Wisconsin brewers face beer tax boost

Support Your Local BreweryThis call to help the breweries of Wisconsin comes from Support Your Local Brewery:

Hello Beer Enthusiasts,

Tomorrow, Tuesday October 13th, at 10 a.m. there is a committee hearing scheduled at the State Capitol regarding Assembly Bill 287, that would raise the tax on all beer produced in Wisconsin.

The position of the Wisconsin Brewers Guild is to stiffly oppose this bill from becoming law. The bill would raise the tax on breweries under 50,000 barrels of production from $1.00 to $10.00 per barrels. The proponents for this bill have argued that this is a small amount and that the tax has not been raised since 1969.

What they have not chosen to report is that Wisconsin ranks in the top 5 in our country with a total tax impact of over 40% of the cost of beer going to one tax or another. They also report that the average (so they call us) beer consumer would not mind having the price of beer go up and that this is easily supported by residents of Wisconsin. I guess you are not average citizens as I have yet to meet a beer enthusiast that is favorable of seeing their beer go up in price.

Although this would be a “production” tax, the reality is that, because all beer must be sold through a 3 tier system, the cost would be successively marked up by the distributor and the retailer. The impact of this tax will likely result in an increase of .50 cents a glass or $2.00 per case on every brand of beer.

Additionally, the State has collected nearly 400 million dollars over the last 40 years and has yet to allocate monies to the initiatives that would be funded with this additional revenue (law enforcement grants and alcohol abuse prevention and treatment programs). Why not, I would like to know. Now they are pursuing taxing all of us to support new spending of unproven programs, during the worst recession of our life time. This is a bad idea.

We need to stop this now. If you wish to take action on this, please reference the links below and do the following:

Contact your Representative and express your point of view – they will appreciate it.

Tell your friends that are not on this list.

Attend the hearing tomorrow at 10:00 AM (see below). Plan to arrive early and register your point of view.


Carl Nolen
Capital Brewery
Wisconsin Brewers Guild

To find your Representative Visit:

2 Replies to “Wisconsin brewers face beer tax boost”

  1. It’s funny how there are so many people out of work that buy increasing taxes will help people or our government. When people are working the taxes are collected at a higher level. In stead the government will raise taxes and hit people on the very few things that we can call a privalege.

  2. The math presented makes no sense sense. If the increase per glass ( .50 cents per glass according to the article) means one-half cent per glass, that scales up to twelve cents for a case of 24 beers, which is a far cry from the $2.00 that Mr. Nolan asserts.

    If Mr. Nolan really means $0.50 per glass (i.e., fifty cents per glass), that would be a $12 increase per case, which also isn’t close to $2.00 per case.

    An increase from $1.00 to $10.00 per barrel actually increases the cost of a 12-ounce serving by $0.0272 (i.e., 2.72 cents), which translates into an increase of $0.653 (65.3 cents) per case.

    If Mr. Nolan is asserting that a $0.653 per case increase is somehow being marked up to $2.00 per case simply because of the three-tier distribution, I would appreciate some justification for this claim.

    I’m not trying to provide support the proposed increase, but honest discussion of public policy requires unbiased information.

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