This is a call to arms. As craft beer enthusiasts, we need to make our voices heard. A new bill has been introduced in the other Washington that promises to help the craft brewing industry nationwide. We all need to contact our representatives and tell them to support H.R. 4278. It is easy and quick to send a note to your congress person. All you need to know is your zip code.
The small brewer tax rate was established in 1976 and has never been updated. The world was a different place back then and the tax code defined a “small brewery” as one producing less than 2 million barrels per year. In short, a brewery making 190 barrels per year pays the same federal excise tax rate as a brewery producing 1.9 million barrels per year.
Most brewers in Washington produce less than 10,000 barrels per year. Even the most ubiquitous of local craft breweries (not counting Redhook) produces less than 50,000 barrels per year. Setting the “small brewery” ceiling at 2 million barrels hearkens back to a time when there was no craft beer industry in America and a brewery like Rainier was considered small.
H.R. 4278, introduced in December 2009 by Democrat Representative Richie Neal (MA) and Republican Representative Kevin Brady (TX), would redefine the ceiling defining a small brewery and reduce the beer excise tax for small brewers from $7 to $3.50 on the first 60,000 barrels of beer production.
Action is Easy
The Brewers Association has an official Call to Action posted on their Web site. You can read it here.
It is very easy to contact your representative and make your opinion known. Just click here, enter your zip code, and fill out the simple form. You don”t need to be fancy, long winded, or eloquent. Just tell them that you want them to support H.R. 4278.
Here is the simple message I sent my representative this morning:
I urge you to support H.R. 4278 – a bill that provides much-needed updates to the small brewer tax regulations. Please take a moment to consider the robust and growing craft beer industry here in Washington state and support H.R. 4278.