Biz: A Beer Tax Cut?

July 16 2012, 10:30 AM

Sen. Mark Udall stopped by Avery Brewing on Friday to promote his plan to reduce the cost of producing a barrel of beer (31 gallons) by chopping the per-barrel excise tax. Udall wants to cut the tax in half for both small and gargantuan brewers—large breweries would now pay $9 per barrel and smaller brewers would pay $3.50. The idea, Udall says, is to free up money so that breweries can invest the dough into growing their companies.  

Visiting Avery to pimp his plan was a logical choice for Udall: The brewery recently received approval to construct a $27 million, 95,922-square-foot facility in Boulder. If that project doesn't scream "business is booming," we're not sure what does. A few other Colorado beer folk, including Brian Dunn, the owner of Great Divide, spoke about how lowering the tax would help breweries hire new employees.

But the under-reported point seems to be this: This is likely even bigger news for the dozens of new breweries planning to open in Colorado in the next year. Last we checked, there were 75 breweries in the planning stages. For a brand new business—beer related or not—saving a few extra bucks here and there can mean the difference between success or failure. If Udall gets his way and the tax is lowered, perhaps it would even spark a few more budding brew masters to give it a go.  A brewery in every neighborhood? Yes, please. 

Image courtesy of Shutterstock.

Follow assistant editor Chris Outcalt on Twitter at @chrisoutcalt.