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A few weeks ago I got a comment from a reporter at ABC News named Cullen Dirner. She wanted to know more about HR 4278, and at the time, my post on this blog and my Hop Press post were in the top 10 Google results.

Cullen and I chatted for a few minutes about the issues, beer in general, other people who might know what’s going on, etc.

Today, the article was on the front page of ABCNews.com:

I’m quoted in it too! With a link to MadHavenBrewing.com.

P.J. Hoberman, a 26-year-old self-proclaimed “nano craft brewer” from Denver, is hoping that the passage of the bill will give his new brew “Mad Haven” more of a fighting chance.

“It saves enough money where we can survive,” Hoberman said. “Past that, it allows us to buy an extra tank. At the next level, more employees who can then help us make more beer.”

Read the whole thing at http://abcnews.go.com/Politics/beer-stimulus-hops-barley-create-jobs/story?id=10932224.

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There’s some legislation working it’s way through Washington right now that would help me, and every other brewery and potential brewer out. For small brewers – defined as a brewery producing less than 6 million barrels a year – the legislation would lower taxes dramatically. The first 60,000 barrels are currently taxed at $7 a barrel. That would drop to $3.50. From 60,000 to 6 million barrels, the tax would drop from $18 a barrel to to $16 a barrel.

For some perspective, realize that 60,000 barrels is a lot. If you have a 50 bbl system, like Great Divide, that’s 1,200 batches. That’s more than 3 brews a day, every day, all year long. If you brewed exactly 60,000 bbls a year, that would be a savings of $210,000, under the new legislation. Needless to say, that’s fantastic.

Considering Mad Haven will start somewhere between a 1/2 bbl and 10bbl system, this legislation directly affects our bottom line, for the better. Help us, help your local brewer, and help craft beer.

Here is the action request from the Brewers’ Association:

Dear Beer Enthusiasts, Homebrewers, Breweries & Beer-Allied Companies,

We are asking you to support America’s small brewers by making a very simple request of your U.S. Representative to become a co-sponsor of H.R. 4278.

Federal legislation in the U.S. House of Representatives, H.R. 4278 (link opens a PDF), seeks to enact a reduction in beer excise tax for America’s small brewers.

For small brewers brewing less than 6 million barrels annually, this legislation would cut the small brewer tax rate in half, to $3.50/barrel on the first 60,000 barrels, and reduce the upper tax rate from $18/barrel to $16/barrel on beer production above 60,000 barrels up to 2 million barrels.

Of the 1,525 breweries in America, 962 are brewpubs and 470 are the smallest bottling breweries, which produce volumes of 15,000 barrels of beer a year or less and sell their beers in local markets. Once barrel equals about 13.8 cases of beer.

The original small brewer tax rate of $7/barrel was established in 1976 and has never been updated. Since then, the annual U.S. production of America’s largest brewery increased from about 45 million to 107 million barrels and over 200 million barrels globally (or 1,240,000,000 five-gallon batches of homebrew!). Much has changed and the challenges small brewers face as small American businesses have grown dramatically since 1976.

Why is this a good idea?

  1. A tax reduction will help grow small business breweries and provide greater access to the beers you enjoy.
  2. Harvard University’s John Friedman’s study, Economic Impact of Small Brewers Excise Tax Reduction (H.R. 4278), (link opens a PDF), reveals that H.R. 4278 would also help stimulate job creation quickly and at a low cost:
    • The bill would generate more than 2,700 new jobs over the first year to 18 months, followed by an average of 375 new jobs per year over the following four years.

Please contact your U.S. Representative and ask that he/she sign on as a co-sponsor of H.R. 4278.

We have developed a resource page to give you the information and tools you need to make the case to your Representative for supporting this tax relief measure—and by extension, for supporting the small brewery businesses that are such a vital part of our local communities.

On the resource page, you will find a link to a list of current sponsors of H.R. 4278. If your Representative DOES NOT appear on this list, please take a moment and email your Member of Congress to ask them to cosponsor H.R. 4278.

If your Representative is already a cosponsor, please email him/her a brief thank you for their support of small brewers and you, the craft beer drinker and enthusiast.

Thanks for helping us advance the interests of all small brewers by contacting your Representative on this issue. Your active support is absolutely essential to our success.

Thanks for helping!

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