Some have pushed to-go sales to maintain profitability, while others have increased canning and turned towards online retailers like Tavour to reach craft beer fans in 25 states. More than 80 breweries have started selling their beer through the app-based retailer since March.
Now, as many struggle to keep their heads above water, the Craft Beverage Modernization and Tax Reform Act passed in 2017 is set to expire.
The bipartisan legislation provides Federal excise tax relief for breweries producing fewer than 2 million barrels annually, which includes the vast majority of American craft breweries. It provides similar relief to craft winemakers, distillers, and cider makers.
With its end, many breweries will see their excise tax bill double in 2021. According to Mary MacDonald of the Ohio Craft Brewers Association, such an increase at this time “would undoubtedly force many [breweries] to close.”
In response, The American Craft Brewers Association is encouraging brewers, patrons, and others involved in the craft beverage industry to support legislation that would extend the 2017 tax reforms indefinitely.
“This legislation is critical to the survival of our brewing industry and needs to be made permanent,” Christina LaRue of the Oregon Brewers Guild said in a press release.
The new bill, introduced by Senators Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) and Roy Blunt (R-Mo.) along with Representatives Ron Kind (D-Wis.) and Mike Kelly (R-Pa.), enjoys widespread, bipartisan support in congress. It currently has 346 co-sponsors in the House, and 74 in the Senate.
The Brewers Association has partnered with a number of other organizations including the Distilled Spirits Council and the Wine Institute to set up a grassroots email campaign directed at congress. Those wishing to support the legislation can email their representatives through a website set up by the partnership.