The Beer Institute released the following statement after president and CEO Jim McGreevy along with Senior Director of Federal Affairs Joe Heaton received Brewbound’s “Persons of the Year” award for their work to make the current federal excise tax rates permanent for all brewers and beer importers, preventing a $154 million tax increase to our nation’s beer industry.

“I am honored to be recognized along with Joe as one of Brewbound’s Persons of the Year for our work to keep the current federal excise tax rates permanent, which has long been one the Beer Institute’s top priorities,” says McGreevy. “Beer is America’s most popular alcohol beverage and supports more than 2.1 million American jobs. While the pandemic has dramatically impacted the hospitality industry, especially restaurants and bars, removing the threat of a dramatic excise tax increase offers some relief and helps start our economy down the path to recovery and regrowth. I am grateful to all of our partners in the beer industry and members of Congress on both sides of the aisle who have championed excise tax relief permanence for the entire beer industry.”

“Achieving excise tax permanence for the beer industry was an industry-wide effort, and I am glad to have played a part in getting it across the finish line,” adds Heaton. “For years, employees from our nation’s brewers, beer importers, and beer industry suppliers from across the country have worked together to tell their members of Congress how critical tax relief is for their businesses. With excise tax certainty, we can all toast to future beer industry success.”

“Making the federal excise tax cuts permanent was a two-decades-long effort, one that only gained traction in recent years after the industry’s leading trade groups banded together,” Brewbound editor Justin Kendall says. “For their efforts to unite the industry and finally get permanence across the finish line, Brewbound is proud to honor the Beer Institute’s Jim McGreevy and Joe Heaton, as well as the Brewers Association’s Bob Pease and Katie Marisic, as our 2020 Persons of the Year.”

The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, passed by Congress in December 2017, provided a temporary reduction in federal excise taxes for all brewers and beer importers. Congress made these rates permanent at the end of 2020.

The federal excise tax rates are now:

  • $3.50 per barrel on the first 60,000 barrels for domestic brewers producing fewer than two million barrels annually;
  • $16 per barrel on the first six million barrels for all other brewers and all beer importers; and
  • $18 per barrel rate for barrelage over six million.

These permanent federal excise tax rates provide much-needed relief for America’s brewers and beer importers, an industry that today supports more than 2.1 million American jobs and generates more than $328 billion in economic activity.  Maintaining the current federal excise tax rates for all brewers and beer importers enjoys broad, popular and bipartisan support. According to recent polling done by the Beer Institute, 63 percent of Americans supported Congress making the current federal excise tax rates permanent for all brewers and beer importers. Further, in the 116th Congress, more than 350 members of the House and more than 75 members of the Senate co-sponsored the Craft Beverage Modernization and Tax Reform Act of 2019.

Congress included excise tax rates permanence as part of the COVID-19 relief/year-end spending bill passed in December 2020.

Beverage, Industry News