Oregon Small & Independent Craft Brewers Urge Participation in National Day of Action

Passage of Craft Beverage Modernization and Tax Reform Act before year-end expiration vital to small business health

On September 9th, leaders in the beverage alcohol sector are urging industry advocates across the U.S. to participate in a national Day of Action by asking their members of Congress to pass the Craft Beverage Modernization and Tax Reform Act, S.362/H.R. 1175 (CBMTRA).

Unless Congress acts, on December 31, 2020, the current Federal Excise Tax (FET) rates for small and independent breweries in Oregon and across the nation will expire. If not made permanent, the FET will increase by as much as 100%. 

“Oregon craft brewers, distillers, winemakers, and cider makers have been among the hardest hit during this pandemic,” said Christina LaRue, Executive Director of the Oregon Brewers Guild. “We have already started to see closures, temporary and permanent. A tax increase of this magnitude, even in normal circumstances would be devastating, but to do so during a pandemic would certainly force many more to close. Congress needs to give these businesses a fighting chance by passing the Craft Beverage Modernization and Tax Reform Act as soon as possible. We want our breweries to have the opportunity to recover from the major economic impacts they have experienced with COVID-19 and be able to continue to support other vital industries in their communities.” 

Since its enactment at the end of 2017, the reduced FET has enabled small and independent brewers across our state to reinvest in their business, hire new employees, and grow their breweries. Without action from Congress, America’s more than 8,300 breweries along with beer importers will face a nearly $154 million annual excise tax increase beginning in January 2021. 

Introduced by our very own Senator Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) along with Senator Roy Blunt (R-Mo.) and Representatives Ron Kind (D-Wis.) and Mike Kelly (R-Pa.), the Craft Beverage Modernization and Tax Reform Act is uniquely bipartisan legislation with support from more than half of the U.S. Congress—the bill currently has 346 cosponsors in the House and 74 in the Senate. The legislation will make permanent reforms enacted in 2017 that create a fair and equitable tax structure for brewers, winemakers, distillers, cider makers, and importers of all beverage alcohol. 

“We need everyone’s help, from our brewers to allied trade partners, supply chain partners to Oregon craft beer-loving customers, to convince Congress this legislation is critical to the survival of our brewing industry and needs to be made permanent. It takes just a few minutes to make a difference for these businesses in our communities,” added LaRue. 

Day of Action participants are encouraged to call, tweet, and email their members of Congress to pass this bipartisan legislation. If you need assistance in reaching out, please contact the Oregon Brewers Guild.

About the Oregon Brewers Guild

The Oregon Brewers Guild is a non-profit organization whose mission is to promote and protect the state’s craft brewing industry and the common interests of its members. Founded in 1992, the Oregon Brewers Guild is one of the nation’s oldest craft brewers associations.