U.S. Senator Tammy Baldwin Joins Bipartisan Effort to Grow America’s Craft Beer Industry
Small BREW Act would enable Wisconsin’s craft breweries to reinvest over $1.5 million into their businesses each year
(WASHINGTON, D.C.) – U.S. Senator Tammy Baldwin (D-WI) has joined a bipartisan effort in the United States Senate, led by Senators Ben Cardin (D-MD) and Susan Collins (R-ME), to reintroduce S. 375, The Small Brewer Reinvestment and Expanding Workforce Act or Small BREW Act that will stimulate regional economies nationwide with a reduction in the excise tax on each barrel of beer brewed by small brewers. The bill also changes the threshold definition of a small brewer to better reflect modern production.
“Wisconsin’s brewers have been at the center of our culture and anchors of local communities since our state’s beginning,” said Baldwin. “They create jobs and reinvest their profits back into their local economies and we need to be investing in them. I’m proud to support tax relief for craft brewers across Wisconsin in order to help create jobs and grow our Made in Wisconsin economy.”
“Wisconsin is home to over 100 small and local craft breweries and while they produce less than 5% of the beer brewed in Wisconsin, they supply a majority of the brewing jobs which are located in every part of our state,” said Mark Garthwaite, Wisconsin Brewers Guild Executive Director. “Growth in Wisconsin’s craft brewing sector means an increase in employment opportunities and the Small BREW Act will provide an additional hiring boost that will facilitate continued and vibrant growth that benefits the broader Wisconsin economy.”
The Small BREW Act of 2015 would reduce the federal excise tax on every one of America’s small craft brewers. Under current federal law, brewers producing fewer than 2 million barrels annually pay $7 per barrel in federal excise taxes on the first 60,000 barrels they brew, and $18 per barrel on every additional barrel (one barrel = 31 gallons). Under the Small BREW Act, the rate would be $3.50 per barrel on the first 60,000 barrels. For production between 60,001 and 2 million barrels, the rate would be $16.00 per barrel. Then, the rate would be $18.00 per barrel. Breweries with annual production of 6 million or fewer barrels would qualify for these new tax rates.
Joining as original cosponsors of the Small BREW Act are Senators Thad Cochran (R-Miss.), Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.), Mark Kirk (R-Ill.), Tom Carper (D-Del.), Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska), Bob Casey (D-Penn.), Rob Portman (R-Ohio), Maria Cantwell (D-Wash.), Chris Coons (D-Del.), Martin Heinrich (D-N.M.), Mazie Hirono (D-Hawaii), Angus King (I-Maine), Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), Ed Markey (D-Mass.), Bob Menendez (D-N.J.), Jeff Merkley (D-Ore.), Barbara A. Mikulski (D-Md.), Chris Murphy (D-Conn.), Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.), Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) and Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.).
There are now more than 3,200 small and independent breweries in the United States, with approximately 1.5 more opening every day, according to the Brewers Association. Even though these small breweries represent about 12 percent of the U.S. beer industry in volume terms, they now represent the majority of jobs in beer. In 2013, craft breweries directly employed 110,273 people. They had a total economic impact of more than 360,000 full-time equivalent jobs generating more than $3 billion in wages and benefits; and paying more than $2.3 billion in business, personal and consumption taxes in towns and cities across America.
Because of differences in economies of scale, small brewers have higher costs for raw materials, production, packaging, and market entry compared to larger, well-established multinational competitors. Adjusting the excise tax rate would provide small brewers with an additional $65-$70 million each year they could use to start or expand their businesses on a local, regional, or national scale.
An economic impact study by then-Harvard University’s Dr. John Friedman (now at Brown University) found that the bill would generate $183.1 million in economic activity in the first year and almost $1.04 billion over five years and would also create nearly 5,230 jobs in just the first year.
The small brewer threshold and tax rate were established in 1976 and have never been updated. Since then, the largest multinational producer of beer has increased its annual production from 45 million barrels to 97 million barrels domestically and 325 million barrels globally. Raising the ceiling that defines small breweries from two million barrels to six million barrels more accurately reflects the intent of the original differentiation between large and small brewers in the U.S.
Mentioned in This Press Release
Recent Press Releases by U.S. Sen. Tammy Baldwin - Page 4
U.S. Senator Baldwin Announces Support for Agriculture Secretary Nominee Sonny Perdue, Pushes Trump Administration to Act on Restrictive Canadian Trade BarriersApr 24th, 2017 by U.S. Sen. Tammy Baldwin
Level the playing field for our hardworking Wisconsin dairy farmers
U.S. Senator Tammy Baldwin Applauds Over $7.5 Million Federal Investment for Wisconsin to Address Opioid EpidemicApr 20th, 2017 by U.S. Sen. Tammy Baldwin
Senator Baldwin led the fight for this funding in Congress and encouraged Governor Walker to apply for the grant
Millions of rural consumers are still not seeing widespread affordable standalone broadband services
Senator Baldwin Urges Trump Administration to Release Army Corps Brandon Road Study to Stop Spread of Asian CarpApr 14th, 2017 by U.S. Sen. Tammy Baldwin
Budget proposal to eliminate all funding for the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative and delaying actions to address Asian carp only raises further questions about the Administration’s commitment to protecting our Great Lakes
Legislation to help veterans get the quality care they deserve in their own communities set to become law
"The United States has taken a measured response, but I am concerned by the lack of a clear and comprehensive strategy for Syria and the region."
"The people of Wisconsin want an impartial and independent Supreme Court justice who will make decisions that protect the constitutional rights and freedoms of all Americans..."
U.S. Senator Tammy Baldwin Cosponsors Legislation to Strengthen Existing Buy America Standards and Create More Jobs at HomeApr 6th, 2017 by U.S. Sen. Tammy Baldwin
Recently, the federal government has awarded over $70 billion in contracts to foreign companies that do not manufacture products here in the United States.
U.S. Senator Tammy Baldwin Introduces Bipartisan, Bicameral Legislation to “Ban the Box” for Federal HiringApr 5th, 2017 by U.S. Sen. Tammy Baldwin
Fair Chance Act would give returning citizens a second chance
U.S. Senator Tammy Baldwin Demands Trump Administration Release Secret Plan to Undermine Health Care System Presented to House Freedom CaucusApr 4th, 2017 by U.S. Sen. Tammy Baldwin
According to reports, Administration presented House Freedom Caucus with detailed plan to throw health care system into chaos in order to win far right’s support
U.S. Senator Tammy Baldwin and Senators Call on President Trump to Protect Americans from Higher Health CostsApr 3rd, 2017 by U.S. Sen. Tammy Baldwin
More than 6 million Americans enrolled in health coverage under the ACA are receiving cost-sharing subsidies to help reduce their out of pocket costs and deductibles.
U.S. Senator Tammy Baldwin Stands Up for Wisconsin Farmers, Calls on President Trump to Work With Agriculture IndustryMar 28th, 2017 by U.S. Sen. Tammy Baldwin
“Changes in Washington must work for farmers, not against them.”