This week marks American Craft Brew Week, a celebration of the nearly 1,8000 small brewers that provide innovation and character to the American malt beverage market. One of the most dynamic enterprises in the country, craft brewers face steep regulatory and tax burdens to keep their businesses afloat as current government policies largely favor traditional beer producers. In response, Senators Mike Crapo (R-Wyo.) and John Kerry (D-Mass.) have introduced the Brewer's Employment and Excise Relief Act of 2011, which would provide tens of millions each year for small brewers to continue to grow their businesses. Today, Americans for Tax Reform President Grover Norquist sent a letter to the Senators, urging support of their bill. In part, the letter states:

The BEER Act would reduce from $7 to $3.50 the tax paid per barrel on the first 60,000 barrels produced by small brewers.  This is estimated to generate $19.9 million in capital for small beer producers, an enormous resource to promote job growth in the craft brewing industry.

The current small brewer tax places archaic definitions on an industry that has grown by 12 percent in just the last year alone. When the law was written twenty five years ago, small brewers were defined as producers of up to 2 million barrels annually. Your bill updates this definition by raising the ceiling to 6 million barrels, accurately reflecting modern standards and industry growth.

The craft brewing industry provides for widespread diversity and originality in the malt beverage marketplace. Comprising less than five percent of the entire beer market, this innovation stands to be eliminated by the current heavy-handed regulatory and tax regimes that favor traditional producers. Thus, I encourage your colleagues to support the Brewer’s Employment and Excise Relief Act of 2011 and look forward to working with you to continue to ease the tax burden on American employers.

Click here to read the entire letter.