Update on the Federal Tax Increase on Beer

I recently received an e-mail as part of the American Homebrewers Association from Charlie Papazian president of the Brewers Association with an update on the federal tax increase on beer. Here is his statement:

Some of you are aware of the headline discussions in Washington DC this week and last week regarding proposals to dramatically increase Federal Excise Tax on brewers and other alcohol beverage industries.  Brewers Association staff and those who are working on behalf of the Brewers Association in Washington, DC are in daily and regular communications on how to best represent small brewers concerns in these very critical discussions.  Dramatic excise tax increases would be harmful to both small brewery businesses and to the existing American beer culture of enjoyment and responsibility.
Brewers Association
In order to gain strategic ground before any Federal Excise Tax increase was proposed, the Brewers Association earlier this year teamed up with the Beer Institute to help introduce two bills advocating a reduction in Federal Excise Tax. These two bills are House Bill H.R. 836 and Senate Bill S.1058.  They are helpful as both a defense and as a proactive initiative.  H.R. 836 has 178 co-sponsors.  S.1058 introduced last week has an initial 7 co-sponsors in the Senate.  These two bills can help us push back on proposals to dramatically increase excise taxes on small brewers and the industry as a whole.
Earlier this year small brewers were asked by BA to call their Representatives and ask them to sign on as co-sponsor of H.R. 836.   Soon they will be receiving information asking them to call their Senator to become a co-sponsor of S. 1058.
In addition to the threat of Federal Excise Tax increases, the Administration’s new budget outline proposes the establishment of annual user fees to fund TTB’s agency budget, which in effect would be an additional tax on brewers and other related industries.
Brewers Association is involved in expressing concerns on behalf of small brewers and beer enthusiasts on these two legislative matters.  You may hear from us in the near future regarding actions which you can be involved in on these matters.
The Brewers Association feels it is of utmost importance during these critical times that the beer industry present a united and coordinated effort on the federal level.  This is why we have teamed with the Beer Institute to help us represent our constituencies.  If you are involved or are considering being involved in any other Federal initiatives that would be relevant to American small brewers, please let us know about them.
or Charlie Papazian charlie@brewersassociation.org
Note:  On June 2, the Brewers Association is hosting a “Celebration of American Craft Beer” reception for congressional representatives and their staff on Capitol Hill.  We will recognize the two co-chairs of the House Small Brewers Caucus, Peter DeFazio (OR) and Denny Rehberg (MT).  The House Small Brewers Caucus (which currently has 46 members) has been championing issues relevant to both homebrewers and small brewers.
Brewers Association staff and brewery members will also attend and make presentations at the House Small Brewers Caucus’s meeting preceding the reception.
Thank you for your valued membership of the American Homebrewers Association,
Charlie Papazian, President

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MateVeza Yerba Mate Ale Tasting

The Jug Shop in San Francisco will be holding a tasting of MateVeza Yerba Mate Ale this Friday May 22nd from 6pm to 8pm. MateVeza Yerba Mate is an organic beer brewed with a South American natural form of caffeine called yerba mate. Their beers are brewed and bottled for them at Mendocino Brewing Company in Northern California. The two types of beer that they offer are a golden ale and an IPA. There should be more details on the tasting at the Jug Shops website soon.

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Beer of the Week: Sierra Nevada Southern Hemisphere

harvest-SOHEM_bottleThis weeks beer of the week is Sierra Nevada’s Southern Hemisphere that is 6.7% abv and has 66 ibus. This is part of Sierra Nevada’s Harvest Series which includes the Chico Estate and Wet Hop Pale Ales that are availible at different times throught the year. This beer features fresh hops from New Zealand because they harvest their hops in the spring time instead of the fall like we do up here in the northern hemisphere. The hops were picked, dried, shipped to Chico and put into the kettle with in one week. This beer was first made for the fist time last year and was the first US made beer to feature fresh New Zealand hops. The beer pours a nice golden copper color with an nice light refreshing hop aroma. The beer does not have that typical American Pale Ale taste that we are use to because of the use of New Zealand Motueka and New Zealand Southern Cross hops but it is still wonderful. The malt base is strong for a pale ale but the refreshing fresh hops are very noticeable with a nice citrus and grapefruit flavor. The smoth mouthfeel makes this beer an easy drinker. This is a great pale ale for those hot summer days that have come so quickly this year. The Sierra Nevada Southern Hemisphere is available in 24oz bottles for about $4 and is available now.

