MURPHY BACKS “BREW” BILL TO EASE EXCISE TAXES ON MICROBREWERIES

Highlights Contributions of Local Brewers to Connecticut’s Economy as State Celebrates CT Beer Week

WASHINGTON— Today, U.S. Senator Chris Murphy (D-Conn.) announced his support for the Small Brewer Reinvestment and Expanding Workforce (BREW) Act of 2013 (S. 917). The bill would reduce the rate of the excise tax on beer produced in or imported into the United States by small brewers. This bill would directly benefit the many small breweries in Connecticut by allowing them to spend less on taxes and more on production costs and hiring additional employees.

People across Connecticut love the craft brews they can pick up from their local brewery, and personally, I’m a big fan of our state’s local brews,” said Murphy. “These breweries are small businesses that have become real drivers of local economies across the country, and we need to support their efforts to hire workers, increase production, and boost local economies. That’s why I’m supporting the BREW Act, which will reduce the excise tax burden on small brewers and allow them to spend potentially millions more on developing and strengthening their small businesses. Creating jobs and growing our economy have to be our top priorities, and this bill helps us do both.

Curt Cameron, President of Connecticut’s Thomas Hooker brewery, was in Washington this week and addressed the U.S. Senate Democratic Steering and Outreach Committee to discuss the economic contribution that craft brewers make in Connecticut and states across the country.

To qualify for a reduced excise tax rate, a small brewery would have to produce no more than 6 million barrels of beer annually. The BREW Act would require these breweries to pay a reduced tax rate of $3.50 per barrel on the first 60,000 barrels produced and $16 on the first 1,940,000 qualified barrels of production, providing small brewers across the country with an additional $67 million each year to expand their businesses. Currently, these small brewers are required to pay $7 per barrel on the first 60,000 barrels produced, and $18 per barrel on every barrel thereafter.

Local Connecticut breweries, like Thomas Hooker Brewing,  City Steam, and New England Brewing Co. are expected to qualify for this reduced tax rate. This bill was introduced this month ahead of American Craft Beer Week, a celebration this week of small and independent craft brewers and breweries across the country.