Craft Brewers May Catch a Break

Posted at: 07/06/2013 10:29 PM
Updated at: 07/06/2013 10:38 PM

Sen. Amy Klobuchar was just in Duluth visiting breweries and talking about a proposed bill to drop the excise tax on beer from $7 per barrel to only $3.50. The bill would affect only small breweries producing 60,000 barrels or less.

Bryon Tonnis, co-founder and brewer at Bent Paddle Brewing Company, said at 2,000 to 2,500 barrels, the legislation will definitely have a positive impact for them.

"Any sort of break at this stage would definitely help us out in being able to hire more people and also spend money on some capital expenditures to add more tanks and expand a little bit faster," Tonnis said.

Don Hoag, president of Lake Superior Brewing Company, said his company would also spend any extra money on increased sales and staff.

"I think that's probably the principal driver behind it in Congress, is for job creation, because craft beer is booming," Hoag said. "There are an awful lot of breweries that are opening up and anything we can do to try to continue that trend and to help the existing companies grow is going to be positive for the overall economic health of the country."

Lake Superior Brewing Company is currently producing about 2,000 barrels per year.