A BOOST FOR BEER?
Can microbreweries jump start the ailing beer industry? Based on their success over the last few years, it’s certainly a possibility. A bipartisan group of senators is pushing a plan to cut taxes on the nation’s small brewers in hopes of stimulating hiring among craft brewers. Introduced by Massachusetts’ own Senator John Kerry, the plan would lower excise taxes on small breweries, among other considerations. Co-sponsors include Senators Olympia Snowe of Maine and Ron Wyden of Oregon, whose states have some of the most breweries per capita. The craft segment grew 7.2% by volume last year and has become a beacon for budding out-of-work entrepreneurs from corporate jobs. “There’s not that many success stories in American manufacturing today and craft beer is one of them,” said Jim Koch of The Boston Beer Company. Koch has been active in leading the charge for a lowering of the excise tax on small brewers.