Small BREW Act Provides Tax Relief for Local Breweries

By KBJR News 1

July 5, 2013 Updated Jul 5, 2013 at 6:06 PM CST

Duluth, MN (NNCNOW.com)-- The business of beer is booming in Duluth and lawmakers are trying to expand that success.

The Small BREW Act provides tax relief for breweries producing less than 60,000 barrels of beer a year. The legislation could bring new jobs to the area.

Minnesota Senator Amy Klobuchar, a cosponsor of the bill, says the legislation has bipartisan support and the bill becoming law would be big for the craft beer industry..

"Buying your beer locally is going to keep the money here," said Tim Nelson, found of Fitger's Brewhouse. "Uber fresh and uber local. That's what we are"

The beer at Fitger's Brewhouse plays a big role in employing over 300 people and the piece of legislation could add more.

"A 2013 study of the Small BREW Act showed that if would increase economic activity in the country more than one-billion dollars," said Sen. Klobuchar. "So that is a bang for the buck or as I would say, a bang for the beer."

The bill would cut the excise tax on beer. The tax hasn't been reformed since the 1970's and the bill reduces the tax from $7 a barrel to $3.50 a barrel for breweries producing less than 60,000 barrels a beer a year.

"It would allow us to capitalize some equipment we're in need of and it would allow us to get and keep good people" said Dave Hoops, Master Brewer at Fitger's Brewhouse.

"Any type of tax reduction on the excise side on the federal level would defiantly help us out, to be able to add jobs and produce more beer with the labor we have," said Bryon Tonnis, Director of Operations at Bent Paddle brewery.

Zach Vavricka

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