Federal Affairs

Restaurant Revitalization Fund Replenishment Act

Congress included $28.6 billion in the American Rescue Plan for the Small Business Administration (SBA) to create and administer the Restaurant Revitalization Fund (RRF) to provide additional relief for hospitality businesses that derive the majority of their income from direct-to-consumer, onsite sales. The language was derived from the RESTAURANTS Act (H.R.793/S.255).

The program went into effect in early May, and the application process closed on May 24, 2021. In that time frame, 372,000 applications were submitted, representing over $76 billion in requested funds, far surpassing the initial $28.6 billon Congress provided for the program.

To help ensure that every qualifying business has access to the funds, Congress introduced the Restaurant Revitalization Fund Replenishment Act (H.R.3807/S.2091), legislation that would add an additional $60 billion to the Restaurant Revitalization Fund.

Without additional funding, hundreds of thousands of small hospitality businesses that qualify for funds through the Restaurant Revitalization Fund would not receive the relief they applied for. Breweries, and other hospitality businesses were hit especially hard by COVID-19, and are only just now starting to recover. It is important that Congress pass this legislation and provide them with this critical funding.

Members of Congress need to hear from small and independent breweries about their support for the Restaurant Revitalization Fund Replenishment Act. To connect with your elected officials, you can use the Brewers Association’s contact Congress form.

Ask your legislators to co-sponsor the Restaurant Revitalization Fund Replenishment Act!

Key Legislative Sponsors

Senate – View current list of S.2091 co-sponsors

Sen. Roger Wicker (R-Miss.)                     

Sen. Kyrsten Sinema (D-Ariz.)

House of Representatives – View current list of H.R.3807 co-sponsors

Rep. Earl Blumenauer (D-Ore.)

Rep. Brian Fitzpatrick (R-Pa.)


Additional Information About the Restaurant Revitalization Fund:

View RRF’s Impact on Your State

How Does the RRF Work?

The program provides qualifying hospitality businesses with funding equal to their pandemic-related revenue loss up to $10 million per business and no more than $5 million per physical location. Recipients are not required to repay the funding as long as funds are used for eligible uses no later than March 11, 2023.

Eligible entities include restaurants, food stands, food trucks, food carts, caterers, bars, saloons, lounges, taverns, and nonalcoholic beverage bars, bakeries (if onsite sales to the public comprise at least 33% of gross receipts), brewpubs, tasting rooms, taprooms (if onsite sales to the public comprise at least 33% of gross receipts), breweries and/or microbreweries (if onsite sales to the public comprise at least 33% of gross receipts), wineries, distilleries (if onsite sales to the public comprise at least 33% of gross receipts), inns (if onsite sales of food and beverage to the public comprise at least 33% of gross receipts), and licensed facilities or premises of a beverage alcohol producer where the public may taste, sample, or purchase products.

Funding Amounts

  • Calculation 1 – for applicants in operation prior to or on January 1, 2019: 2019 gross receipts minus 2020 gross receipts minus PPP loan amounts
  • Calculation 2 – for applicants that began operations partially through 2019: (Average 2019 monthly gross receipts x 12) minus 2020 gross receipts minus PPP loan amounts
  • Calculation 3 – for applicants that began operations on or between January 1, 2020 and March 10, 2021 and applicants not yet opened but have incurred eligible expenses: Amount spent on eligible expenses between February 15, 2020 and March 11, 2021 minus 2020 gross receipts minus 2021 gross receipts (through March 11, 2021) minus PPP loan amounts
  • For those entities who began operations partially through 2019, you may elect (at your own discretion) to use either calculation 2 or calculation 3

The SBA may provide funding up to $5 million per location, not to exceed $10 million total for the applicant and any affiliated businesses. The minimum award is $1,000.

For the purposes of this program, gross receipts does not include:

  • Amounts received from Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loans (First Draw or Second Draw)
  • Amounts received from Economic Injury Disaster Loans (EIDL)
  • Advances on EIDL (EIDL Advance and Targeted EIDL Advance)
  • State and local grants (via CARES Act or otherwise)
  • SBA Section 1112 payments

Funds may be used for specific expenses including:

  • Business payroll costs (including sick leave)
  • Payments on any business mortgage obligation
  • Business rent payments (note: this does not include prepayment of rent)
  • Business debt service (both principal and interest; note: this does not include any prepayment of principal or interest)
  • Business utility payments
  • Business maintenance expenses
  • Construction of outdoor seating
  • Business supplies (including protective equipment and cleaning materials)
  • Business food and beverage expenses (including raw materials)
  • Covered supplier costs
  • Business operating expenses

As of May 24, 2021 the SBA closed applications for the Restaurant Revitalization Fund.

