Craft Beverage Act: A sensible bipartisan piece of tax legislation Congress can act on
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Next week, as the Cherry Blossom Festival begins to wrap up its festivities, D.C. will welcome a new crowd of visitors.   These visitors won’t be your average tourist families though.  They will be beer brewers, distributors, and industry representatives from all over the country attending one of the largest trade shows for craft beer-the Craft Brewers Conference. 

The annual event, which is estimated to draw over 10,000 people, will entail four days of presentations, pitches, and discussions on virtually every aspect of brewing.  While the Craft Brewers Conference is an enticing reason to head to your local watering hole and try some of the best beers in the country, it’s an even better time and place to discuss something vital to the industry-The Craft Beverage Modernization and Tax Reform Act of 2017.     

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Congress continues to dissent on viable options for comprehensive tax reform, but a simple and sensible piece of tax legislation is right before them with the Craft Beverage Act.  This bill would be a huge boost to craft brewers across the country as it would reduce the excise tax per barrel of beer brewed, ease ingredient implementation in brewing, and reduce tax liability for collaborating breweries. 

The bill has garnered strong bipartisan support in both the House and Senate with previous versions of the bill carrying similar backing from across the aisle. The current climate in D.C. has further revealed how divisive taxation issues are, but with bipartisan congressional support and the administration’s ongoing praise of domestic business growth, the Craft Beverage Act is a rare opportunity for harmony in D.C. 

The Craft Beverage Act also aligns with President Trump’s stated commitment to growing small business, because it boosts numerous industries impacted by craft brewing growth. While craft breweries like Decorah, Iowa’s Toppling Goliath and Brooklyn, New York’s Other Half represent a diverse geographic cross section of the brewing community, there is an equally diverse section of the supply chain that will benefit from this bill.  The burgeoning hop and grain farms will experience increased demand, bars and restaurants will have a greater selection of choices with which to fill their draft lines, thus satisfying the demand of the average American, who has steadily helped the craft beer industry grow to over one-fifth of the current market.  The success of craft breweries also provides countless jobs to quality control managers, distributors, and even scientists studying brewing refinement techniques.

So next week as we welcome experts of this great industry from across the country, let us take a break from the usual political clamoring, pour a pint, and come together on one piece of legislation that will help American businesses and taste delicious in the process.    

Brian McGlynn currently works at a lobbying firm in D.C., but has over seven years of experience working in the food and beverage industry in the greater D.C. area.  


The views expressed by this author are their own and are not the views of The Hill.