BEER and Small BREW Can Be Good for You

The Federal Beer Excise Tax Is Past Its Shelf Life and Should Be Reformed

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America’s beer industry directly supports over 1 million jobs and nearly $100 billion in economic activity. And over the last two decades, the craft beer market has seen explosive growth. However, the entire beer industry still faces the burden of a specifically targeted excise tax placed on it at the repeal of Prohibition in large part to discourage beer consumption. Today, many politicians, brewers, trade groups, and consumers are seeking relief from the excise tax. Two competing bills currently pending in Congress, creatively titled the BEER Act and the Small BREW Act, would reduce the tax in different ways. While neither bill is perfect, enacting either one would be a victory for the beer industry and consumers. However, for long-term reform the best course of action is for Congress to repeal the excise tax altogether.