Beer Institute Names Senators Blunt and Wyden and Representatives Kind and Paulsen 2017 Beer Champions

Cheers to Senator Roy Blunt, Senator Ron Wyden, Rep. Ron Kind, and Congressman Erik Paulsen for their leadership in advocating for the more than 2.2 million Americans whose jobs rely on a thriving beer industry.

WASHINGTON, DC–At a ceremony yesterday evening at the U.S. Capitol, the Beer Institute announced that United States Senators Roy Blunt (R-MO) and Ron Wyden (D-OR) as well as Representatives Ron Kind (D-WI) and Erik Paulsen (R-MN) have been chosen as the Beer Institute’s “2017 Beer Champions.” They were selected for their leadership in championing the Craft Beverage Modernization and Tax Reform Act (S.236/H.R. 747), comprehensive and bipartisan legislation that provides fair and equitable reform of the federal excise tax on beer. If enacted, the Craft Beverage Modernization and Tax Reform Act will provide tax relief to brewers and beer importers of all sizes.

“America’s brewers and importers are pleased to honor Senators Blunt and Wyden as well as Representatives Kind and Paulsen.  Their tireless efforts to build support for the Craft Beverage Modernization and Tax Reform Act will enable our nation’s breweries and beer importers to continue to innovate so they can quench the thirst for America’s most popular alcohol beverage,” said Jim McGreevy, President and CEO of the Beer Institute. “I look forward to Congress passing legislation that will provide much-needed tax relief for brewers and beer importers of all sizes.”

“Missouri’s beverage industry is critical to our state’s economy, supporting thousands of good-paying jobs and contributing billions in economic output,” said Sen. Blunt. “I’ll continue working for a fairer tax structure and to reduce the burdensome regulations on our brewers, distillers, and winemakers, many of which are small businesses, so they can further grow and compete.”

“It’s time Congress pass this bipartisan bill that uses a targeted approach to modernize outdated regulations and gives Oregon brewers, vintners and distillers the ability to create jobs and boost our economy,” said Sen. Wyden. “I’m proud to work with Senator Blunt to end unfair burdens of Prohibition-era rules and taxes that have kept these present-day small businesses from growing and thriving.”

“I am proud to receive the 2017 “Beer Champion Award”. The Wisconsin beer industry not only produces the best beer in the world, but it also creates jobs and grows the local economy in communities across Wisconsin. I am proud to be leading the bipartisan effort to help brewers – large and small, tap into new markets and create good-paying jobs here in America,” said Rep. Kind.

“Brewers play an increasingly important role in our economy as they grow American jobs and bolster local economies, including communities throughout Minnesota,” said Rep. Paulsen. “We should make sure these brewers aren’t burdened by out-of-date regulations and high excise taxes that make growth more difficult.”

Introduced in January, the Craft Beverage Modernization and Tax Reform Act has garnered 253 bipartisan cosponsors in the House of Representatives and 46 bipartisan cosponsors in the Senate. All of these members of Congress support a fair tax structure and modernized regulations that will allow the beer industry to continue to innovate, create jobs, and grow the economy.

Specifically, the legislation:

  • Reduces the federal excise tax to $3.50 per barrel on the first 60,000 barrels for domestic brewers producing fewer than 2 million barrels annually.
  • Reduces the federal excise tax to $16 per barrel on the first 6 million barrels for all other brewers and all beer importers; and
  • Keeps the excise tax at the current $18 per barrel rate for barrelage over 6 million.

The Beer Institute is a national trade association for the American brewing industry, representing brewers of all sizes, as well as beer importers and industry suppliers. First founded in 1862 as the U.S. Brewers Association, the Beer Institute is committed today to the development of sound public policy and to the values of civic duty and personal responsibility. For additional updates from the Beer Institute, visit our website, follow @BeerInstitute on Twitter, like the Beer Institute on Facebook, and follow the Beer Institute on Instagram.