USPS Shipping Equity Act

Representatives Jackie Speier (D-Calif.) and Dan Newhouse (R-Wash.), and Senator Jeff Merkley (D-Ore.) have introduced the United States Postal Service (USPS) Shipping Equity Act (H.R.3287/S.1663), bipartisan legislation that would give USPS the same ability as private carriers to ship alcohol in states where it is legal to do so. In addition to giving breweries (and wineries and distilleries) another avenue to ship their product, the legislation:

  • Would not make any changes to federal excise tax collection, nor inhibit state and local authorities to regulate beverage alcohol.
  • Would not impact the strong safeguards to prevent underage consumption of alcohol by minors.
  • Is estimated to provide the postal service with $180 million in additional revenue per year.

Currently, 13 states and Washington, D.C. allow breweries to ship beverage alcohol products using private carriers. The USPS Shipping Equity Act supports consumer choice and offers producers – many of whom are in rural or remote areas – the opportunity to reach their adult customers that may otherwise be unable to purchase the product locally or travel to acquire it. Direct-to-consumer (DtC) shipping serves as an important complement to the traditional three-tier system of beverage alcohol distribution. Allowing the USPS to compete in this market would be beneficial to breweries and consumers by supporting consumer choice.

A consumer survey by SOVOS Ship Compliant and Harris Poll found that 84% of regular craft beer drinkers – defined as those who drink craft beer at least once per month – want to be able to legally purchase beer via DtC shipping to their homes. Additionally, the survey found that more than 73% say the pandemic has increased their interest in purchasing craft beer via DtC shipping.

To meet that demand, we have seen state laws expanding to allow shipping and delivery of alcohol products, as well as allowing alcohol “to-go” at restaurant and bars. The USPS Shipping Equity Act would help small and independent breweries, wineries, and distilleries meet that demand by allowing the postal service to provide another method of getting their product to market. In addition to the Brewers Association, the legislation also has the support of the American Craft Spirits Association, American Mead Makers Association, American Postal Workers Union, Distilled Spirits Council of the United States, National Association of Postal Supervisors, National Postal Mail Handlers Union, National Rural Letter Carriers Association, United Postmasters and Managers of America, and WineAmerica. View a letter of support from more than 100 associations.

Key Legislative Sponsors

Senate – View current list of S.1663 co-sponsors

Sen. Jeff Merkley (D-Ore.)

House of Representatives – View current list of H.R.3287 co-sponsors

Rep. Jackie Speier (D-Calif.)

Rep. Dan Newhouse (R-Wash.)

Learn more about USPS Shipping Equity Act and Direct to Consumer Shipping

Fairness for Craft Beverage Producers Act

At the end of 2019, Congress passed a broad legislative package that included additional funding for the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) allowing for second draw loans for businesses that could show a revenue loss between one quarter in 2019 and 2020. They also extended the Small Business Administration’s (SBA) debt relief program that would cover principal and interest payments for current and future SBA loans for a limited time period. Both provisions included additional funding for hospitality businesses, specifically ones that began with National Industry Classification System (NAICS) code 72. To learn more, read our Year-End COVID-19 Legislative Package Breakdown.

Unfortunately, this NAICS code requirement inadvertently excluded many small breweries that rely on own-premise sales but whose NAICS codes starts with 31 from being able to access that additional funding.

The Fairness for Craft Beverage Producers Act (H.R.1035) is legislation would fix that oversight and give breweries and other beverage alcohol producers the access to additional Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) funds provided in second draw loans and add NAICS code 3121 to the list of hardest hit businesses that can receive additional months of principal and interest payments on 7(a) or 504 loans.

The bill provides that:

  • Businesses that start with NAICS code 3121, that also derived at least 35% of gross annual revenue during either calendar year 2019 or 2020 from in-person sales of products will be allowed to apply for 3.5 times their average monthly payroll on second draw PPP loans (assuming they meet the other requirements for second draw loans).
  • Businesses that start with NAICS code 3121 that also derived at least 35% of gross annual revenue during either calendar year 2019 or 2020 from in-person sales of products will be borrowers considered to be underserved—namely the smallest or hardest hit by the pandemic—will receive an additional five months of P&I payments, also capped at $9,000 per borrower per month. They include:
    • Borrowers with SBA microloans or 7(a) Community Advantage loans.
    • Borrowers with any 7(a) or 504 loan in the hardest hit sectors, as measured by the severity of sector-wide job losses since the start of the pandemic.

