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The Begich Minute: Brewing Up Jobs in Alaska During Craft Beer Week


Begich co-sponsors “Small BREW Act” to Reduce Taxes on Small Brewers

Highlighting the important economic contributions of small brewers to Alaska and the entire country, U.S. Sen. Mark Begich hosted Kodiak Island Brewing Company brewer and manager Ben Millstein yesterday during the Small Craft Brewers meeting in the U.S. Capitol. Millstein then joined Begich in this week’s Begich Minute.

"Alaska small brewers do more than help Alaskans thaw out over the long winter with frosty brews,” said Begich.  “They create thousands of jobs and put millions of dollars back into our economy.”

Responding to some of the small brewers’ concerns, Begich also co-sponsored legislation to stimulate regional economies in Alaska and across the country by reducing the excise tax on each barrel of beer brewed by small brewers.

"I’m proud to sponsor The Small BREW Act and pleased to welcome Ben to the Senate because Alaskans are proud of their local small breweries.  I look forward to visiting Ben in Kodiak during Crabfest. We should be doing all we can to help them hop ahead like other small businesses,” Begich said.

Begich hosted the meeting and invited Millstein to share the Alaska brewer’s perspective. Millstein joined small brewers from all over the country and 11 U.S. Senators to discuss how to encourage the growth of small businesses and highlighted the challenges of growing his operation. Kodiak Brewery is the only brewery in the town of Kodiak.

About the Small BREW Act:

Under current law, brewers generally pay an $18 excise tax on each barrel brewed.  Small brewers, currently defined as those that brew fewer than 2 million barrels of beer a year, pay a reduced excise tax of $7 per barrel for the first 60,000 barrels they produce each year. The Small BREW Act would reduce the excise tax applicable to brewers producing up to 6 million barrels per year to just $3.50 on the first 60,000 barrels and $16 on additional barrels below 2 million per year.


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