Small BREW Act Reintroduced Into Senate


Boulder, CO — Following the reintroduction of the Small Brewer Reinvestment and Expanding Workforce Act (Small BREW Act) in the House of Representatives, the Brewers Association—the not-for-profit trade association dedicated to small and independent American brewers—announced the Senate companion bill, S. 375,  has been reintroduced by Senator Ben Cardin (D-Md.) and Senator Susan Collins (R-Me.).

The Small BREW Act seeks to recalibrate the federal beer excise tax that small brewers pay on the beer they produce. An earlier version of the bill, S. 917, was introduced in 2013 during the 113th Congress and also enjoyed significant bipartisan support from 47 Republican and Democratic senators.

Under current federal law, brewers making less than 2 million barrels annually pay $7 per barrel on the first 60,000 barrels they produce, and $18 per barrel on every barrel thereafter. The Small BREW Act seeks to establish a new rate structure that is reflective of the evolving craft brewing industry. If enacted, the rate for the smallest brewers and brewpubs would be $3.50 on the first 60,000 barrels. For production between 60,001 and 2 million barrels, the rate would be $16.00 per barrel. For production over 2 million barrels, the federal excise tax would not change from its current $18 rate per barrel. Brewers with an annual production of 6 million barrels or less would qualify for these tax rates.

“Small brewers have been anchors of local communities and America’s economy since the start of our history. In addition to making high-quality beers, Maryland craft brewers create jobs and reinvest their profits back into their local economies,” said Senator Cardin. “The federal government needs to be investing in industries that invest in America and create real jobs here at home. With more than 3,200 small and independent breweries currently operating in the U.S., now is the time to help this industry – and our economy — keep growing stronger.”

“Maine is home to dozens of unique craft breweries and brewpubs that invigorate our economy by providing more than 1,400 jobs and drawing countless tourists into our state,” said Senator Collins. “In meeting with brewers across Maine, they always make clear to me how federal tax policy affects their businesses. Our bill would help reduce the tax burden placed on many small brewers across our country, allowing them to thrive, create jobs, and further grow our economy.”

“Vermont may be a smaller state but we brew big beer,” added co-sponsor Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt). “The craft beer scene is not new to us; Vermont has been one of its earliest and most successful incubators. Since the 1980s brewers like Greg Noonan from the Vermont Pub and Brewery helped inspire and mentor the generation of brewers who have built and nurtured this thriving industry in Vermont and across the country. Vermont is home to some of the best beer in the world, and it seems every day a new craft brewery opens or begins the planning process. These businesses not only make great beer but they attract tourism, support local agriculture and add vitality to our communities. The Small BREW Act creates opportunity for these small brewers and businesses to continue to grow and support their local economies, and to serve their lengthening lists of fans.”

“The Small BREW Act is a significant piece of bipartisan legislation that can have a real meaningful impact on America’s small and independent brewers. It would allow them to remain competitive against large multinational breweries, invest further in their breweries and create new employment opportunities in their communities,” said Bob Pease, CEO, Brewers Association. “This is the boost both our small brewers and overall economy need. We thank Senators Cardin and Collins for reintroducing this legislation and look forward to working with both chambers of Congress to ensure the passage of the Small BREW Act.”

Joining as original cosponsors of the Small BREW Act are Senators Tammy Baldwin (D-Wis.), Thad Cochran (R-Miss.), Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.), Mark Kirk (R-Ill.), Tom Carper (D-Del.), Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska), Bob Casey (D-Penn.), Rob Portman (R-Ohio), Maria Cantwell (D-Wash.), Chris Coons (D-Del.), Martin Heinrich (D-N.M.), Mazie Hirono (D-Hawaii), Angus King (I-Maine), Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), Ed Markey (D-Mass.), Bob Menendez (D-N.J.), Jeff Merkley (D-Ore.), Barbara A. Mikulski (D-Md.), Chris Murphy (D-Conn.), Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.), Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) and Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.).

About the Brewers Association:

The Brewers Association is the not-for-profit trade association dedicated to small and independent American brewers, their beers and the community of brewing enthusiasts. The Brewers Association (BA) represents more than 70 percent of the brewing industry, and its members make more than 99 percent of the beer brewed in the U.S. The BA organizes events including the World Beer Cup®, Great American Beer Festival®, Craft Brewers Conference & BrewExpo America®, SAVOR℠: An American Craft Beer & Food Experience, AHA National Homebrewers Conference, National Homebrew Competition and American Craft Beer Week®. The BA publishes The New Brewermagazine and its Brewers Publications division is the largest publisher of contemporary and relevant brewing literature for today’s craft brewers and homebrewers. 

Beer lovers are invited to learn more about the dynamic world of craft beer at and about homebrewing via the BA’s American Homebrewers Association. Follow us on Twitter 

The Brewers Association is an equal opportunity employer and does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, gender, religion, age, disability, political beliefs, sexual orientation, or marital/familial status. The BA complies with provisions of Executive Order 11246 and the rules, regulations, and relevant orders of the Secretary of Labor.