I avoid politics with a ten foot pole on this blog. While I'm always happy to discuss my personal political views while sharing a beer with others, I won't do it here. The exception is when beer and politics intersect.
By now, you've probably heard of the Tax Cut and Jobs Act, which is expected to be signed into law by President Trump. Most people seem to have strong opinions about it. I guess that's to be expected given our current political climate. Anyway, within the voluminous act is the Craft Beverage Modernization and Tax Reform Act. Simply stated, for breweries that produce less than 60,000 barrels per year, the act will reduce the federal excise taxes to $3.50 per barrel from $7.00 per barrel.
Bob Pease, president of The Brewers Association, issued this statement on the passage of the Craft Beverage Modernization and Tax Reform Act:
“This is a monumental day for small and independent craft brewers. America’s small, Main Street brewers—6,000 strong and located in every state and virtually every congressional district in the country—are incredibly pleased Congress has recognized that they have great growth potential. Our expectation is that small brewers will use their savings related to the recalibration of the federal excise tax on beer to invest in their breweries, expand their operations, create more jobs and hire more American workers. We are very appreciative that Congress has enacted these bipartisan, strongly supported measures.
“For the better part of a decade, the Brewers Association has played a central role advocating for tax relief for small brewers. We appreciate all the support and hard work from every corner of the country that brought this to fruition. This is a significant step forward representing over $142 million in annual savings for small brewers. We will continue to build on today’s success to bring even greater economic growth for craft brewers and the communities they serve.”
This piece published by CNBC explains more of the details. There's been plenty of discussion about this subject on Twitter and the blogosphere. Strangely enough, the predominate view seems to be that the benefits are temporary, inconsequential, or bad policy. Fair enough. However, if I managed the P&L of a small brewery, I'd be thrilled for any tax relief that allowed me to make additional investments in my business or even take home a bit of extra profit.
Cheers to the Brewers Association for their support of this tax reform for small brewers!