Reduction of beer tax could bring jobs to Bay area

The Bay area is again building on its reputation as a beer brewing hotbed.

Craft breweries might soon be paying less to get their beer into your hands.

That's the goal of a tax reform act now getting support from most of Congress and it's not just the owners who are happy about a possible reduction in the beer tax.

"Well, everybody loves beer but it's still surprising that Congress can come together and agree on something. It's about time,” says Julie Wehler, a craft beer drinker.

Paying less green isn't the only benefit.

The owner of Cigar City Brewing Company, Joey Redner, says local breweries would also be able to collaborate more.

"Transfer beer between each other without having to pay for taxes on it,” says Redner.

While the measure has wide support on both sides of the aisle, there is no guarantee it will ever see the light of day.

However, if it does, John Eric Savitsky with 3 Daughters Brewing, says the money they'll save will be put to good use.

“To date we have about 50 employees, so one of the first things we would do would be to create more jobs in our local economy,” says Savitsky. “Again, it allows us to reinvest in our company and reinvest in our growth." 

"For most breweries, you will see more hires on the production side,” says Redner.

For craft lovers, it's a chance to get our taste buds rolling.

“New favors and new beers to the market place,” says Savitsky.           

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 $50,000 per 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.


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