Having access to that additional funding is critical to many small and independent breweries. Members of Congress need to hear from you about your support for the Fairness for Craft Beverage Producers Act. To connect with your elected officials, use the Brewers Association’s contact Congress form. It is an easy-to-use form with a customizable letter that will let you easily contact your elected officials.

Ask your legislators to co-sponsor the Fairness for Craft Beverage Producers Act!

Key Legislative Sponsors

House of Representatives – View current list of H.R.1035 co-sponsors

Rep. Jennifer Wexton (D-Va.)

Rep. Maria Salazar (R-Fl.)

Rep. Jason Crow (D-Colo.)

Rep. Dan Newhouse (R-Wash.)


Craft Beverage Modernization and Tax Reform Act

Link to article

On Dec. 27, 2020, the president signed the year-end legislative package that included the Craft Beverage Modernization and Tax Reform Act (CBMTRA), making the existing federal excise tax (FET) rates for small and independent breweries permanent.

History of the Legislation:

The CBMTRA legislation was spearheaded in the Senate by Senators Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) and Roy Blunt (R-Mo.) and in the House by Representatives Ron Kind (D-Wis.) and Mike Kelly (R-Pa.). Together they re-introduced CBMTRA with the goal of making the recalibrated FET for breweries, wineries, and distilleries permanent. It was an extremely popular piece of legislation that had more than half the support of the 115th and 116th United States Congresses. Because of that broad support, a two-year provision of the CBMTRA language was included in the 2017 Tax Cut and Jobs Act, with the recalibrated rates going into effect on January 1, 2018. In the first two years, small and independent breweries used the money they saved to reinvest in their breweries and hire new employees, adding 25,000 new jobs to the brewing industry, in large part due to the recalibrated FET. Though the initial provision was only for two years, Congress extended the language through December 31, 2020. The language making the rates permanent was passed in the 2020 year-end legislative package.

How CBMTRA Impacts your Brewery

  • Now that the legislation is passed, the FET is:
    • $3.50/barrel (was $7/barrel prior to 2018) on the first 60,000 barrels for domestic brewers producing less than two million barrels annually
    • $16/barrel (was $18/barrel prior to 2018) on the first six million barrels for all other brewers, foreign and domestic
  • Additionally:
    • The current $18/barrel rate for barrelage over six million remains unchanged.
    • Importers seeking to claim the lower rate ($16/barrel) on a particular import must demonstrate that the brewery that supplied the importer is eligible for the lower rate.
    • “Controlled group” rules apply to the calculation of the barrel thresholds above. To briefly summarize these complex rules, the production of brewers affiliated with one another through common ownership interests in excess of 50% are aggregated for purposes of calculating barrel thresholds. So, for example, a brewery producing 50,000 barrels per year that is majority owned by a brewery producing more than two million barrels per year does not get the benefit of the $3.50/barrel rate.
  • Breweries can transfer beer between bonded brewing facilities, regardless of their ownership (this was limited to breweries of the same ownership prior to 2018). All breweries may transfer beer in bond between domestic breweries without tax liability, something that benefits small unaffiliated brewers and gives them the flexibility to collaborate on new beers without facing a tax liability.
    • Who is allowed to transfer between bonded facilities?
      • Independently owned breweries where the transferor has divested itself of all interest in the beer so transferred, and the transferee has accepted responsibility for payment of the tax
      • Breweries that are owned by the same person/entity
      • A brewery that owns a controlling interest in another brewery
  • The new legislation also makes slight changes to the wording of the “single taxpayer rule,” which was first enacted as part of CBMTRA at the end of 2017. The single taxpayer rule effectively seeks to count as the production of a single taxpayer (for purposes of determining rate eligibility and thresholds) the combined production two different breweries producing a brand under a single “license” – presumably meaning a trademark license. While the new language has not yet been subject to any clarifying interpretation by the Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau (TTB) or the courts, we believe TTB will continue to count barrels of beer produced by one brewer for another under a license (such as a contract brewing arrangement) as production by both brewers.
  • The legislation also makes permanent a change that permits brewers to utilize a single unified records system to document its compliance with federal excise tax laws.

Economic Benefit to Breweries

The following chart summarizes the potential benefit for the impacted barrelage tiers.

