Wyden, Blunt Move to Support America’s Craft Beverage Industry

February 8, 2019 by TWN Staff
Head distiller at Two Brothers Roundhouse, Jeremy Bogan, fills a couple of barrels with malt whiskey in Aurora, Ill., Thursday Nov. 1, 2018. The company is making all kinds of spirits and roasting coffee in addition to brewing beer. (Abel Uribe/Chicago Tribune/TNS)

This week, Senate Finance Committee Ranking Member Ron Wyden, D-Ore., and Senator Roy Blunt, R-Mo., introduced legislation to help ensure the continued growth of America’s craft beverage industry. The Craft Beverage Modernization and Tax Reform Act would permanently establish reduced taxes and modernized regulations for brewers, cider makers, vintners and distillers to further promote job creation in each industry.

In 2016, the brewing industry alone contributed more than $350 billion to the U.S. economy, directly and indirectly employing about 2.23 million Americans. The wine industry contributed $220 billion and 1.7 million jobs, and spirits contributed more than $173 billion and 1.5 million jobs.

“People around the world enjoy Oregon wine, craft beer, cider and spirits—providing not only a serious source of home state pride but also a huge boon to our state’s economy,” Wyden said. “By modernizing burdensome rules and taxes for craft beverage producers, this legislation will level the playing field and allow these innovators to further grow and thrive.”

“The craft beverage industry is driven by small businesses that support thousands of jobs and contribute billions in economic output,” said Blunt. “This bill will remove tax and regulatory barriers that are making it harder for Missouri’s brewers, distillers, and winemakers to grow and compete. I’m encouraged by the strong, bipartisan support this measure had in the previous Congress and look forward to working with our colleagues to get it to the president’s desk.”

The Craft Beverage Modernization and Tax Reform Act is co-sponsored by Sens. Thomas R. Carper, D-Del., Pat Roberts, R-Kan., Debbie Stabenow, D-Mich., Jerry Moran, R-Kan., Robert P. Casey Jr., D-Pa., Rob Portman, R-Ohio, Michael F. Bennet, D-Colo., Shelley Moore Capito, R-W. Va., Tammy Baldwin, D-Wis., and Cory Gardner, R-Colo.

A one-page summary of the legislative proposal can be found here. A longer, section-by-section summary can be found here and legislative text can be found here.

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