Money Opinion: Here’s to Congress (hopefully) lowering beer taxes By Matt Stephens Posted on April 17, 2015 7 min read 0 0 598 Photo courtesy of Wagner T. Cassimiro "Aranha" Craft beer has been on the rise everywhere including in Ohio, home of Great Lakes Brewing Co. However, this latest fad is pricey for most consumers due to high taxes on alcohol. Luckily for beer drinkers, there is a new bipartisan movement that could allow for tax cuts on craft beer. The Small BREW Act is being pushed heavily by lawmakers of both political parties. The bill is attempting to, “…reduce the rate of the excise tax on beer produced within or imported into the United States for brewers who produce not more than 6 million barrels of beer a year.” According to the bill itself, the bill was first introduced in 2013 and is making a comeback. The movement is picking up as of late and is being pushed by representatives of both political parties, from Rep. Patrick McHenry (R-NC) to Sen. Ben Cardin (D-MD). The gentlemen see the craft beer industry’s taxation as the glass half empty. The current federal excise tax has brought in $7.2 billion consistently over the past two years. However, this is making it harder for craft breweries to expand further, as they are paying significant taxes. As everyone knows, when small business expands it creates jobs and benefits the local economy. Lowering taxation on craft beer would be incredibly beneficial to the economy. Most craft beer companies are small businesses that are not corporation giants. With more individuals drinking craft beer than ever before, cutting taxes on the product would allow for cheaper prices on consumers. Supporting small business is very vital to the economy. Small business is essentially the big business for everyday citizens because 63 percent of new jobs are being created by small businesses and three-fourths of business in the U.S. is small business. Anytime there is a chance to help small business, there should be execution on doing so. Corporation giants will still be doing just fine because people will still flock to their products. Small breweries only make up 12 percent of the U.S. beer industry. However, they do make up the majority of beer related jobs here in the U.S. In 2013 craft breweries employed 110,273 people. The economic impact of those individuals is staggering (no pun intended). Those 110,273 people had the economic impact equivalent of that of 360,000 jobs. That just shows individuals working in this industry are getting paid fairly well and are creating a positive business cycle. Lowering taxes for craft beer will allow employment to increase and will allow for businesses that are flourishing in the economy to keep rolling along. This will hopefully drive employment up in this industry while maintaining the same great ratio of economic stability. Starting a small brewery is challenging because essentially over 40 percent of what it takes to make beer is just breweries paying their taxes. That impacts small breweries in a huge way. Small breweries tend to spend more on raw products used to manufacture their beverages than their competitors. Lowering the tax would allow the business to expand further and keep spending down. College students tend to buy cheaper commercial beer for its price, and lowering taxes on craft beer will allow for a cheaper price. As a result, beer could be spread nationally because more pubs and grocery stores could afford to ship it in. This would make hipsters and beer snobs in universities across the nation profoundly happy. While Democrats and Republicans usually do not see eye-to-eye to allow for bipartisan movements, they do apparently have one interest many adults have: beer. It’s time to close the deal and count the votes on what could be something great brewing in Congress. The movement is a win-win for both political parties and is an even better victory for the economy. It is time to look at craft beer again in a positive way, with the glass half full.