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Special Cask Conditioned Ales At Moylan’s

To celebrate American Craft Beer Week Moylan’s has two special cask conditioned ales on tap that are available now at the brewery. The first is a Raspberry Espresso Chocolate Stout that is made from their Imperial Stout with a strong raspberry and espresso flavor with just a hint of chocolate that is 10% abv. The second beer is a Apple Brandy Barrel Aged Double Kiltlifter. For this beer they aged a batch of Double Kiltlifter in apple brandy barrels for six months that came out at 11%abv. Come by and try them while they last.

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West Coast Brew Fest

shapeimage_3The 10th annual West Coast Brew Fest Will Be held in Miller Park,Sacramento, On May 16th from 1-5pm. Tickets will be available at the gate for $30 but can be purchased on line for $25 and non drinkers can get in for $5. The admission gets you a 5oz tasting glass and unlimited pours. For those of you that wand a little bit more you can purchase a VIP ticket for $95 that entitles you to early entrance at noon for a VIP tasting and conversation with the brewers, a 14oz mug, VIP wristband , a T-shirt ($20 value) and can participate in the brewers BBQ. There will also be food and live music. Some of the breweries that will be attending are:

Alaskan Brewing Co – Allagash Brewing Co – Anderson Valley Brewing Co – Bear Republic Brewing Co – Bellhaven Brewery – Black Diamond Brewing Co – Blue Frog Grog and Grill – Barasseerie Lefebvre – Brew It Up – Brouwerij de Landtsheer – Buckbean Brewing Co – Clausthaler – Deschutes Brewing Co – Eel River Brewing Co – Fireman’s Brew – Fox barrel Cider – Firestone Walker Brewing Co – Full Sail Brewing Co – Gordon Biersch Brewing Co – Grand Teton Brewing Co – Great Basin Brewing Co – Hoppy Brewing Co – Jever Pilsner – Kona Brewing Co – Konig Brauerei -Královský Pivovar Krušovic -Lockdown Brewing Co -Lost Coast Brewing Co -Mendocino Brewing Co -New Belguim Brewing Co -orth Coast Brewing Co -skar Blues Grill & Brew -Pete’s Restaurant & Brewhouse -Placerville Brewing Co -Pyramid Brewing Co -Radeberger Brewery -Redhook Brewing Co -River City Brewing Co -Sacramento Brewing Co -Boston Beer Co -Santa Cruz Mountain Brewing –  Sequoia Brewing Co -Shipyard Brewing Co -Sierra Nevada Brewing Co -Shmaltz Brewing Company -Speakeasy Ales & Lagers -Sudwerk Brauerei – Stone Brewing Co -Trumer Brauerei -Uncommon Brewers -Wells – Widmer Brothers Brewing Co –  Young’s

For more information you can check out their website or the facebook page.

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Tasting of Spring Beers

Pacific Coast brewing Co in Oakland will be holding a sit down tasting of spring beers this Saturday May 16th. The cost will be $50 and tickets must be purchased in advance. There will be a limited amount of seats so pick up one now. Some of the beers that will be sampled are:

  • Pacific Coast Brewing Ultra Yellow
  • Russian River Pliny the Younger
  • Lagunitas Hop Stoopid
  • Firestone Walker Reserve Porter
  • Celebrator
  • Dogfish Head Aprihop
  • Klokke Roeland

If you have not had the pleasure of trying Russian Rivers Pliny the Younger it is one of the finest beers that I have ever had. It is a stronger hoppier version of their double IPA Pliny the Elder. This should be a great line up of beers and a good way to finish up American Craft Beer Week. For ticket information you can contact the brewery at pacificcoastbrewing.com or 510-836-2739.

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AleSmith Tasting 5/14

On Thursday 5/14 strating at 5:30pm City Beer Store will be hosting an AleSmith flight. The three beers they will be tasting are IPA, Anvil and X. This is a great brewery that is hard to find up this way. Come out and celebrate American Craft Beer Week.