The newly-passed tax bill will give a big boost to the alcohol industry. The U.S. Senate slipped in a provision that gives beer, spirits, and wine producers a two-year reduction in federal excise taxes. That means they’ll save $4.2 billion during that time.
Small brewers will see their tax rate cut in half, from $7 per barrel to $3.50, for the first 60,000 barrels. There are currently 33 local breweries in Alabama, three of those in Tuscaloosa.
“Our federal excise taxes was a big chunk of change every year, so it’s thousands of dollars we’ll be saving to potentially put back into new equipment and hopefully doing some expansion at some point in the future,” said Eric Hull, co-owner of Black Warrior Brewing Company, “It’s really just money that will not necessarily be going back into our pockets, but be reinvested in the business and hopefully help the economy.”
Not only can the extra money these small businesses safe on taxes be put to help them grow, it can help give a new business the leg up they need to succeed.
“It’s tremendously difficult for some of the smaller breweries to start up and pay,” said Jeremiah Donald, brewmaster at Band of Brothers Brewing Company. “You were getting a break at $7 but that adds up pretty quickly.”
“All across the country and here in Alabama, we’ve been growing over the past number of years and so this law just kinda helps all of us,” Hull said, “It helps all the craft brewers to really invest more and more into our product, into our communities, and really do some great things for the beer industry in general.”
Tax rates for hard liquor drop even more, from $13.50 per gallon to $2.70 for the first 100,000 gallons produced or imported.