Three months after the Small Brewer Reinvestment and Expanding Workforce Act (Small BREW Act) was reintroduced in the House of Representatives as H.R. 494, Senator Ben Cardin (D-Md.) and Senator Susan Collins (R-Me.) have done likewise in the Senate.
The Small BREW Act seeks to recalibrate the federal beer excise tax that small brewers pay on every barrel of beer they produce. Under current federal law, brewers making less than 2 million barrels annually pay $7 per barrel on the first 60,000 barrels they produce, and $18 per barrel on every barrel thereafter. The Small BREW Act seeks to recalibrate that rate so that the smallest brewers and brewpubs would pay $3.50 on the first 60,000 barrels. For production between 60,001 and 2 million barrels the rate would be $16 per barrel. Any brewer that exceeds 2 million barrels would begin paying the full $18 rate. Breweries with an annual production of 6 million barrels or less would qualify for these tax rates.
“Small brewers have been anchors of local communities and America’s economy since the start of our history. In addition to making high-quality beers, craft brewers, including those in Maryland, create jobs and reinvest their profits back into their local economies,” said Senator Cardin, a member of the Senate Finance and Small Business committees. “The federal government needs to be investing in industries that invest in America and create real jobs here at home. With more than 2,400 small and independent breweries currently operating in the US, now is the time to take meaningful action to help them and our economy grow.”
“Maine is home to dozens of unique craft breweries and brewpubs that invigorate our economy by providing more than 1,000 jobs and drawing countless tourists into our state,” Senator Collins said. “In meeting with brewers across Maine, they always make clear to me how federal tax policy affects their businesses. This bill, which I support, would help reduce the tax burden placed on many small brewers across our country, allowing them to thrive, create jobs, and further grow our economy.”