The craft beer industry in Maine is growing. More than 60 breweries are now licensed in Maine, and more Mainers are choosing to drink locally brewed beers than ever before.

Today, few brewers in the state can meet the demand for their product; in this capital-intensive business, brewers often are unable to scale up fast enough. Something needs to be done, and Maine’s congressional delegation is answering the call.

Sen. Susan Collins recently introduced a bill, the Small BREW Act, that has the potential to accelerate the growth of the craft beer industry not only in Maine, but also across the nation. The Small BREW Act will recalibrate the federal excise taxes paid by small brewers on the beer they produce, freeing up cash to be invested in the growth of their breweries, add jobs and scale up to meet consumer demand.

The Small BREW Act would have a direct and positive impact on every brewery in Maine, and is a top priority for our state’s brewers.

Maine’s craft beer brewers sell more than $100,000 worth of beer annually, support more than 1,500 jobs, and operate throughout Maine. Growth of Maine’s craft beer industry also benefits others — more Maine farmers are growing hops and barley to sell to breweries; tradesmen are hired to expand facilities; and hotels and restaurants benefit from the influx of beer tourists.

Tax recalibration for America’s small brewers makes good sense for job creation, and will benefit Maine greatly.

Sean M. Sullivan, executive director

Maine Brewers’ Guild

South Portland

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