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A Beer Town Divided
New legislation seeks to cut federal excise taxes for brewers large and small.

Photo by Adam Ryan Morris. 

Washington D.C. publication The Hill is 
reporting that there's a beer fight "brewing" (who could resist?) on Capitol Hill. The tiff between brewers large and small is over recent legislation proposals that would reduce federal excise taxes for brewers of all sizes. 

Larger breweries, represented by lobby group The Beer Institute, including local beer giant MillerCoors, are opposing the Small BREW Act (
Small Brewer Reinvestment and Expanding Workforce), which would lower the excise tax significantly for small brewers. It would also expand the requirements for what constitutes a small brewer. Currently, a small brewer is someone who produces up to two million barrels per year, and under the Small BREW Act, a small brewer would include anyone who produces up to six million barrels per year. 

That's a lot of beer. 

Another beer lobby, the Brewers Association, which represents many small and larger brewers, is supporting the Small BREW Act. So is Pennsylvania Rep. Jim Gerlach and 175 congressional and senatorial co-sponsors.

Later this year, the BEER Act will be introduced, which seeks to cut excise taxes for brewers large and small even more. 

Local members of the Brewers Association 
include: Brenner Brewing Co., Horny Goat Brewing Co., Milwaukee Brewing Co., Lakefront Brewery, Leinenkugel's 10th Street Brewery, one no-name-yet "brewery in planning,"  and oddly (in this case), MillerCoors. 

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POSTED 1/12/2015