Bob Pease, chief executive/president of the Brewers Association — the not-for-profit trade association representing small and independent American craft brewers — talks about the important role it plays championing the small and independent brewer in Congress
One of the many important roles undertaken by the Brewers Association in support of our member brewers and the brewing community is advocacy and lobbying Congress, to ensure the voice of the small and independent brewing industry is heard.
Much like the UK, beer is a heavily regulated industry in the United States. For more than a decade, brewers, brewery owners, and their employees have been gathering annually in Washington DC to climb Capitol Hill and advocate on behalf of the country’s small and independent brewers
— all 7,400+ of them!
The top priority for this year’s Capitol Hill climb, which took place in May, was to make permanent the Craft Beverage Modernisation and Tax Reform Act (CBMTRA), which is currently set to ‘sunset’ on December 31. Introduced in December 2017, the Act reduced federal excise tax on beer in half, from $7/barrel to $3.50/barrel on the first 60,000 barrels, for domestic brewers producing less than two million barrels annually, and reduced to $16/barrel (from $18) on the first six million barrels for all other brewers and all beer
Since the enactment of CBMTRA, 99% of small brewers have realised a 50% reduction in their federal excise tax, enabling members to make necessary investments in their business, including improving health care and benefit offerings, buying new equipment, and hiring new workers, bringing the 2018 industry job total to more than 150,000.
What’s more, the tax cuts save the industry nearly $80 million annually, providing much-needed stability in a competitive market.
I’m proud and appreciative of the small brewery owners who rallied together to create an undeniable force for change that couldn’t be ignored by our country’s legislators.
CBMTRA is incredibly bi-partisan. With 31 Democrats, 28 Republicans and one Independent as co-sponsors in the Senate, and 109 Republicans and 93 Democrats in the House, support for the bill demonstrates the immense impact the federal excise tax cut has had on America’s small and independent brewing industry, empowering these small businesses in an extraordinary way.
The legislation creates a more fair and equitable tax structure, not just for the small and independent brewing industry, but also for the greater beverage alcohol industry, its producers, and their consumers, empowering brewery owners to continue to invest in their businesses and contribute greatly to local and national economies and communities across the country.
About the Brewers Association
The Brewers Association (BA) is the not-for-profit trade association dedicated to small and independent American brewers, their beers and the community of brewing enthusiasts.
The BA represents 4,000-plus US breweries. The BA’s independent craft brewer seal is a widely adopted symbol that differentiates beers by small and independent craft brewers.
The BA organises events including the World Beer Cup, Great American Beer Festival, Craft Brewers Conference and BrewExpo America, SAVOR: An American Craft Beer and Food Experience, Homebrew Con, National Homebrew Competition and American Craft Beer Week.
The BA publishes The New Brewer magazine, and Brewers Publications is the largest publisher of brewing literature in the US.
Beer lovers are invited to learn more about the dynamic world of craft beer at CraftBeer.com and about homebrewing via the BA’s American Homebrewers Association and the free Brew Guru mobile app.