Did you know that the highest cost for beer-makers is not one ingredient? According to the Beer Institute, the highest cost of beer is the tax bite, which can account for more than 40 percent of the total cost. When it’s all said and done, a beer consumer can have a tax burden that is almost 70 percent higher than the average purchase in the United States. Given that nearly 80 percent of our purchases are beer, we are getting boned by these taxes.
Fortunately, help could be on the way in the form of beer tax cuts. Capitol Hill received two competing bill proposals that could help lower the overall cost of beer. One is the Small BREW Act, and the other is the Fair BEER Act.
The [Small BREW Act], however, would halve the tax for small brewers on the first 60,000 barrels to $3.50 a barrel and redefine a small brewer as a business producing fewer than 6 million barrels a year, as opposed to the current 2-million barrel standard.
This bill was spearheaded by two senators, Ben Cardin (D-Md.) and Susan Collins (R-Maine) and it currently has 25 sponsors in the Senate. If you’re looking for relief on your purchases of Natty and Coors, the Fair BEER Act is your savior.
A competing bill, the Fair BEER Act, would provide federal tax relief for brewers of all sizes that are headquartered both domestically and abroad. Brewers producing 7,143 barrels or less a year, which represents 90 percent of brewers — would be exempt from paying federal beer excise taxes.
Brewers who produce between 7,144 and 60,000 barrels would face a $3.50 a barrel excise tax. Production in excess of 60,000 and up to 2 million barrels would face a $16-a-barrel tax. An $18-a-barrel tax would apply to production beyond 2 million barrels.
To put this in layman’s terms: all kinds of beer will become cheaper. State legislators are also working on reducing the state excise taxes on beer, so certain states could see some bigger changes in prices than others. Big ups to these senators who are trying to get this passed. Go ahead and double your beer purchase for your next party.