Brewers hopeful for craft beer tax reform
Ali Farhat , Editor | Jun 23, 2017
Topic category: Shop
FROM:Beerin' It

Who would've thought there would be a bill for craft beer tax reform in 2017? Read what Wisconsin's craft brewers are saying. ––Ali Farhat, Editor, BI

A bill reintroduced to both chambers of congress could give craft brewers some tax relief.

The bill is called the Craft Beverage Modernization and Tax Reform Act.

Craft breweries like Stillmank in Green Bay currently pay what's called the excise tax.

"This is a tax that's levied on the amount of beer that we actually make and then sell either through retail or wholesale channels," said Brad Stillmank, owner of Stillmank Brewery.

Right now craft brewers like Stillmank pay a state and federal excise tax a total of $9 per beer barrel, but if the bill passes, the tax will get cut in half.

"So that could add up to quite a bit of money. We can do a lot with that here in our community, whether it's more employees, or better hours or there's a lot of things that we can do with that money," said Stillmank.

Another craft brewer, Andrew Fabry at Badger State Brewing Company, agrees this money would go beyond helping his business.

"That's the cool thing about local beer and local eateries, really that whole economy sort of thing is, every dollar that you spend then stays in that area compared to when you buy a large domestic beer. I'd love to see exactly how much leaves the state and in some cases now, even leaves the country," said Fabry.

The bill, that has widespread bi-partisan support, also proposes to cut down on regulations including restrictions with ingredients.

"A lot of the rules for that stuff much like the way the tax system was set up, on beer and excise specifically to small brewers, was created before our industry has seen the boom or the excitement than it has in the past 10-15 years," said Stillmank.

There are more than a dozen craft breweries in Northeast Wisconsin

Aisha Morales |Jun 21, 2017
Tags: craft beer, tax reform, Wisconsin, craft brewers
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