brewing has revitalized a once proud American industry with compelling products and, more importantly, stable, fulfilling jobs,” Bill Covaleski, brewmaster and president of Victory Brewing Co. and president of the Brewers of Pennsylvania, said in a prepared statement. “This legislative initiative recognizes the investments already made by America's new brewing entrepreneurs, and promises to help further innovation and product diversity.”