Congress May Help Out Small Brewers

Beer maids nationwide rejoin.
  • Beer maids nationwide rejoin.

While the bickering continues in Ohio, one populist movement appears to be gaining traction at the federal level: the push for affordable beer.

Last week, Massachusetts Senator John Kerry and Idaho’s Mike Crapo introduced legislation that had kicked around Congress for a couple of years: the Brewer’s Employment and Excise Relief Act, or BEER. They hope to free up cash for the country’s 1,600 small brewers, a good number of whom call Northeast Ohio home.

Currently, brewers who produce less than two million barrels a year get the shaft on excise taxes, forking over $7 to $18 for every barrel produced. The BEER Act would slash the rates in half for the first 60,000 barrels. Supporters estimate a savings of $40 million, and they’ve got a good plan for the windfall.

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