King Backs Bipartisan Bill to Support Growth of Maine’s Craft Beverage Industry After attending the successful launch of Flight Deck Brewing in Brunswick just last month, Angus King (I-Maine) announced support for bipartisan legislation to promote continued job creation in.....
BigNews.Biz - Apr 11,2017 - King Backs Bipartisan Bill to Support Growth of Maine’s Craft Beverage Industry
WASHINGTON, D.C. – After attending the successful launch of Flight Deck Brewing in Brunswick just last month, U.S. Senator Angus King (I-Maine) announced his support for bipartisan legislation that would promote continued job creation in the growing craft beverage, cider, wine, and distillery industries throughout Maine and the nation. The Craft Beverage Modernization and Tax Reform Act, introduced by Senators Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) and Roy Blunt (R-Mo.), would cut taxes and modernize outdated regulations for craft brewers, cider makers, vinters, and distillers.
“Maine is home to an incredible array of small, independent craft brewers that deliver world-class products and great jobs,” Senator King said. “By reducing the taxes and simplifying compliance burdens for on our brewers and other wine and spirits producers, this important piece of legislation will give them a vital boost and enable them to further invest in their businesses and our communities – a winning combination that will create jobs in Maine and across the nation.”
More specifically, the legislation would ensure the continued growth of America’s craft beverage industry by reducing excise taxes, compliance burdens, and regulations for brewers, cider makers, vinters, and distillers. Each beverage class faces unique challenges and this legislation takes a tailored approach to promote job creation in each sector. To see a section-by section breakdown of how the legislation would help each sector, click HERE.
The bill builds on a number of popular proposals, including the Small BREW Act introduced by Senator Susan Collins and cosponsored by Senator King; the Fair BEER Act; the Distillery Excise Tax Reform Act; the CIDER Act; the AGED Spirits Act; and the Craft Beverage Bond Simplification Act.
This legislation also builds on a consensus reached among multiple industry groups and is support by several national and Maine organizations and companies, including the Brewers Association, the Beer Institute, DISCUS, American Craft Spirits Association, Wine America and Wine Institute, Maine Beer Company, Shipyard Brewing Company, and Allagash Brewing Company.
According to reports, Maine breweries contributed $228 million to the state’s economy last year, and employed more than 1,600 people. Additionally, from 2013 to 2016, the estimated total revenue of Maine brewers grew by 17 percent to $150 million. A recent study by the University of Maine’s School of Economics also projected that Maine’s craft brewing industry would grow by nearly 40 percent in the coming year.
Senator King had long been a champion of craft beverage producers. In 2015, he joined Senator Collins to introduce the Small BREW Act, which would reduce the excise tax on each barrel of beer produced by small brewers. He has also consistently advocated to allow brewers to continue sending their spent grains to state farmers.