Breweries toasting to beer excise tax being halved

Trubble Brewery co-owner Keli Hankee

FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE) – Craft beer makers are giving a toast to the new Republican tax reform bill, which will save them a significant amount of money.

The section they’re raising glasses to is the Craft Beverage Modernization and Tax Reform Act, which cuts the federal excise tax they pay from $7.00 a barrel to $3.50 on the first 60,000 barrels.

Mad Anthony Brewing Company co-owner Blaine Stuckey says this is big. His company brews about 3,000 barrels a beer a year and they gladly welcome the tax cut.

“It’s really going to be great for a lot of independent breweries,” he said. “I’d say it’s going to affect 90 plus percent of the Indiana brewers. I see those dollars going back into the brewery for growth and development.”

Stuckey explained the extra money will help them buy new tanks to produce beer, more kegs to distribute it, and more employees to make it.

Trubble Brewery co-owner Keli Hankee likes that the tax cut helps local economies and the rapidly growing craft brewery culture. More money in their bank accounts means breweries like Mad Anthony and Trubble can continue to grow, experiment and collaborate. There are more than 10 breweries in Fort Wayne and more than 120 across Indiana.

“There’s an allegiance among craft brewers,” Hankee said. “We don’t really see each other about competitors. We see big beer as competitors, guys like Budweiser and MillerCoors. They’re definitely trying to take business away from us and craft brewers kind of band together to promote our agenda together to take market share away from the really big guys out there.

Stuckey agreed.

“We’re not focused on selling in California and New York,” he said. “We’re focused on our home state of Indiana. You might get lost in the shuffle thinking everything’s craft beer. Well craft beer to us is working with our Indiana brewers and doing tastings together and working with all the independents.”

Celebrating the tax reform alongside breweries are wineries and distillers, which are also getting tax breaks.