Small Brew Act could mean big boost for beer - WCAX.COM Local Vermont News, Weather and Sports-

Small Brew Act could mean big boost for beer

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Creating local brews is a growing trend across the country. At Lake Placid Pub and Brewery, the product is more than popular.

Christopher Ericson opened this pub with a college friend in 1996. He started with a homebrew kit and a passion for beer; 17 years later, his love for brewing hasn't changed.

"We want to be able to brew more and sell more and capacity is the only way to do that," Ericson said.

In a tour through the brewery Friday, Sen. Chuck Schumer saw what it takes to operate a small craft brewery. And the senator revealed a new piece of legislation called the Small Brew Act of 2013. It would cut the federal excise tax on small breweries in half.

"They not only create a product, craft beer which is extremely popular, but they're often accompanied by restaurants that increase tourism, increase income and increase jobs throughout the country," said Schumer, D-New York.

A small craft brewery brews less than 60,000 barrels a year. Ericson says his brewery makes around 7,500 a year. The federal tax cut could save his business more than $21,000 annually.

"I'm paying the same as someone making 59,999 barrels, who's doing a lot more sales, a lot more volume, a lot more revenue," Ericson said. "So it's just a way to say is this a smart thing? Is it necessary, is it a job creation thing, is it a reinvestment thing? And I think it really is."

Schumer says the bill has bipartisan support in both the House and Senate. And although it can be difficult to pass separate legislation, he says he's confident that tax cuts bring more support than tax increases.

"The bottom line is we'll get back more money than we cut," Schumer said.

And the Lake Placid Pub and Brewery is only 1 of 132 small brewing companies in Northern New York hoping this bill passes by 2014.

Schumer says if the bill passes it will affect around 2,000 craft breweries around the country.

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