Sparging The News: What Beer Legislation Could (Should?) Be

In Beer Politics by Karl

When it merits, GuysDrinkingBeer will bring you the relevant, generally-Chicago-centric information about what you’ll be imbibing around town.  Here’s what’s running through our Mash Tun of Information:

We’re putting a “temporary hold” on our Save the Craft coverage today as some illness and the slow wheels of turning government is slowing the flow of information by just a bit, as well as our efforts to make sure everything is as accurate as possible with the news we’re reporting.  BTW, if you’ve checked on the status of Senate Bill 88 you’ll notice it is scheduled to be heard by the Senate Executive Committee Wednesday afternoon.   All signs point to, including some statehouse contacts, the measure not going before committee Wednesday.

So after you’re done calling your state legislators and telling them this, take a look at this new report on some positive beer legislation coming out of Washington.

Senator Chuck Schumer has introduced legislation called the BEER Act, or the Brewers Excise and Economic Relief Act, as reported by the Ithaca Journal.  Every time you hear someone say that Democrats aren’t interested in cutting taxes, remind yourself of this:

Brewers pay $7 in taxes on each of the first 60,000 barrels they brew every year. The next 1.94 million barrels are taxed at a rate of $18 per barrel.

The BEER Act would reduce the tax on the first 60,000 barrels to $3.50 and to $16 on subsequent barrels.

Any brewery that brews fewer than 6 million barrels of beer per year would be eligible for the tax cut.

If the pending legislation in Springfield is modified or amended in any way that would negatively impact craft brewers in Illinois, perhaps Save the Craft‘s next step is to help make the BEER Act happen.  It might be necessary to offset the expenditures of finding new distribution.  If anything (or at best) in those circumstances, we could at least fight to make it a zero-sum equation.  Brewers would spend more on finding a way to get your beers to market, but at least save some cash at tax time.  It wouldn’t be the best answer – but it could be the next one.

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About the Author



Karl has written about food, travel and beer for Chicago Magazine, Draft Magazine, Thrillist, Time Out Chicago and more. His book, Beer Lovers Chicago, is now available via Amazon and other booksellers. If you're buying, he's likely having a porter or a pale ale.

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