JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. – U.S. Senator Roy Blunt is being honored for championing small and independent beer.
The Brewers Association this week recognized Blunt, awarding him the Brewers Association Legislative Champion Award for his support of America’s small and independent craft brewers and his efforts to recalibrate the federal excise tax.
This year, Blunt was the lead sponsor of the Craft Beverage Modernization and Tax Reform Act (CBMTRA) bill in the Senate, which recalibrates the federal excise tax for breweries and other alcohol producers.
More than half of the U.S. Congress supported the legislation, with 56 Senate co-sponsors and 303 representatives co-sponsoring the House version of the bill.
“The effort to bring meaningful federal excise tax relief to small brewers has been a decade-long initiative for the Brewers Association. We could have not achieved it without the leadership, passion and forward thinking of legislators like Senator Blunt,” said Bob Pease, president & CEO, Brewers Association. “He understands the positive impacts small and independent brewers have on their local communities and our national economy. The tax relief for our brewers is palpable and we look forward to working with him to make the two-year provision permanent.”
The Show-Me State is home to 91 craft breweries, and the industry supports 7,100 workers and contributed $1 billion to the economy in 2016.
“Ninety-six percent of breweries responding to the survey (a recent excise tax recalibration survey conducted by the Brewers Association) found the lower federal excise tax beneficial to their brewery,” said Bart Watson, chief economist, Brewers Association. “More specifically, 70 percent indicated they would be increasing their economic development by purchasing new equipment, upgrading their tasting rooms and breweries, or moving to new buildings. In addition, more than half of respondents indicated they would be hiring new employees.”
Blunt was among five legislators recognized for their support and leadership. The award was presented by Bob Pease, president & CEO of the Brewers Association and Jeff Schrag and Mary Scheid of Mother’s Brewing in Springfield, Missouri.
Benjamin Peters is a reporter for the Missouri Times and Missouri Times Magazine, and also produces the #MoLeg Podcast. He joined the Missouri Times in 2016 after working as a sports editor and TV news producer in mid-Missouri. Benjamin is a graduate of Missouri State University in Springfield. To contact Benjamin, email firstname.lastname@example.org or follow him on Twitter @BenjaminDPeters.