Congressman Erik Paulsen, a member of the small brewers caucus, co-sponsor of the Small BREW Act, and supporter of Minnesota small brewers, recently paid a visit to Lucid Brewing in Minnetonka, Minn. The Congressman met with Lucid Brewing co-owner, Jon Messier, along with owners of Bad Weather Brewery and Badger Hill Brewery to discuss the Small BREW Act and the potential benefits it would provide for their small businesses.
The Small Brewer Reinvestment and Expanding Workforce Act (Small BREW Act), HR 494, would recalibrate the Federal excise tax for small brewers. The bill has bi-partisan support in a normally polarized Congress. Currently, a small brewer that produces less than 2 million barrels of beer per year is eligible to pay $7.00 per barrel on the first 60,000 barrels produced each year. The proposed legislation would adjust this rate to $3.50 per barrel and would provide eligible breweries with approximately $28 million in savings per year (based on 2012 data).
Lucid Brewing, which began in 2011 with only two employees (co-owners Jon Messier and Eric Biermann) now has 10 full-time employees. The tax reduction proposed in the Small BREW Act would allow them to further expand their business–creating additional jobs and helping to stimulate the local economy.
Messier states, “As a small company we are always looking to hire talented people to help us grow the brewery. A reduction in Federal taxes allows us to do this. We’ll be able to hire more employees at competitive wages and offer benefits to existing employees that we could otherwise not afford.”