A bipartisan group of U.S. representatives has proposed legislation that would reduce excise taxes levied on the first two million barrels of beer sold annually by small brewers. Reps. Erik Paulsen (R-Minn.) and Richard Neal (D-Mass.) were joined by Reps. Peter DeFazio (D-Ore.), Earl Blumenauer (D-Ore.), Patrick McHenry (R-N.C.), and Patrick Meehan (R-Penn.) in proposing the “Small Brewer Reinvestment and Expanding Workforce Act” (Small BREW Act) to impose an excise tax rate of $3.50 per barrel on the first 60,000 barrels and $16 per barrel on the next 1,940,000 barrels.
If passed, the law would apply only to brewers that produce six million barrels or fewer each year. “Small brewers—long an important part of American culture and history—have enjoyed a tremendous growth in popularity in recent years,” Meehan said in a January 8, 2015, press release. “But while our brewing industry has evolved, our tax code hasn’t evolved with it. Outmoded federal excise taxes inhibit the growth of small brewers and make it harder for fledgling businesses to survive and prosper. This legislation will ease the tax burden on small brewers  and help them expand and create jobs.” See Press Release of Congressman Peter DeFazio, January 8, 2015.