Local brewers to see federal tax cut in 2018

Photo: WLOS staff

Federal tax cuts left local craft brewers with more money in their pockets starting January 2018.

The tax on their first 60,000 barrels produced per year dropped by 50 percent.

"We put out anywhere between 12,000 and 13,000 barrels a year,” Green Man Brewery spokesperson Elizabeth Nestler said. “Next year we're looking to put out a little bit more."

In 2017, taxed at $7 per barrel—which equals two kegs—which meant the owner of Green Man Brewery could save around $44,000 per year.

"We'll be able to invest in more machinery and things like that," Nestler said.

Nestler said that money should flow back into the brewery for the two-year lifespan of the cuts.

"We're able to add to our staff, able to compensate our staff more, we're able to be more active in the community, give back more; as well as potentially broadening our horizons in different states," Nestler said.

Brewery visitors from North Carolina and different states, like Trevor Wilson from Tennessee, may not see those cuts first-hand.

"Our beer costs are very high, just like any other craft brewery, and it's really important for us to be able to get our compensation for each beer,” Nestler said, “so we can continue to create these beers with these very expensive, but wonderful ingredients."

But on a tour of Green Man, Wilson saw the glass half full—even if his glass might still cost the same after the tax cuts take effect in 2018.

"I think that's going to be great for small, regional breweries,” Wilson said. “I mean it's going to give smaller, kind of like startup companies an opportunity to get in on the boom of craft beer."

Also, Wilson said, it would help those brewers already in on the boom.

"They can actually use that money to reinvest in equipment,” Wilson said. "I'm all behind it."

Larger brewers should see smaller cuts, but that would be on a percentage basis.

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