While drinking alcohol has become a frequent pastime for many pandemic-impacted Americans, breweries, wineries, and distilleries are all feeling the pain of diminished sales and closed tasting rooms. Unfortunately, thanks to simple bad timing, the U.S. alcohol industry is on the verge of losing even more money due to tax hikes, and the Brewers Association is asking “industry advocates” (i.e., you) to lobby Congress on its behalf.
The request, which we learned of from Craft Brewing Business, is a direct response to the expiration of the Craft Beverage Modernization and Tax Reform Act (CBMTRA), which for the past two years has granted relief from Federal excise tax to breweries producing fewer than two million barrels (bbls) annually. If you’re wondering just how many breweries that actually encompasses, well, my friends, Craft Brewing Business estimates that 99% of all U.S. breweries fall into this category, and will soon be on the hook for double the previous excise tax:
“For those checking their math, this increase results in an additional $210,000 of Federal excise taxes payable for a brewer producing 60,000 bbls annually. If we convert that into the simplified average craft beer price in my home state of Missouri, that equates to roughly 35,000 craft beers, or just over 5,800 six packs.”
What’s also worth noting is that this is the Craft Beverage act, and these tax increases don’t just impact breweries, but alcohol producers of all kinds, including those that make cider and mead. The new act, which you can support using this incredibly simple, pre-filled webform, would make the tax cuts permanent. And, shockingly enough, according to the Brewers Association the bill has truly overwhelming bipartisan support, with “346 co-sponsors in the House and 74 in the Senate.” Apparently cooperation is (occasionally) possible.