At the Queen City Brewery in Burlington this morning, Rep. Peter Welch announced his support for bipartisan legislation to provide tax relief to Vermont's growing small brewery industry.
Welch was joined by Kurt Staudter, Executive Director of the Vermont Brewers Association; Paul Hale, co-founder of Queen City Brewery; John Kimmich, co-owner of the Alchemist brewery; Matt Cohen, brewmaster of Fiddlehead Brewing; and Tommy Noonan, manager of Vermont Pub and Brewery.
"Vermont is quickly gaining a reputation for brewing some of the best and most sought after beers in the world," said Welch. "Our brewers exemplify Vermont's entrepreneurial culture but taking a brewery from concept to the first pour is a daunting challenge. The Small BREW Act will give these passionate and committed small business owners a financial boost that will help them achieve their dream while creating good local jobs."
After the announcement, Welch toured the Queen City Brewery which opened in June.
The Small BREW Act (H.R. 232) would reduce the small brewer federal excise tax rate on the first 60,000 barrels produced in a year from $7.00 to $3.50 a barrel. It would also establish a new rate for beer production above 60,000 barrels from $18 to $16 per barrel for up to 2 million barrels. Only breweries with an annual production of 6 million barrels or less would qualify for these lower tax rates. It is sponsored in the House of Representatives by Representatives Erik Paulsen (R-MN) and Richard E. Neal (D-MA).
Rep. Welch is a member of the House Small Brewers Caucus. Vermont, with 41 craft breweries, has more craft breweries per capita than any other state.