Every brewer wants to cut excise taxes, but large brewing companies and their microbrew counterparts have competing legislative visions for how to reduce their tax burdens. Lobbying may have slowed overall last year, but the brewing industry is one that ramped up its advocacy efforts in 2012.
The Brewers Association is lobbying on behalf of craft brewers for a bill that would lower the tax levied per barrel and expands the definition of a "small brewer" from 2 million to 6 million barrels per year.
So far, the Small Brewer Reinvestment and Expanding Workforce (Small BREW Act) has 61 cosponsors, since it was re-introduced last month by Rep. Jim Gerlach (R-Pa.).
The Beer Institute, which represents 2,800 breweries both large and small, told The Hill they will "actively oppose" the legislation, which it says divides the industry and attracts too much attention when Congress is already looking for more tax revenue in the midst of the tax reform debate.
“There’s not a big appetite on Capitol Hill to give a tax break to a wildly successful industry that already gets a tax break," Chris Thorne, vice president of communications and a lobbyist for the Beer Institute, told The Hill.
Instead, the Beer Institute is pushing Congress to re-introduce the Brewer’s Employment and Excise Relief (BEER) Act later this year. It would reduce excise taxes for all brewers, regardless of size.