Senators Introduce Bill to Boost Beer
As if anyone would need another reason to raise their glass in salute at tonight’s “Spirits in the Shaft” in Leadville, it was good news for brewers this week as the Craft Beverage Modernization and Tax Reform Act was introduced back in Washington, DC. Colorado U.S. Senators Michael Bennet (D) and Cory Gardner (R) – members of the Senate Bipartisan Small Brewers Caucus – introduced legislation on February 6 to help ensure the continued growth of America’s craft beverage industry.
The Craft Beverage Modernization and Tax Reform Act would permanently establish reduced taxes and modernized regulations for brewers, cider makers, vintners, and distillers to further promote job creation in each industry.
“This bill was put into temporary law last year and will expire at the end of this year if not extended or made full,” explained Chris Labbe with Periodic Brewing (Pb) in Leadville.
Senator Bennet concurred with the local brewer adding, “This is commonsense legislation that will relieve Colorado’s craft breweries, wineries, and distilleries from outdated regulations that stunt growth and innovation.”
If passed, small brewers and distillers would receive reduced excise taxes, and small wine producers would receive an expanded excise tax credit. Provisions similar to many of those in the bill passed in 2017 and 2018 and are set to expire at the end of 2019.
More specifically, the Act would provide funding for programs that accelerate processing of formula and label applications and enforce fair trade practices. It would simplify the lengthy process for approving non-traditional beer formulas, promote innovation in brewing, and allow for the transfer of beer and bottled spirits in bond -increasing collaboration among brewers and reducing tax burdens for distillers.
“If you look at this in kegs or cases sold it is about 1% of revenue which is a big deal,” explained Labbe with Pb. “Even very small breweries are saving $1K+ to use for people and equipment needs. Big breweries like Lefthand might be $250K+ enabling them to take care of their business much better.”
In 2016, the brewing industry alone contributed more than $350 billion to the U.S. economy, directly and indirectly employing about 2.23 million Americans. The wine industry contributed $220 billion and 1.7 million jobs, and spirits contributed more than $173 billion and 1.5 million jobs.
“Colorado is home to more than 350 small and independent brewers that employ more than 20,000 people,” said Senator Gardner. “The industry contributes significantly to our state’s economy, and it’s important that Washington doesn’t stand in the way of its continued success. Passing this bill will help small brewers and distillers to grow, create jobs, and boost communities across the four corners of Colorado and throughout our country.”
Cheers to Spirits in The Shaft at Mining Museum
If you’re looking for a way to celebrate the good news for beer, there are still tickets available for tonight’s “Spirits in the Shaft” at the National Mining Hall of Fame and Museum. Not only will attendees be treated to samplings from the “spirits” world, but they will also get a sneak peek at the new exhibit: “Sequencing Through Time and Place: The Carissa Mine.”
This after-hours event, formerly known as the annual Wine Tasting, has expanded in recent years to include craft beer and wines, as well as food samplings from Leadville eateries and chefs. This year’s event will bring back the popular silent auction and include something new: a psychic medium.
Also new this year is a shuttle service to get people safely to and from the tasting event. This service will benefit the Lake County Senior Center. Sounds like an unforgettable Leadville Friday Night.
Tickets are $45 and can be purchased HERE or by calling 719-486-1229. All proceeds from the event benefit the nonprofit National Mining Hall of Fame and Museum.