Brewery Size:
Domestic < 6 Million Barrels
Brewery Size:
Domestic > 6 Million Barrels & Imports
Total
32,900,074
Total Barrels
170,448,945
Total Barrels
203,349,019
Total Barrels
$423,723,077
Total Industry Current Tax
$3,068,081,010
Total Industry Current Tax
$3,491,804,087
Total Industry Current Tax
$334,948,622
Total Industry CBMTRA Tax
$3,002,275,122
Total Industry CBMTRA Tax
$3,337,223,744
Total Industry CBMTRA Tax
$88,774,455
Savings
$65,805,888
Savings
$154,580,343
Savings

Next Steps

  • Legislative: Updating the collections process for imported beer and spirits. The year-end package:
    • Included language that would change the process by which imported beer and spirits are able to access the recalibrated excise tax rates
    • Provides that beginning on Jan. 1, 2023, importers will pay the full FET rate upon importing the product and then apply for a refund, which shall be paid no less than every 90 days, with interest if payments are not made in a timely manner
    • Directs the Department of Treasury to promulgate a rulemaking and present a plan to Congress within 180 days of the bill’s passage for how the Department of Treasury will administer CBMTRA-related import refunds
    • Requires foreign producers to provide information about the assignment of their rates, including “information about the controlled group structure of such foreign producer”
  • Breweries: We want to ensure that we keep providing congress with information about how breweries are using the recalibrated excise tax rates to reinvest in their businesses and hire new employees.
    • Keep track and share information with the Brewers Association. Make note of the changes that you make in your brewery, employees that you hire, new equipment that you purchase, etc. Participate in surveys like the Beer Industry Production Survey (BIPS) and let us know how many barrels you are producing, what type of entity your brewery is registered as (LLC, LLP, pass-through, etc.), and other things that can help us when we are advocating on Capitol Hill.
    • Participate in Hill climbs with your state guild and the Brewers Association.

Federal Affairs Updates

Brewers Association Director of Federal Affairs Katie Marisic provides federal affairs updates about what is going on in Washington, D.C. and the issues that the Brewers Association is currently working on. 

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SBA Releases Updated Guidance for PPP Loan Forgiveness

SBA Releases Updated Guidance for PPP Loan Forgiveness

The SBA released updated guidance for businesses that received PPP loans of $150,000 or less and have not yet applied for forgiveness.Read More

View all Federal Affairs updates

Tariffs and Trade

Government Affairs news and announcements trade negotiations, tariffs and federal government investigations that could impact breweries and their supply chain partners.

Updated FAQs: What Breweries Need to Know About the Current State of Tariffs in the U.S. FAQs: What Breweries Need to Know About the Current State of Tariffs in the U.S.

Updated FAQs: What Breweries Need to Know About the Current State of Tariffs in the U.S.

Two investigations by U.S. agencies have led to the imposition of tariffs that may have an effect on breweries. Here’s what you need to know about them.Read More

Tariffs Impact Brewing Machinery Imported from China Brewers Association

Tariffs Impact Brewing Machinery Imported from China

On September 1, 2019 anyone importing brewing machinery from China into the United States will be required to pay an additional 10 percent tariff, regardless of whether the machinery was ordered prior to the tariffs going into effect. Read More

List of Proposed Tariffs on Goods from China Includes Brewery Machinery

The administration recently proposed 25 percent tariffs on $300 billion worth of goods imported from China, including brewing machinery. Learn more about how you can submit comments on these tariffs.Read More

Department of Commerce Announces Preliminary Antidumping Duty Determinations on Refillable Stainless Steel Kegs

On May 29, 2019, the Department of Commerce announced affirmative preliminary determinations in the antidumping duty investigations of imports of refillable stainless-steel kegs from China, Germany, and Mexico.Read More

Aluminum and Steel Tariffs Lifted on Canada and Mexico

On May 20, 2019, the United States government officially lifted the steel and aluminum tariffs on Canada and Mexico as an incentive for Congress to pass the United States Canada and Mexico Act.Read More

View all Tariffs and Trade updates

Congressional Caucuses

The House and Senate Small Brewers Caucuses provide a forum for members of Congress and their staffs to discuss the issues important to small brewers while exploring what lawmakers can do to strengthen the growth and role of these small businesses in local economies across the country.

House Small Brewers Caucus Members

200 Members in 41 States, the District of Columbia*, and Puerto Rico* represented as of February 25, 2021.

If your state is not represented in the House Small Brewers Caucus, learn how to recruit your representative to join.

Rollover the map to view House Small Brewers Caucus members or download a PDF of the full list.


About the House Small Brewers Caucus

The House Small Brewers Caucus in the United States House of Representatives provides the small brewing community in America an extremely important forum in Washington, D.C.

The Caucus was formed in 2007 by interested members of Congress to gain a better understanding of all aspects of small brewing, from business and regulatory issues to the brewing process and history of the small brewing community. The purpose of the House Small Brewers Caucus is to provide elected officials and their staffs an interactive opportunity to learn about the dynamics of running a small business as a brewery and the quality, process, and value of craft beers and small brewing activities.

While small breweries share many of the same priorities and concerns that other small businesses have, brewing is a highly regulated business and has unique issues that most Americans are not aware of. The Small Brewers Caucus intends to provide information about the science and art of beer and brewing as well as relevant business, regulatory, and societal issues.

House Small Brewers Caucus Co-Chairs

Peter DeFazio

(D-Oregon)

Co-Chair

Mike Kelly

(R-Pennsylvania)

Co-Chair

Patrick McHenry

(R-North Carolina)

Co-Chair

Marilyn Strickland

(D-Washington)

Co-Chair


Senate Bipartisan Small Brewers Caucus Members

33 members in 24 states represented as of January 6, 2021.

If your state or district is not represented in the Senate Bipartisan Small Brewers Caucus, learn how to recruit your representative to join.

Rollover the map to view Senate Bipartisan Small Brewers Caucus members or download a PDF of the list.


About the Senate Bipartisan Small Brewers Caucus

The Senate Bipartisan Small Brewers Caucus was founded by former Senator Max Baucus (D-Mont.) in June, 2011 and is now chaired by Senators Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) and Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska).

Mirroring the House Small Brewers Caucus (formed in 2007), the Senate Bipartisan Small Brewers Caucus provides a forum for members of the Senate and their staffs to discuss the issues important to small brewers while exploring what lawmakers can do to strengthen the growth and role of these small businesses in local economies across the country.

The caucus also provides opportunities for Senators and staff to learn about the science and art of brewing beer, and the unique cultural and economic contributions made by small brewers to their communities.

Senate Bipartisan Small Brewers Caucus Founding Representatives

Ron Wyden

(D-Oregon)

Co-Chair

Lisa Murkowski

(R-Alaska)

Co-Chair

Connect with Elected Officials

Building a relationship with your elected officials is one of the most important “government relations” functions you can perform as a member of the craft brewing community.

The Brewers Association Board of Directors and staff have made the development of a strong and meaningful government affairs relationship a priority.

Together we’ve achieved some notable results:

  • Achieving passage of the Craft Beverage Modernization and Tax Reform Act (CBMTRA) – resulting in permanence of recalibrated federal excise tax and saving small and independent breweries more than $80 million annually
  • Advocating for priorities like the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP), Economic Injury Disaster Loans (EIDL) and grants, and the suspension of federal excise tax payments
  • Pursuing additional COVID-19 relief for small and independent brewers
  • Twice turning back potential new taxes in the form of TTB user fees
  • Successfully streamlining the excise tax payment schedule for many small brewers

Ask your Members of Congress to Support our Current Initiatives

Fairness for Craft Beverage Producers Act

The Fairness for Craft Beverage Producers Act is legislation that would give breweries and other beverage alcohol producers access to additional Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) funds provided in second draw loans and add NAICS code 3121 to the list of hardest hit businesses that can receive additional months of principal and interest payments on 7(a) or 504 loans. Having access to that additional funding is critical to many small and independent breweries. Members of Congress need to hear from you about your support for the Fairness for Craft Beverage Producers Act.

Ask your legislators to co-sponsor the Fairness for Craft Beverage Producers Act!

Restaurant Revitalization Fund Replenishment Act

The Restaurant Revitalization Fund (RRF) is providing critical funding for small hospitality businesses, but it does not currently have enough funding to meet the needs of all businesses that applied. We need Congress to provide additional funding for the RRF. The Restaurant Revitalization Fund Replenishment Act (H.R.3807/S.2091) would add an additional $60 billion to the RRF and ensure that the businesses who qualified and applied will receive a grant. Members of Congress need to hear from you about your support for the Restaurant Revitalization Fund Replenishment Act.

Ask your legislators to co-sponsor the Restaurant Revitalization Fund Replenishment Act!


Arrange a Congressional Visit to your Brewery

It’s Easier than You Think!

The invitation can be made with a quick phone call or email. The visit itself will only take an hour of your time, but will keep paying returns on the local and national levels. And, it’s easy.

Identify Your Elected Officials:

You will typically find specific office contact information in the contact section or footer of an elected officials website. Identify the district office contact information for arranging the visit.

Phone the office to make your request, asking to speak with the scheduler. If there is more than one district office, determine which is the nearest to your brewery and call that one.

If you have any questions or if you need help with contact information for state or district directors or schedulers, please email us for assistance. And finally, stay in touch and let us know how your visit goes.

Get in Touch with Government Affairs Leaders

Email Us: marisic@brewersassociation.org

Bob Pease

President and CEO, Brewers Association

Katie Marisic

Federal Affairs Director, Brewers Association